Exclusive Interview with Philips Lumileds—manufacturing high quality mid-power LEDs that meet market and light quality demands

Exclusive Interview with Philips Lumileds—manufacturing high quality mid-power LEDs that meet market and light quality demands
A pioneer in LED R&D, chip manufacturer Philips Lumileds is now extending its presence in sectors that have recently entered the LED chip market lime light—the mid-power multi-chip package and mid-power LED chip market. Having achieved success in high-power LEDs, the company hopes entry into these sectors can make their lighting and commercial lighting product lines more comprehensive. LEDinside was honored to interview Lumileds CEO Pierre-Yves Lesaicherre about the company’s technological developments and future market strategy. The company’s experience in LED market and technology can enlighten the LED industry.

Philips Lumileds CEO Pierre-Yves Lesaicherre

Mid-power LED chips efficiently reduce number of LEDs used in lamp designs

Speaking about the company’s current market developments, Lesaicherre, who's a  technologist himself and now a successful management expert, said Lumileds is optimistic about LED lighting market developments, and is picking up pace in market participation. The company’s mid-power product development and promotion is focused on seven major market sectors—architectural, homes, industry, office, retail and hospitality, retrofit and outdoor.

Lumileds was formerly HP’s LED business division, and continued to thrive in the LED chip sector after Philips acquisition, said Lesaicherre. The company went on to become a market leader in traffic lights and LED monitors in the high-power LED markets. Currently, the company’s LED lighting products accounts for 50% of LED products, while revenues generated from other products mainly come from flash LEDs, automobile LEDs and backlighting products, where Lumileds has become a market leader in the former two markets.

Emerging new trends in these markets are mid-power LED multi-chip packaging, and breakthroughs in mid-power LED products that heightened lighting products visibility amidst growing market demands. Commercial lighting in particular requires high quality LED products, while the average lighting market needs good quality, pragmatic products with competitive prices and costs.

Lumileds has redefined these products. Mid-power LED product growth rates are expected to exceed those of high-power products, as it can greatly reduce the number of LED chips manufacturers use in lamp designs. A 50W PAR 20 lamp for example requires only 4 mid-power LEDs, while a 40W A19 light bulb that normally requires 14 LEDs now needs only 6 LEDs. This is good news in terms of costs and designs. Lumileds mid-power LEDs luminous efficiency can reach 130 lm/W or more, while color rendering index (CRI) is above 80. This brings good cost benefits in terms of lighting demands.

Some product design concepts are twin die package, while others constitute single die package, said the CEO. The former increases lumen per dollar, in other words increasing the number of lumens one dollar can buy, and is equipped with multi-beam angles. The latter is focused on increasing lumen per watt, meaning it boosts the value of the average lumens per watt. These products aim to help manufacturers build interior lighting products and ceiling lamps with advantageous costs.

Exclusively owned phosphor powder adds  product value, technology driven direction  creates product differentiation

Lesaicherre emphasized this kind of design concept illustrates Lumileds strength of transferring outstanding high-power LED technologies to mid-power LED products. The company’s exclusive phosphor powder technology and manufacturing plays a key role, since it is not sold to other companies. The powder equips Lumileds mid-power LED products with light quality similar to its LED products, and offers lumen maintenance above average products.
This is a very important component choice for commercial lighting products. Philips Lumileds LED chips are restricted within the 3 step MacAdam’s Ellipse, and both its product uniformity and color lighting quality are recognized by the market.

Jewelry shops tend to have especially high Color Rendering Index (CRI) demands of between 90~95, so it is important to provide better LED products, explained Lesaicherre. Other types of shops that also require high quality commercial lighting include clothing, bags, and luxury goods shops, which is why promotion of low light quality LED products has been relatively difficult in the commercial lighting market.

Currently, Lumileds and its parent company Philips share similar strategies when it comes to using their own products, purchased products or components. Philips not only purchases products manufactured by its own businesses, it also purchases large numbers of products from other manufacturers. Lumileds not only manufactures its own LED die, it also purchases die made by other manufacturers. This might help lower costs, but an important key is Philips can assemble the purchased LED die crystals with its phosphorous powder, and package it into LED chips with qualities that set it apart from others sold on the market. This is one of the reasons behind Lumileds optimistic forecast that its mid-power LED shipments and growth rates will exceed high-power LED products and offer better quality products on the market.

The company’s COB products, the array LEDs, package multiple LED lights onto a single board. These have also been well received by the market.

Lumileds is the only company that offers Green LED and Hue Z LED products on the Asia market. These products can be obtained from the company’s Hong Kong and Tokyo branches, indicating considerable technological advancements.

Automobile LED and Flash LED markets play equally important roles

Lumileds high-power LED products are the most visible on the market, with the widest range of applications. Not limited to lighting, leading applications have been used among cellphone companies that have adopted large numbers of flash LED chip products. Orders filed by cellphone companies are difficult to replace because flash LED chip products tend to require high technology capabilities and involves complicated product authentication.

Lumileds also showed good performances in the automobile LED markets, with its high-power LED chips in Daytime Running Light (DRL) or other automobile head lights that have been adopted earlier by Audi R8 and Q7 car models, and in Mercedes Benz cars.

Positive LED outlook leads to continued product expansions and increased technology quality

Philips current strategy is to continue advancements in high-power LED products, but will be focusing its market sales and product growth on mid-power LEDs and array LED products. Traditional high-power LED products will be focused on directional lighting, including outdoor lighting, which is a field suitable for high-power LEDs and COB LED (array LED). As for interior lighting, mid-power product applications will continue to grow, and are estimated to become the product majority.

Lesaicherre has a positive outlook of LED lighting developments and other applications, and in the future will continue to expand its product lines to meet global market demands. The company will be strengthening its production line and sales in Asia. As for technology developments, the company’s aim is to improve efficiency and costs by increasing lumen per watt efficiency and lumens per dollar. In regards to new technology applications and developments, the company is still developing applications for quantum dot phosphor powders. With the company’s technological strengths, there is a high possibility that the product will be commercialized.

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