Innovative Products at EcoLightTech Asia 2014 (Part 2: International LED Manufacturers)

In part one of EcoLightTech Asia 2014 Innovative Product guide, LEDinside addressed smart or innovative products displayed by Thai LED manufacturers. Here we will take a look at the interactive and smart LED products international manufacturers were showcasing at the lighting show that took place in Bangkok, Thailand recently.

Soitec's transparent architectural LED glass display to be launched in 2015. (LEDinside)

Transparent architectural LED glass displays

French LED and solar panel manufacturer Soitec might be getting veryew close to designing a transparent display device. The company, which launched its Thai office branch this year, gave a sneak peek to a transparent smart LED lighting system that will be launched in 2015 to target building applications. The design concept of the is to directly incorporate the display into the architectural design, said Mark Nicholson, Director, Business Development, Soitec Lighting.

The nearly 90% transparent tempered glass smart LED display, is computer programmable. Wiring and drivers are concealed by the resin and additional layers of the product. Panels are specially designed so the light emitted by LEDs are directed towards one side of the glass panel to minimize distraction and glare that might affect office workers in business building applications. The system is built with three year redundancy to lower potential maintenance costs.

Soitec's LED displays are computer programmable to show different images. (LEDinside)

The lighting system will be priced at US $500,000 for a single panel, and is positioned to enter public transportation and hotel sectors, said Nicholson. The pricing is actually cheap for advertisement agencies, and there is a huge scope for the product in Asia, he added.

In the meantime, LED T8 tubes remain the company’s main revenue source in the Southeast Asia market. Soitec’s lighting division has stored 10,000 product units in its inventory in Singapore to prevent shortages. In the next seven months, the company aims to expand its presence in the region by entering Vietnam, Philippines, and Myanmar markets. Headed by LED industry veteran R. Scott Kern, who has been in the LED business for over 15 years, and a former employee of Philips Lumileds, Soitec aims to take its outperform competitors in Southeast Asia by providing good quality products, explained Nicholson.

R. Scott Kern, Vice President and General Manager of Soitec's lighting division poses next to a LED panel. (LEDinside)

Interactive LED lights

U.S. manufacturer Sensacell and Chinese smart LED manufacturer MiPower’s distributor vesatRonics were the only few displaying interactive LED lights at the trade show.

Sensacell’s large touch interactive panels uses RGB LEDs that are capable of changing into 16 million colors when the 16 sensors detect pressure, said the company’s Thailand Office Manager Thatsanee Hattadon. The 5W LEDs used in the panels are designed to be plug-and-play products, and most of the hardware is manufactured in China. The panel is solely designed for indoor applications, and additional silicon covers need to be added for customized outdoor applications.

Sensacell’s large interactive LED panels displayed at EcoLightTech Asia 2014. (LEDinside)

The company’s focus is in product software design. The SENSA MODULE W3016-16- RGB REV 1.0 can transform images and display lively animations via computer software programs. Ethernet cable connection is used to link the panels to the software. For every system one master tile, usually located in the upper left corner, is required to control the entire panel system, explained Hattadon. Panels can also be customized to play to the beat of music.

In its third year in the Thai LED market, Hattadon has observed growing interest from Thai consumers and reported fast revenue growth, but declined to give specific numbers. A single 30x30 cm tile can cost up to 4,000 Thai baht.

A woman demonstrating SENSA MODULE W3016-16- RGB REV 1.0 at EcoLightTech Asia 2014. Please click image to see the panels in action. (LEDinside)

Colorful smart LED bulbs

MiPower, which successfully raised more than 500% of its targeted US $5,000 goal on Kickstarter for its Playbulb Candle, displayed a wide range of smart LED bulbs at the trade show last week. The Playbulb Candle for instance has built-in sensors that will dim the lights when it detects air being blown by the user blow out the electronic candle light.

The company’s colorful Playbulb Rainbow received the most interest and inquiries at the show, the color tunable and dimmable RGB LED lights are controlled and connected via Bluetooth connection. The bulbs are currently priced at around 1,490 Thai baht, and have a luminous efficacy of 150 lm/w. This product is particularly targeting store and restaurant applications, said Paichayong Lertsinphaisal, Marketing Manager of vestaRonics, MiPower’s distributor in Thailand.

Henry Ong, Marketing Director, vestatRonics (Thailand) holds a MiPower Playbulb Candle. The company is MiPower's distributor in Thailand. Please click the image to view Playbulb Candle video. (LEDinside)

MiPower’s LED products are manufactured in China, but its R&D is based in Hong Kong. The bulbs can be controlled in groups of five units, and up to 250 bulbs or 50 groups can be controlled at the same time, explained Lerstinphaisal. verstaRonics decided to start distributing more smart LED bulb products, after the smart LED app BTL 100 sold surprisingly well on the market.

Having only been in the Thai LED market in the last three months, MiPower’s smart LED products are mostly being sold at smartphone trade shows, said Lertsinphaisal. The Chinese company has traditionally been a smartphone gadget and accessory manufacturer specializing in power bank and speaker accessories.

vestaRonics displayed a wide range of MiPower smart LED bulbs products at the trade show. Henry Ong, Marketing Director, vestatRonics (Thailand) points to some of the products displayed. (LEDinside)

“We are positioning MiPower LED bulb products for electronic gadget lovers in the Thailand market,” said Henry Ong, Marketing Director, vestatRonics (Thailand). Compared to department stores and mobile franchises with the same customer flow, MiPower smart LED products being sold in Apple stores have shown better revenue performance, he added. The company is targeting hotels, resorts, coffee shops and retail sectors where mood lighting plays an important role. Additionally, the replacement and decorative lighting market are also sectors the distributor is looking into.

(Author: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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