posted on Wednesday, 25th July 2012 by Steve May
Japanese tech giants are seeing the light when it comes to LED. Toshiba is the latest brand to ramp up its commitment to the technology, today announcing that it will start mass production of white LEDs from October, following the construction of a new cutting-edge production line at its Kaga Toshiba facility, in Ishikawa prefecture, Japan.
The output will form the backbone of its general purpose lighting business, as well as find a role in TV backlighting. Toshiba believes the market will be worth one trillion yen by the end of 2013. The company says it has developed techniques to significantly boost the optical output of its bulbs, following a collaboration with LED lighting developer Bridgelux Inc. The new bulbs will combine Bridgelux's crystal growth and chip structure with Toshiba's GaN-on-Silicon process and manufacturing technology. It says it has developed a prototype chip with a maximum optical output of 614mW.
Japan is seeing a concerted move toward LED lighting. In June, the Japanese environment and industry ministries requested that companies pull the plug on the manufacturing and sale of incandescent light bulbs, in an effort to accelerate the take up of eco-friendly bulbs.
A consumer campaign, designed to encourage the adoption of LED lighting, will run through the summer. Helping the message is the newly opened Tokyo SkyTree. The world's tallest tower is exclusively illuminated by LED bulbs, provided by Panasonic. The tower has adopted a pale blue and deep purple colour scheme, designed to reflect the traditional Edo roots of the region. Nearly 2,000 LED lights are installed on the tower.
Toshiba and Mitsubishi have already stopped production of incandescent bulbs. Panasonic has announced that it will end production in October; finally silencing production lines that begun back in 1936. Over the past year, Panasonic has won a string of awards for its Clear LED replacement. Using proprietary light emission and diffusion technologies, this model is virtually the same size, shape, colour and brightness as its forebear, yet it consumes around 78 per cent less energy and lasts 26 times longer.
According to research from GfK, conventional bulbs still account for nearly half of all lighting sales in Japan.
Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics
industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.
posted by Steve May
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