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Keith Dawson

A Driver Specialist's Worldview

Keith Dawson
Ed Rodriguez
Ed Rodriguez
8/17/2013 9:36:02 AM
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Blogger
Re: Tower of BabeLED
I second everything Ron says-- and then some!!!   and I am quite familiar with Harvard offerings.   25-30 years ago there were hundreds of switching power supply companies in US and as many in Europe , especially those doing custom types. In the 90's, half went defunct as standarization and cost became far more important than expensive cute little attrubutes and switching power supply design became "commoditized" and no longer the domain of academic tech papers.

In last 15 years, another major chunk of them went bust, were acquired  etc.

As the LED world started to move, a good part of those last remaining companies, many of whom finally learned how to make electronic ballsts (just a swithcing power supply using a boost topology)

Now that ballasts are becoming history, they are hanging out a "we make led supplies" shingle--- Too late.    (98% of all led supplies in lamps or fixtures are made in Asia.

Unless one offers LED  encased power supplies (as opposed ot the lower power bare-board buck or isolated types  in lamps)   with a)  efficiency over 90% 2) dimmability c) compact sizem AND 4)  !!!! low cost,  they are whistlin Dixie" in this market.

I notice that no mention of cost is in that Harvard write-up.  I must say that UK companies have always been a day late and a buck short in  power supply design and have been able only to sell into local(UK andlately  EU markets-- total dud in US markets, where customers no longer care about "made locally" a if size ,price and avalibility is not superb--.   

There is a reason why companies like Meanwell(Taiwan) dominate the US led power supply market.--cheap,  compact, dimmable, available in a zillion models, available at all times with 5 day delivery  through distribution, Other LED power supply companies, stodgy and non innovative have continued to throw brickbats at Meanwell on ""quality' etc. But that is a "re herring".    Philips is actually doing a good job in power supplies (Xitanium types etc) There are probably three or four others who also "get it" in US market.


Pick any UK/European maker you want for AC mains LED power supplies over 50 watts and I guarantee  there will be no stock in US and will be a 6-plus week lead time

To sell LED power supplies today to any serious user of more than a handful requires that the supplier better have his act together in every possible way.

By the way, there are over 100 million installed triac dimmers ( your classic simple wall dimmer) in the US.   They can be installed by anybody in 15 minutes,

I say with 99% certainty there are fewer than  100K "trailing edge dimmers" in use--and those types are not available as a stock item anywhere in US. Aside from costing $100 versus $10 for triac (leading edge) type they require the electrician.

The moral of the story in all things LED lighting at this  stage of ther industry---  "don't reheat  last week's stew" -------  Innovate or be left in the dust !  and that relates to far more than just wireless or internet-of-things  buzz words.

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Ron Amok
Ron Amok
8/16/2013 11:26:47 PM
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DALIsaur ?
Sorry, but I can't take any company seriously that talks about leading and trailing edge dimming in a product line that requires an electrician to install it. Might as well put an LED-compatible wall dimmer in and use a "normal" LED driver at the luminaire.

If you say it's for OEM, how long do you think this kind of product will last in the design before the first round of cost reduction puts them first on the chopping block as THE most expensive item on the BOM?

And quoting 93% efficiency on a 150W supply is not that great - to put it in perspective, those kinds of losses in a 60W-replacement bulb would double its power usage.

This is niche, IMO - for one-offs by architects and lighting designers (vs lamp designers). I simply can't see a path to any kind of mainstream for this kind of product.

In fact, I think its day is very quickly passing and this interview may be a last gasp to goose niche sales.

My $0.02 on this kind of old tech.

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kdawson
kdawson
8/16/2013 10:31:54 AM
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Editor
Re: Tower of BabeLED
Yes, the proliferation of wireless protocols has to go. Standards are the answer long-term, and the fewer the better. As we saw demonstrated by the fellow who hacked Hue, security vulnerabilities are most likely to be found at the interfaces where two protocols meet. Trying to integrate the growing number of protocols into systems at larger scale is a recipe for security Swiss cheese.

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eafpres
eafpres
8/16/2013 10:26:06 AM
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Blogger
Tower of BabeLED
I continue to be amazed at the proliferation of proprietary wireless solutions.  This seems especially prevalent in Europe, where the market seems to favor smaller, niche providers.  The concern is that the deployment of all these non- or partially interoperable systems will eventually lead to problems integrating at a larger scale, or lead to more costs as users discover they would do better with standards based wireless in order to integrate across platforms.

Their product line looks nice; will be interesting to see if they can really gain any traction in the US.  Making use of a standard "hole" in the light housing is a good idea; as you note this isn't standard everywhere.

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