The Solid State Light Source of the Future

Most of us have walked into a Home Depot or Lowes and have seen the lighting aisle which by now has a section labeled Solid State Lighting. When we look at the products in that section, we see that they all look like the same light sources that we are accustomed to seeing in our homes and businesses today. They are PAR 30, A19, and candelabra type bulbs that screw directly into our existing lighting fixtures. Although it is great news that we are starting to get access to these very efficient new light sources, the existing approach to implementing this revolutionary type of light has been far from optimal.  Each bulb design has required a customized solution.  By requiring customized light sources to fit our current fixtures, we are not taking full advantage of the directionality and efficiency of the source while providing a cost that is appealing to customers.

So the question is; what will the optimal solid state light source be?

Here is a list of the features it will likely have.

  1. It will be integrated into one component. The power source, the light source, the optics, and thermal management will be integrated into one component.
  2. It will be a universal light source that can be “dropped” into a PAR bulb, an A19 bulb, a down-light, or a variety of new light sources that may not yet exist.
  3. It will be powered directly from line voltage. (120 volts AC in the US and 230 volts AC in Europe).
  4. It will be small enough to fit into most light sources. (50 mm diameter or less and
  5. It will be the equivalent to a 75 watt light bulb (about 1200 lumens).
  6. A wide range of optical beam angles will be available.
  7. A wide range of color temperatures and CRIs will be available.
  8. The L70 life of the source will be at least 25,000 hours.
  9. No binning will be required.
  10. It will be dimmable to 10%.
  11. Most importantly, the retail cost of the source will be less than 1 cent per delivered lumen.

No light source on the market today is able to meet all of these requirements but a Light Source in development within Molex is getting very close. “Light Disk” is a new generation solid state light source that within the next several years will meet all of these requirements.  A new generation of solid state drivers along with optimized solid state light sources packaged into a state-of-the-art Molded Interconnect Device (MID) makes all of this possible.

By integrating the light source, electronics, optics, and thermal management into a 50mm diameter and 10mm high disk and producing it under “one roof,” it will be possible to meet all of the mentioned requirements.

MIDs are the basis for the “game changing” technology that makes all of this possible. A MID can provide an electro-mechanical device, essentially a three dimensional interconnect, that combines the electronics that power the string of LEDs within this small light source. Features that support the optics and a thermal interface can be molded into the MID and cover to complete the final product.

Specially formulated materials make it possible to meet the cosmetic, UL flammability, thermal, and voltage isolation requirements for line voltage products.

Not only will this new product be easy to use and reduce the cost of implementing solid state lighting to a level where it will not be an economics question any more, but it will provide a universal source that you can use in a wide range of light sources.

The “Perfect Solid State Light Source” is just around the corner and we will all soon be benefiting from its lower cost and energy savings potential.