LED inventor bets on lasers to replace LEDs
Lux Review, February 24, 2016. Image credit: WOODPUNCHER
Nobel-prize winning Nakamura – who invented both the green and blue LED, the latter of which led to the so-called LED revolution – has co-founded SoraaLaser, which will debut to huge media and scientific interest at next week’s Strategies in Light conference in California.
Laser lighting is already used for automobile headlamps at BMW and Audi, because the laser diode’s efficiency is ten times higher than that of the LED headlamp. The radiation distance of a laser diode headlamp is almost 700 metres, whereas LED headlamp is only 300 metres, and current automobile headlamps are only 100 metres.
There are already a couple of laser diode-equipped cars in existence. The BMW i8, which launched this summer, is the first car to use laser headlights developed by Osram. A special edition Audi R8 LMX has also been created. The laser diodes are so small that they can be worked into the structure, opening up new possibilities for car design.
But Nakamura hastened to add that there is still some way to go before laser diode technology will reach its full potential. ‘We can make highly efficient lighting in the near future, but we still have to work very hard to make the laser diodes highly efficient. I think this will be a huge opportunity in the future,’ he said.
SoraaLaser’s visible laser light sources are based on its proprietary and patented semi-polar GaN laser diodes, combined with advanced phosphor technology. These laser light sources provide novel properties compared with other light sources by combining the benefits of solid-state illumination such as minimal power consumption and long lifetime, with the highly directional output that has been possible only with legacy technology.