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Luxim's tiny but powerful plasma lightbulb
Silicon Valley's Luxim Corporation has developed a solid-state plasma light bulb called Luxim LIFI™. It is the size of a Tic Tac and gives off as much light as a streetlight. Because it doesn't use electrical connections, more of the energy goes to light, rather than heat.
Yet the plasma does get very hot, 6000 degrees Kelvin -- as hot as the surface of the sun -- which is why the spectrum of wavelengths it emits is very similar to sunlight, according to CEO, Tony McGettigan.
The company, which (as of March 2008) has received around $40 million in VC funds, was founded in the year 2000 to develop breakthrough designs in energy efficient, long-life, lighting technology. The LIFI 8000 is their cutting-edge product.
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How it Works
The LIFI™ product consists of 4 primary sub-assemblies:
• RF power amplifier circuit (PA)
• Printed circuit board (PCB)
The PCB controls the electrical inputs and outputs of the lamp and houses the microcontroller used to manage different lamp functions. An RF (radio-frequency) signal is generated by the solid-state PA and is guided into an electric field about the bulb. The high concentration of energy in the electric field vaporizes the contents of the bulb to a plasma state at the bulb’s center; this controlled plasma generates an intense source of light. All of these subassemblies are contained in an aluminum enclosure.
At the heart of LIFI™ is the bulb sub-assembly where a sealed bulb is embedded in a dielectric material. This design is more reliable than conventional light sources that insert degradable electrodes into the bulb. The dielectric material serves two purposes; first as a waveguide for the RF energy transmitted by the PA and second as an electric field concentrator that focuses energy in the bulb. The energy from the electric field rapidly heats the material in the bulb to a plasma state that emits light of high intensity and full spectrum.
- Video: Luxim's tiny but powerful plasma lightbulb - Silicon Valley's LUXIM has developed a lightbulb the size of a Tic Tac that gives off as much light as a streetlight. CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos talks to the company about its technology and its plans to expand into various markets.
1 minutes 34 seconds Mar 17, 2008 9:00:00 AM
1 minutes 34 seconds December 12, 2006
"Competitive with existing technologies"
Electrodes are the primary cause of failure in most high intensity discharge (HID) lamps used in projection display due to the degradation of the metal-glass seal in a high-pressure environment and the eroding of electrodes by the heated gas in the lamp. Without electrodes in its design, LIFI™ offers long life (80% lumens maintenance at 25,000 hours) and unprecedented reliability (100% survival rate) to the system integrator.
LIFI™ overcomes many shortcomings of conventional lamp technology, such as explosions and expensive lamp replacement.
- Wide spectrum over the visible wavelength range
- Extremely high color fidelity
- Instant start-time
- Dynamic Dark - Brightness modulation of lamp output to enhance video contrast
- Easy thermal management
- Trouble-free integration into existing light engine platforms
- Projection Display LUXIM's LIFI™ technology provides superior performance for high definition projection televisions and home theater projectors using DLP™, transmissive LCD and LCoS microdisplay technologies. LUXIM’s patented hybrid light source design offers long life, full spectrum, fast start times and enhanced contrast.
- Specialty lighting includes LIFI applications like medical and analytical instrument lighting. Endoscopy, microscopy and other equipment are made possible with the highest level of color rendering available from a long life light source. In addition, with no significant variation in the intensity or spectrum, the quality of imaging applications is enhanced. Finally, the long life of the light source results in increased uptime and lower cost of ownership.
- General Lighting LIFI brings together the best qualities of solid state electronics and plasma based emitters in a hybrid light source capable of more than 140 lumens per watt. This efficacy combined with 20,000 lumen output per source make LIFI ideal for applications in theatrical, architectural, area and street lighting.
- Increased collection efficiency of LIFI™ high intensity electrodeless light source - 21-page PDF. (SPIE Photonics West ; January 22, 2008)
- Development of Long Life, Full Spectrum Light Source for Projection Display - Powerpoint presentation (SID; May 21, 2007)
- LIFI™ Design Considerations for Projection Display - 13-page PDF application note on the technology (May 2007)
- Benefits and Use of LIFI™ Light sources for Technical Lighting - 8-page PDF application note.
- Plasma lamp with dielectric waveguide - U.S. Patent 6737809. (May 18, 2004)
- Patent Entitlement, Who Determines Right?
Tony McGettigan - President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. McGettigan has over 15 years experience in consumer electronics holding leadership positions in manufacturing, product development, business development and business unit management.
Mr. McGettigan spent 7 years managing the projection display component business at Optical Coating Laboratory Inc. and JDS Uniphase. In addition, he is a prominent figure in the projection display industry and is a recognized expert in both the technology and commercial aspects of the sector. Prior to working in projection display, Tony held various management positions in the inkjet printing business at Hewlett-Packard where he drove the extension of their technology from desktop printing to digital photography.
Mr. McGettigan received his MSME and MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he graduated with full fellowship. He received his BSME (Summa Cum Laude) from University College Dublin.
Scott Gibson - CFO
Scott brings over 20 years of extensive experience in Finance, IT, Human Resources and Administration from both private and public technology companies including KLA-Tencor (semiconductor capital equipment), StrataCom (networking equipment), PLX Technology (semiconductor), SOMA Networks (wireless equipment), and most recently, Scintera Networks (semiconductor). He has spent the past 15 years as a chief financial officer and played a key role in successfully managing Initial Public Offerings and mergers and acquisitions. Scott received his MBA from the University of Michigan and BS in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University.
Gregg Hollingsworth - Vice President of Product Development
Mr. Hollingsworth leads LUXIM’s engineering and product development. He has over 22 years of experience in high power RF amplifier products. On top of his achievements in technology development, Gregg has co-founded two successful RF amplifier companies.
For 10 years prior to joining LUXIM, Mr. Hollingsworth was Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Xemod, an innovative manufacturer of LDMOS based high-power RF amplifier modules. Mr. Hollingsworth continued to direct product development and technology strategy for wireless infrastructure products through Xemod’s acquisition by Sirenza Microdevices in 2002. Mr. Hollingsworth is the holder of several patents in the area of RF power products.
Mr. Hollingsworth holds a BSEE degree from Washington State University.
Dennis Lee Brown - Vice President of Operations
Mr. Brown leads the manufacturing and supply chain operations team at LUXIM. He brings over 25 years of experience scaling high volume, quality manufacturing for technology products and systems.
Prior to LUXIM, Mr. Brown held the position of Vice President of Operations at Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, a supplier of hard disk drives. In this role he oversaw the volume and yield ramp of perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology to its successful commercial launch in 2006. He was responsible for manufacturing operations in the USA, Japan and China.
Mr. Brown was previously Vice President of US and Asia Operations for Seagate Technology a leading manufacturer of data storage devices for diverse applications. There he managed the expansion and construction of production facilities in the US and Singapore. In this position he was instrumental in driving increased productivity, high yield and industry-leading cost competitiveness.
Geoff Brown - Vice President of Sales
Geoff Brown manages LUXIM's sales team and new opportunity development. Mr. Brown previously held global sales responsibility as Vice President of Business Development and Sales for Optillion, and prior to that he was the Director of Sales for Raychem’s Circuit Protection Division responsible for Europe and the Americas. During his 18 years in business he has worked closely with existing customers and prospects to understand their needs, translate those needs into product opportunities, and manage those opportunities to a selling proposition in the marketplace.
Prior to joining LUXIM Mr. Brown was Global Director of Product Management for Tyco Electronics' Elo TouchSystems business unit. Elo TouchSystems is the leading brand in touch technology, encompassing the largest selection of touchscreen technologies, touchmonitors and touchcomputers in the world. At Elo Mr. Brown was responsible for the maintenance and implementation of Elo’s product strategy, cross-functional product design, and go-to-market product pipeline.
Prior to Raychem, Brown was a lieutenant in the United States Navy. Brown earned his BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University where he was the recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Prize, and the James Hayes-Edgar Palmer Prize in Engineering.
Julian A. Carey - Vice President of Marketing
Mr. Carey directs LUXIM's market planning, product strategy, branding and promotion. Prior to joining LUXIM, Mr. Carey was Product Marketing Manager at Philips Lumileds Lighting, a manufacturer of solid state lighting technology where he was responsible for commercializing power LED flash products for mobile digital imaging. In addition, Mr. Carey held various marketing and management positions developing new lighting markets with Lumileds Lighting LLC before and up to its acquisition by Philips Electronics N.V.
From 1997 through 2000, Mr. Carey was Project Manager for the Optoelectronics Division of the Hewlett-Packard Company later Agilent Technologies and prior to that held various engineering roles in the development of optical and electronic devices. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from MIT Sloan.
Janet Brant - Office Manager
Ms. Brant brings to LUXIM a high level of experience in human resources and business process management. Her responsibilities include staffing, training and the establishment of efficient business policies and procedures.
Ms. Brant made the move to LUXIM from the online media division at Reuters where she operated in the role of Executive Assistant to the CTO. There she managed logistics for trade events and conferences worldwide. As an early contributor at Netscape, Ms. Brant was a Project Administrator at that company responsible for human resources and corporate policies continuing through its acquisition by AOL in 1998.
Prior to these responsibilities, Ms. Brant spent 20 years as Consultant at People Performance Programs, Inc., a human resources management consulting company.
Company: Luxim Corporation
LUXIM was founded in the year 2000 by Yian Chang, Matt Espiau, Chan Joshi and David Turner to develop breakthrough designs in energy efficient, long-life, lighting technology.
After engineering verification and receiving investment funding from Sequoia Capital and Worldview Technology Partners, LUXIM designed, manufactured and commercialized the first series of market leading LIFI hybrid lighting products.
Today, LUXIM is a diversified lighting component manufacturer bringing to market the next generation lighting technology. LUXIM’s LIFI systems have many advantages over conventional high-intensity-discharge (HID) lamp solutions, including brightness, efficiency, lifetime and color spectrum. Applications like medical instrument, projection display, entertainment, architectural, street & area lighting are being revolutionized to provide better performance at lower cost of ownership and to the environment.
Sequoia Capital is the venture investor behind well-known Internet brands such as Yahoo!, Google, and PayPal. Outside of the Internet space, Sequoia was also a key venture investor in the early stages of Cisco, Apple, and Oracle. The companies funded by Sequoia Capital now account for about 10 percent of the value of NASDAQ.
Worldview Technology Partners is a leading venture capital firm focused on investing in and building leading U.S. technology companies. Our comprehensive, industry-leading business development services help our portfolio companies succeed in U.S. and international markets.
Crosslink Capital invests in growth companies. Our investment team comprises seasoned venture capitalists and public investment professionals who work closely together.
Our integrated & collaborative strategy means we can seek the most attractive investments in the growth equity spectrum - from seed stage private companies to mature public companies and everything in between.
It means we can live with our portfolio companies longer - even into their lives as public companies. And it means that we have a broader perspective that allows us to seek, build and realize value in companies at any stage.
DAG Ventures is a venture capital partnership investing in and helping outstanding entrepreneurs create leading, long-term companies across a range of markets. With roots from the 1980’s in cable TV, infrastructure, media, and wireless industries, the partnership today is privileged to work with world-class entrepreneurs as they build tomorrow’s leaders in the information technology, energy, and life science sectors.
Richard Gilliard - Chief Scientist
Dr. Gilliard comes to LUXIM with over 25 years experience in the invention, design and manufacturing of high intensity discharge lamps (HID). He began his career at General Electric Company where he did pioneering work on metal halide and high pressure mercury lamps.
After leaving GE, Dr. Gilliard held a number of leadership roles in the development of high intensity discharge lamps working for companies such as UVP, ILC, Perkin Elmer and most recently llluminate. Dr. Gilliard's work has led to several ground breaking patents and the successful commercialization of a series of HID lamp products.
Dr. Gilliard has a BS Degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, an MS in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois.
In the News
- Luxim's tiny plasma lightbulb outshines LEDs - The bulb, developed by Luxim of Sunnyvale, California, uses plasma technology to achieve its brightness. The tiny bulb contains an argon gas in the middle, ... (PhysOrg; March 20, 2008)
- Video: Luxim's tiny but powerful plasma lightbulb - Silicon Valley's Luxim has developed a solid-state plasma lightbulb called Luxim LIFI™. It is the size of a Tic Tac and gives off as much light as a streetlight. The LIFI™ 8000 source was powered at 170 Watts and generates 24,537 lumens of white light at a color temperature of 6012K or 144 lumens per Watt. (CNet News; March 18, 2008)
- Slashdot (March 22)
- Slashdot (March 22)
- Luxim wants to brighten your block with ultra-powerful plasma ... - Apparently, the company has created a micro-sized bulb that uses 250 watts of power, but outperforms a 400 watt LED. Gas inside the tiny bulb is electrified ... (engadget, CA - Mar 18, 2008)
- LUXIM Launches LIFI ™ Entertainment Light Source Enabling Long ... - LUXIM’s innovative LIFI ™ technology blends advanced solid state electronics with full-spectrum plasma emitter technology in a tiny bulb to deliver ... (Business Wire (press release), CA - Mar 17, 2008)
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address 1171 Borregas Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089
email: info at luxim dot com