Currently, Excelitas’ Lighting division produces, among others, LED and Xenon-based obstruction lighting systems as well as a broad range of aviation-related lighting products such as runway in-pavement lights, runway guard lights and threshold lights. The company has expertise in chip-on-board production and LED module production technology. A non-trivial topic is thermal management as well as optical calculation for these high-power lighting systems, explained Excelitas Field Application Engineer Joerg Hannig. In terms of LEDs, the company’s product focus lies on LED chips for the current range from 300 to 700 mA, which translates into electrical power consumption of about 3 W per LED chip. The chips then are combined into modules which can represent a much higher electrical load of up to 2000 W.
One example for Excelitas expertise in customized LED solutions, are surgical theatre lamps, until recently a domain of incandescent technology, which are now widely replaced with LEDs. The challenge here is to achive high colour quality (CRI) at a tunable correlated colour temperature (CCT).
Another field of activity could become UV curing, a technique to harden polymer materials. Currently, this is done my means of mercury lamps, which generate ultraviolet light at a wavelength of 360 to 400 nm. Excelitas develops and produces UV LEDs that could be a promising alternative to mercury lamps. While the latter still offer a better efficiency (in this wavelength section, LEDs feature a relatively low efficiency of about 10 percent), the mercury lamps cannot compete when it comes to lifetime. In addition, the disposal of mercury is highly problematic.
A bit further in the future lies another application field: Sterilizing drinking water. This application requires UV LEDs capable of generating radiation of lower than 300 nm, but these devices have yet to be developed. "They do exist, but currently, the efficiency is not high enough", said Hannig. The market for water sterilizing, in any case, is huge.
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