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Thread: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

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    Default Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Not to be greedy or ungrateful, but... It seems like the pace of LED improvements has stalled a bit, doesn't it?

    The XM-L is about a year old now, and T6 remains the brightest widely available flux bin.

    Luminus has not moved the ball since the SST-50 and SST-90, which are a couple of years old. (The CSM-360 isn't what I mean by new; it's really just a 4 x SST-90 package. The point is, same emitter technology.)

    Ditto the rest of the field, as far as I can tell: Seoul P7, etc.

    So are we on the brink of a wave of new products, or are we stuck because it's getting harder to improve?

    We know that Cree has 231 lm/W in the lab, but how far is this from production?

    Anyone have the inside scoop on this? BTW, I get LEDs Magazine and even there it's been awfully quiet lately on the fundamental technology front.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    I think you might run into an information roadblock since inside scoop often means there's also a nondisclosure in place. Some NDAs are so restrictive that once signed it can't be mentioned that one is working with that company let alone anything about new technology. Getting news beyond the industry mags that have access will be a challenge. Not to say that word won't get out sooner or later!

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    *Flashaholic* easilyled's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    I think XM-L's are here to stay for a good while longer. U2 bins are becoming much more available now.
    The XM-L seems an excellent product and I'm not in a hurry for anything to supercede it.
    Having to upgrade all one's lights every time a new and better product comes out is a PITA.
    Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    I'd like to see higher output bins on all the LEDs mentioned here.

    And, more availability of higher-CRI choices too in warm, neutral, or daylight white.

    SST-50 or SST-90 with 90+CRI, 85CRI...
    P7 D-bin has been out a while. Where is the E-bin, or a higher CRI version?
    MC-E is available in N-bin. But, that LED isn't mentioned much here anymore. What about higher CRI?

    How about a quad XM-L package for those that want 4000lm?

    They should also rename the "XM-L" or the "XM-L EasyWhite". Using "XM-L" in two different LEDs wasn't too smart of their marketing department. Its not like we ran out of letters in the alphabet. The "EasyWhite XM-L" looks like a quad XP-E(?) .

    The 231lm/w is great for bragging but is useless without CCT and CRI.

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Cree should go smaller. They need a 3mm^2 LED in the xm package.

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by deadrx7conv View Post

    SST-50 or SST-90 with 90+CRI, 85CRI...
    P7 D-bin has been out a while. Where is the E-bin, or a higher CRI version?
    MC-E is available in N-bin. But, that LED isn't mentioned much here anymore. What about higher CRI?

    How about a quad XM-L package for those that want 4000lm?
    I think all of these have been overshadowed by the XM-L. The couple of SST's that I tried were blown away by the XM-L. With a quad setup, what would you do with heat/amperage in a not-monster sized package?

    The difference between now and the Luxeon days is that modern LED's are bright enough in flashlights to see with for a change, even for me, not like a green or purple Luxeon that had to be upgraded every time a newer setup came along. So I wonder if there will be a plateau for awhile.

    Rich

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    I'm sure in the next few years we will see further efficiency improvements as lab research knowledge makes it to the production line. I've little doubt though that future efficiency increases will be smaller, and come at longer intervals. The reason is a richpalm alludes to-LEDs are plenty good enough for a whole host of practical uses at their present state of development. There just isn't as much immediate need to improve them greatly in order to facilitate adoption. LEDs have all but taken over portable lighting applications, for example. And they're starting to work their way into general lighting. I think what we'll be seeing will be more evolutionary than revolutionary.

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    Cree should go smaller. They need a 3mm^2 LED in the xm package.
    Yes! That's what I want to see. Not only that, but, how about an XP-E sized die on an XM package for the throw junkies? Imagine being able to push 2A through an XP-E sized die or 2.5A through an XP-G sized die.

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    The XM-L with its 160 lumens per watt has come a little earlier than Haitz' Law predicted. We may have reached a plateau, or Haitz' Law may need revision.

    Let me attempt a quick and dirty revision of Haitz' law: When I got interested in flashlights the XR-E (released october 2006) was the hottest thing in town. This LED had a maximum efficacy of around 85 lumens per watt (someone please correct me, if this is wrong). The XM-L T6 has a max. efficacy of 160 lumens per watt and was released in april 2010, which roughly corresponds to a 88% increase in efficacy in 43 months. This is equal to an increase of 19.3% per year. Cree seems to have already broken the 200 lm/W barrier, so I expect to see LEDs of this efficacy within a year. This prediction agrees with my model, which predicts 228 lm/W two years after the release of the XM-L. However I still think that the development of the XM-L marks a plateau in development, and I don't believe we'll see hotter emitters until about a year from now.

    I have an MSc in math and a minor in physics, and I've just extrapolated from a model based on two arbitrarily chosen data points. Somebody please kill me

    EDIT: And by the way, since the theoretical max. efficacy of a white LED is around 300 lm/W, this model breaks down in a few years.
    Last edited by radioactive_man; 07-17-2011 at 12:14 PM.
    Fenix LD01 (XP-E R2), Fenix LD20 (XR-E Q5), Olight M20S (XP-G R5), Jetbeam RRT-0 (XP-G R5), Maelstrom G5 (XP-G R5), Maelstrom X7 (XM-L T6), Wolf-Eyes Krait (XM-L T6), Mag 4D/6D (incan), Mini Mag 2AA (incan), Photon Proton Pro UV, Mammut Lucido TXlite

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by PCC View Post
    Yes! That's what I want to see. Not only that, but, how about an XP-E sized die on an XM package for the throw junkies? Imagine being able to push 2A through an XP-E sized die or 2.5A through an XP-G sized die.
    I think the smallest die that can be utilized, without making too much changes is the xp-g's [ez1400]. See the spacing of the triple bond wires. Still Cree could rate that at 2 amps, and the 3mm^2 at 2.5 amps.

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    It has been 8 months since the last post in this thread. Any new info or speculation?

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by OneSingularPerson View Post
    It has been 8 months since the last post in this thread. Any new info or speculation?
    XP-E HEW, XT-E White, XB-D. Just check Cree's Press Releases. http://www.cree.com/press/pressreleases.asp

    C

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by csshih View Post
    XP-E HEW, XT-E White, XB-D. Just check Cree's Press Releases. http://www.cree.com/press/pressreleases.asp

    C
    But still no XM-L successor.

    At the time of its introduction, the XM-L was roughly 2.5 times the output of the XP-G and about 20% more efficient. An equivalent technology leap today would be a new emitter with 3.0 Vf, nominal output 1000 lumens @ 2A (170 lm/W), maximum output 2500 lumens @ 6A (140 lm/W). This does not seem out of the realm of possibility given that Cree has had 231 lm/W in the lab for about a year now.

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    Default

    I heard that laser light was the new black in lighting technology. At least, that's what BMW thinks

    http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2...eadlights.html

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by FPSRelic View Post
    I heard that laser light was the new black in lighting technology. At least, that's what BMW thinks

    http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2...eadlights.html
    Interesting, but the OP was asking about LED improvements, this being the LED section, rather than a completely different form of lighting technology.
    Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by flashflood View Post
    But still no XM-L successor.

    At the time of its introduction, the XM-L was roughly 2.5 times the output of the XP-G and about 20% more efficient. An equivalent technology leap today would be a new emitter with 3.0 Vf, nominal output 1000 lumens @ 2A (170 lm/W), maximum output 2500 lumens @ 6A (140 lm/W). This does not seem out of the realm of possibility given that Cree has had 231 lm/W in the lab for about a year now.

    I want my
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    Your what?

    Tech does not scale linearly, nor does Cree soley cater to the flashlight market. I would say that Cree is focusing more on the fixed lighting market as they've been releasing more and more high voltage emitters.
    See: XT-E HV, XM-L EasyWhite, MT-G, MP-L, CXA2011, ML-C, ML-E, MX-3S, MX-6S... yeah.
    In fact, as we start getting ridiculously lower and lower Vf of LEDs, I bet Cree will purposefully put out higher voltage options to keep efficiency levels optimal.

    Anyways - the fixed lighting market will always be much bigger than the flashlight market for obvious reasons. Cree isn't a non-profit organization.

    Quote Originally Posted by FPSRelic View Post
    I heard that laser light was the new black in lighting technology. At least, that's what BMW thinks

    http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2...eadlights.html
    For one - that article is terribly misleading. PR probably wrote it and you know how that gets.
    In a nutshell-

    They are pointing 405nm lasers at a phosphor (instead of blue leds at a phosphor).

    However, the numbers that they quoted (100lm/W vs 170lm/w of laser light efficiency), is almost comparing apples to oranges.
    Their 100lm/w rating (which is a slightly outdated in the first place) is (probably, I can't predict from what sort of strange places PR pulls "competition" numbers from) a relatively honest figure,
    but their 170lm/w rating is complete nonsense (please correct me if I'm wrong). From personal testing, I'm only getting 10-20% efficacy from a 405nm diode (~500mW in, 60mW out), and that's *before - so assuming they have some super premium LDs, I doubt it'll be higher than 20-30%.

    Alright, now let's take a look at Cree's current Royal Blue emitters(the base of white emitters). Something modern, in this case the XT-E. at 1A it consumes approximately 3.25W (eyeballing graphs)- and (I'll choose a lower bin to not make BMW PR look bad) and puts out... 1.2W. that's 37% for a non super premium bin emitter (electrical efficiency)

    Now, we already established that current incoherent sources are much more efficient - so how did the PR department get their super high 170lm/w figure?

    From this information, it seems that their rep was quoting the lm/w figures of the led correctly, but was quoting the lm/w figure of the phosphor conversion of the laser.

    I could be terribly wrong, it won't be the first, but BMW isn't a laser company. I doubt that they'll come out with anything super groundbreaking with laser tech.

    Craig

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by easilyled View Post
    Interesting, but the OP was asking about LED improvements, this being the LED section, rather than a completely different form of lighting technology.
    True, so I guess I should clarify by saying that the linked document shows that the reason LED technology has not improved greatly recently is because its reaching the limit of its boundaries, and that a newer technology may be around the corner that replaces led's, just like led's replaced incan.

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by FPSRelic View Post
    True, so I guess I should clarify by saying that the linked document shows that the reason LED technology has not improved greatly recently is because its reaching the limit of its boundaries, and that a newer technology may be around the corner that replaces led's, just like led's replaced incan.
    not at all, LED tech is still improving greatly, especially with Cree finally using thin film and remote phosphor.

    Craig

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by flashflood View Post
    But still no XM-L successor.
    Last week I read an interview with someone from Cree management. He stated that the XT-E LED would take them to 200 lumens per watt. When I tried to post this info the LED forum was down. I cannot remember OTTOMH where I found this statement.

    Stephen Lebans

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Currently available XT-E/XB-Dss do around 180 lm/w at low drive levels as newer bins come out - I'm certain they'll hit 200lm/w.

    Unfortunately, they don't do so well in flashlights do to the phosphor distribution (in the dome), and the multifaceted flip chip die.

    Craig

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by csshih View Post
    not at all, LED tech is still improving greatly, especially with Cree finally using thin film and remote phosphor.

    Craig
    Apologies

    I didn't see your post before I posted. I'll leave the discussion to more knowedgable people on the subject than myself

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by FPSRelic View Post
    True, so I guess I should clarify by saying that the linked document shows that the reason LED technology has not improved greatly recently is because its reaching the limit of its boundaries, and that a newer technology may be around the corner that replaces led's, just like led's replaced incan.
    If you have been following led advancement in technology as long as I have, you'd know that huge leaps in efficiency have been followed by flatter periods of consolidation. Think of a step-pattern graph with efficiency being the vertical axis and time being the horizontal axis.

    There have been several giant leaps followed by lulls and there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to suggest that this won't continue for many more years to come.
    Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by FPSRelic View Post
    Apologies

    I didn't see your post before I posted. I'll leave the discussion to more knowedgable people on the subject than myself
    sorry, I came off as a bit grumpy when I posted!
    LED tech has come a long way since the luxeon craze:

    I was planning on writing up a more comprehensive/explanatory led emitter index but haven't had the time.

    Top Row left to right: Luxeon Lux I LD (low dome), Luxeon Lux III, Cree XR-E, Philips LumiLEDs Luxeon K2 TFFC(philips bought luxeon), Cree XP-G (oops, that xr-e and k2 should be swapped.)
    Respectively, 1W, 45 lm (all figures are rough), 3W, 90 lm, 3.5W, 255lm, , 5.7W, 300lm, 5.25W, 460lm

    Bottom Row: Luxeon LuxV, Seoul SSC P7, Cree MC-E, Cree XM-L. (the first three are quad dies )
    4.8W, 120lm, 10W, 700lm, 9.5W, 750lm, 10W, 910lm.

    soon to be added: Cree XB-Ds

    Also note: the SSC P7 uses Cree chips (and so does the ssc p4, not pictured)

    Craig

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Yes, XM-L is old and from looking at the newer MT-G i just hope we get a LED that handles heat much better. If you go deep down into the datasheets there is a graph that shows out lumen flux is affected by heat. As we are mostly hobbyists without any lab equipment we really need to care how a LED behaves when is hot because that flux its is what we actually get.

    The XM-L flux goes down to 82% when working at 100C junction temperature...

    [IMG]www.luminaled.ro/power-led-flux.jpg[/IMG]

    Anyway until the new Cree LED comes (Light and Building is near, maybe we know then) we can enjoy the drop in prices for the XM-L. Now you can even buy one for as low as 4.90€ as i see on this shop: http://www.ledrise.com/leds/high-power-leds/

    Any of you found anything cheaper?

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    I dont seem to be able to upload the chart image with the flux change at 100C, anyway, here is the link:

    <br>[IMG]www.luminaled.ro/power-led-flux.jpg[/IMG]<br><br>

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    If I remember well, Haitz article stated a trend of doubling performance/cost each 18months, and not a constant increase on performance, as we all know (Haitz included) the physical limits of energy conversion into visible light. For many years, LED manufacturers were focused on increasing the performance of LEDs, in order they can compete with other lighting technologies and goes getting into market niches. But once they have reached the 150lm/W figure, now they are focused of reducing prices at the same trend they increased performance before.

    Until now, price per LED unit of a given power has dropped very little. Instead, the manufacturers offered a new device emitting more light, but at give or take the same price. It has been a slow decline in price with time, but very small compared with the increase in light emission. Now the focus is on offering the same amount of light at lower prices, and last releases of all main manufacturers clearly points to cheaper packages.


    Quote Originally Posted by csshih View Post

    For one - that article is terribly misleading. PR probably wrote it and you know how that gets.
    In a nutshell-

    They are pointing 405nm lasers at a phosphor (instead of blue leds at a phosphor).

    However, the numbers that they quoted (100lm/W vs 170lm/w of laser light efficiency), is almost comparing apples to oranges.
    Their 100lm/w rating (which is a slightly outdated in the first place) is (probably, I can't predict from what sort of strange places PR pulls "competition" numbers from) a relatively honest figure,
    but their 170lm/w rating is complete nonsense (please correct me if I'm wrong). From personal testing, I'm only getting 10-20% efficacy from a 405nm diode (~500mW in, 60mW out), and that's *before - so assuming they have some super premium LDs, I doubt it'll be higher than 20-30%.

    Alright, now let's take a look at Cree's current Royal Blue emitters(the base of white emitters). Something modern, in this case the XT-E. at 1A it consumes approximately 3.25W (eyeballing graphs)- and (I'll choose a lower bin to not make BMW PR look bad) and puts out... 1.2W. that's 37% for a non super premium bin emitter (electrical efficiency)

    Now, we already established that current incoherent sources are much more efficient - so how did the PR department get their super high 170lm/w figure?

    From this information, it seems that their rep was quoting the lm/w figures of the led correctly, but was quoting the lm/w figure of the phosphor conversion of the laser.

    I could be terribly wrong, it won't be the first, but BMW isn't a laser company. I doubt that they'll come out with anything super groundbreaking with laser tech.

    Craig
    I bet I know where that false figure came from. In one of the articles about laser converted white light which arises some months ago, there was a claim of a 70% improvement on light output per burned watt, but on very special conditions which may appear on car headlights: very high current density on the chips and very high power density on the board. On that conditions, LEDs suffer a strong decrease on efficiency, while lasers not, and thus when needed a powerful beam of light, on current state of the art of both technologies, laser converted white may be advantageous.

    That situation just happen on conditions where LEDs gets low efficacy (not cited directly on the article) due the operating conditions.

    The author of the article surely saw that figure of 70% improvement, took the typical efficacy of white LEDs as reference and calculated the supposed laser converted efficacy. Obviously, it gets a false figure, as the comparison surely was performed with LEDs emitting 50lm/W as best.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by csshih View Post

    Unfortunately, they don't do so well in flashlights do to the phosphor distribution (in the dome), and the multifaceted flip chip die.

    Craig
    Mine don't have phosphor in the dome. Seems people have been confused about this for some time. The phosphor is just applied across the entire surface of the substrate.

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by saabluster View Post
    Mine don't have phosphor in the dome. Seems people have been confused about this for some time. The phosphor is just applied across the entire surface of the substrate.
    for both the XT-E and XB-D? I haven't gotten my hands on those yet to check myself. how do they distribute the phosphor over the funky die?

    Craig

  29. #29

    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Quote Originally Posted by csshih View Post
    for both the XT-E and XB-D? I haven't gotten my hands on those yet to check myself. how do they distribute the phosphor over the funky die?

    Craig
    Well I don't have those either but they appear to employ the exact same deposition as the HEW which I have torn apart and examined.

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    Default Re: Cree XM-L is a year old now; what next?

    Whats next?

    Cree XB-D, Zhaga like modules, Mt-G II
    Philips K 4 to 24 UP

    details here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...Seoul-new-LEDs

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