This weeks special guest is John Edmond, the co-founder and Director of Advanced Optoelectronics Technology at Cree, Inc in Durham, NC.
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- John talks about the history of Cree and how they built the company with no venture capital. Awesome!
- Lots of technical LED talk on manufacturing, Stokes loss, Haitz’s law and chemistries involved in making LEDs.
- Cree got one of their biggest breaks supplying the blue LEDs in the VW Beetle and Jetta’s of the late 90s models.
- How do you measure the light output of a LED? With an integrating sphere!
- One competitive advantage Cree has (over China, for instance) is their Energy Star compliance.
- In China, Cree has gained market share by buying COTCO four years back.
- Cree also makes SiC FETs and Schottky diodes.
- How many LED’s can you fit on one wafer? How long does it take you to test them?
- Will the war of the currents finally be won by Edison? Should we have DC power our homes for localized efficiencies?
- Some of the other bulb manufacturers are GE, Osram (Sylvania) & Phillips. Some of the other LED manufacturers are Nichia, Avago and Osram.
- Dave talks about doing the math on LED lighting for the new office and how the payback is 15 years. John claims something closer to 6 years.
- John answers the million dollar question of when and how LED lighting will reach critical mass mainstream.
- Those more interested in winning some of Cree’s products (US only, unfortunately) can check out their contest site at Cree LED Revolution.
Many thanks to John for speaking on our show and for Ginny (Cree’s social media personality and the person behind the Cree Twitter account) for helping set it all up! It was a lot of fun!
Very good show and great guest, thanks Chris and Dave.
As for my LED experience: I had ca. 40 halogen lights in a new home (50W/240V GU-10 base) and when 4th failed within 7-8 months ($3.50-$4.00 to replace) I bought first batch of 10 LED replacements (One Hung Low from Dealextreme, 4W/85-250V warm white, from memory under $9.00). I liked them so got some more and gradually replaced all. The kitchen ones are the oldest (about 14 months now) and are used daily, so far touch wood 0 failures. Light is different but I actually like LEDs more.
OK Dave admit it – you were fishing for some Cree freebies to light the new lab!
Dave Jones says
No, but I wish I had thought of that actually!
was listening in the car and heard about the VW breakthrough – looked down – YEP blue lights in my Jetta TDI. I bought a Passat first and I remember how dazzling the red on blue instruments were at the time. I had never given a thought as to how or why they were blue – just assumed the product managers chose blue.
Great show guys. Shame that a little info on the end product wasn’t forthcoming like power factor and it’s impact on the supply grid but I suppose that is a function of the smp rather than the Led. Great to hear that John predicts the costs tumbling in the next few years as Led lights are so to ccfl. Got to agree with Dave about strip lights still way too expensive to upgrade an existing system to Led’s but once that market is cracked the costs should plummet.
Led lights are so Superior to ccfl’s
Oops ! Lol
Guys you are getting seriously good at this show. Guest or no guest, you provide a good look into the electronics world every week and it is entertaining too. I wish you did not limit yourselves to one hour though, if you have a lot of things to say why not doing another half an hour extra?
Chris Gammell says
Maybe some day, the new wife might have words about spending too much time in the basement! Ddon’t forget there’s editing/show notes to do as well.
If we ever turn it into a full time gig, it obviously could go longer/more often. For now, we have more material then we know what to do with, perhaps if that continues to get worse we’ll just have to do more episodes. But like I’ve said, no changes planned for right now.
Thanks for the kind words though! That keeps us going for sure!
Adam Ward says
Very enjoyable show guys. It was great to hear such enthusiasm and excitement, and John’s story was fascinating.
You are really racking up a good “guestbook” by now. 🙂
Aww, that blue LED dashboard. We used to have a Jetta and it was one of the coolest things for me (I was quite young). After 10 years it still lights up in that blueish-purple tone.
Now that I think about it, the light produced by the Jetta LEDs is different from other blue LEDs. Where can I get LEDs like this? Can somebody point me in the right direction, please?
Jaime M-F says
Great show, so informative about stuff I don’t know about (fabrication process mostly), AAAAAND my question about DC came through with interesting results, I hope is not confirmation bias.
For those interested, here is a video of John, talking about the history of blue LEDs:
Carmen Parisi says
Great episode guys, it was a lot of fun to listen to. The show’s come a long way since I started listening around episode 7ish though I’ve gone back and listened to all of them. Do I get bonus points for working only 2.2 miles from Cree’s campus? Probably cancels cause I was too young to drive during the 90s and can’t recall the blue LEDs in cars…