Plessey recognised by prestigious British Engineering Excellence Awards

(From left to right) BEEAs guest host Johnny Ball, Plessey’s regional sales manager Jenny Garner and Jon Benson, MD, Mark Allen Group (the event organiser)

Plessey, a leading developer of award-winning LED technologies and manufacturer of solid-state lighting products, has won the coveted Grand Prix at the 2017 British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAs). The awards recognise companies that have demonstrated the most significant innovations in engineering and electronics design within the past year.

Plessey has recently introduced the LUCIAN High-Power PLW7070 which sets a new benchmark for LEDs in demanding applications such as spotlights, downlights, floodlights, streetlights, high bays and portable flashlights. Primarily targeting the product in North America, Europe and Asia, LUCIAN is a single-die gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) chip which provides 30 per cent more light output than the competition, with better thermal performance and no visible “cross-hair” – at half the cost.

Besides being awarded ‘best in show’, Plessey has also been named the Materials Application of the Year. In this category, the judges studied evidence of how the properties of a particular material (or material combination) had been used to solve a design challenge.

Keith Strickland, chief technology officer at Plessey, commented: “As the only major LED manufacturer in the UK and one of the few developing gallium nitride on silicon LED technology in the world, we are delighted Plessey has been recognised by the BEEAs. The choice of material can make or break an engineering design and enable products that deliver both superior performance and a lower cost solution.”

Plessey’s regional sales manager Jenny Garner holding the BEEAs GrandPrix trophy

Plessey manufactures LED using GaN-on-Si wafers as an alternative to gallium nitride on sapphire LED technology. GaN-on-Si LEDs emit more light than standard sapphire-based LEDs because of their higher drive current. They also exhibit excellent thermal performance and enable heat to be dissipated from very fast. As a result, GaN-on-Si LEDs are more reliable and reduce both the cost of heatsinking and the space this takes up. They are particularly useful in large formats, where standard sapphire-based LEDs typically struggle.

One of the most important advantages of this technology is that it enables monolithic multi-emitter fabrication. This eliminates the need for inter-die bonding and enables much closer spacing of the emitters in a series-connected array. So, instead of the loss of light intensity that impinges on conventional multi-die COB LEDs, GaN-on-Si based devices have much stronger output at their central point, more closely approximating a large single die. As a result, the light output can be 30 per cent brighter at the centre, while employing exactly the same optics.

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