Soraa Launches First Product, a White GaN-Based LED Spotlight Lamp

_FEBRUARY 9, 2012 | By John Wallace for Laser Focus World

Fremont, CA--Soraa, a company that specializes in gallium nitride (GaN)-based light emitters and was founded by blue-LED pioneer Shuji Nakamura and others, has announced its first product: a single-emitter white-LED spotlight designed to replace small halogen spotlights for commercial use. The lamp is made using Soraa's "GaN on GaN" technology, which replaces the ordinary non-lattice-matched sapphire or silicon carbide LED substrate with a piece of GaN, resulting in fewer crystalline defects in the LED and, says Soraa, more light and electrical current per unit area. Soraa (which was formerly called Kaai) has also developed GaN-based green laser diodes.

Closer to a blackbody spectrum

Another feature of the new lamp is the LED's spectrum. Rather than the usual blue LED and yellow phosphor, Soraa's product uses a violet LED and a wider-spectrum phosphor that more closely models the desired blackbody spectrum in the visible. Still another feature, says Soraa: sharp shadows for crisp commercial lighting. In comparison, halogen lamps have faceted reflectors that blur their shadows, while other LED lamps have multiple sources, also blurring shadows.

The convection-cooled Soraa lamp is equal in size to a halogen MR16 lamp and replaces the MR16 in use.

"I've been searching for a long time for a quality LED to replace an MR16 halogen," said Randall Whitehead, a leading U.S. lighting designer. "Soraa's lamp is a quantum leap over what is currently on the market, offering brighter light, dimmability, long lamp life, as well as dramatically improved energy efficiency."

Soraa's technology is based on research -- including Nakamura's -- done at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and fabricates its devices in-house. The company is backed by $100 million in funding from Khosla Ventures, NEA, and NGEN Partners.

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Andy Beck