• NXP Semiconductors N.V. — the world’s largest supplier of in-vehicle networking semiconductors — today introduces the UJA1018, a compact integrated solution that supports cost-efficient and flexible LED ambient lighting applications in vehicles. The UJA1018 is designed for LIN networks (Local Interconnect Networks) and is the first ASSP (Application Specific Standard Product) for ambient lighting with Node Position Detection.

    This enables LIN addresses of LED modules to be individually programmed after being installed in the car, rather than during module manufacturing. Ambient LED lighting is increasingly popular in the automotive industry. Car manufacturers are using it as a differentiator to enhance the driving experience. It also enables OEMs to emphasize their car brand via the color and styling of the interior lighting, while car dealers can offer consumers the option of customizing the lighting settings.

    Whereas interior LED modules are currently programmed during the module manufacturing process, with NXP’s new Node Position Detection method, based on an integrated LIN switch, all LED modules can be individually configured even after being mounted in the car. This offers new levels of flexibility while drastically reducing manufacturing logistics and costs.

    The UJA1018 integrates all analog functions to create a compact ambient lighting solution, including LIN transceiver, LIN switch for Node Position Detection, voltage regulator for microcontroller and drivers for 3-color LED. In addition, the compact HVSON package enables the creation of small form factor modules. The UJA1018 fulfills the robustness requirements from the OEMs and also meets the SAE J2602 and LIN conformance.

    “With the UJA1018 and its unique Node Position Detection technology based on LIN switch, NXP enables car OEMs to offer personalized ambient lighting solutions to end consumers. At the same time it saves system costs and simplifies logistics for both OEMs and Tier1 suppliers,” says Toni Versluijs, general manager of In-Vehicle Networking, NXP Semiconductors. “This underpins our leadership position as the de-facto In-Vehicle Network solution provider and our commitment to connect the car in present and in future.”

    Dr. Herbert Wambsganb, head of development at HELLA Interior Lighting Systems commented: “The UJA1018 enables HELLA to introduce a very compact LED ambient lighting solution that fits every interior location. The Node Position Detection by means of the integrated LIN switch allows configuration of each ambient lighting module once mounted in the car. Thus, all modules in the car can be kept the same which allows a high level of reuse and greatly simplifies the logistics.”

    LED lighting is well accepted by the broadcast TV, motion pictures and videography industry sectors for lighting effects and set lighting, mainly because of its flexibility. A single light source can generate a great variety of colors. Additionally, continuous cost/performance improvements driven by technological advancements are driving the LED lighting fixture market from a niche-only solution to a general use solution.

    Another benefit, directly related to the use of lighting in studios and sets, is the consumption of less electrical power consumption for not only because LEDs use less energy, but also less air conditioning is required since heat generated by an LED bulb is negligible. Also, television broadcasters and film studios are proud to publicize that they are good corporate citizens by incorporating LEDs in their operations and thereby embracing “Green Technology.”


  • Mayor Vincent Gray today joined officials from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to celebrate the completion of a project to replace alley lights with new energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly lighting fixtures. In a Mount Pleasant alley, Gray watched as DDOT contractors replaced an inefficient incandescent bulb with a new light-emitting diode (LED) light fixture. The installation was the last of 1,360 alley light replacements in a $1-million project that involved all of the District’s eight wards.

    “Already, results show these new light fixtures are saving energy – 57 to 60 percent – compared to the old incandescent, mercury vapor, and high-pressure sodium lights,” said Gray, who has spearheaded the Sustainable DC effort to make the District the most sustainable city in the United States. “Imagine how much energy we could save if we expand this program to all 70,000 street and alley lights across the District. That would be a great down payment on a truly Sustainable DC.”

    The LED lights have a longer life expectancy than the District’s existing lights and will reduce maintenance and energy costs as well as greenhouse-gas emissions. For example, a 189-watt incandescent bulb has a lamp life of 6-12 months; by comparison, a 54-watt LED light has a life expectancy of 12-15 years.

    They also use the least amount of energy compared to other fixtures while offering less glare and better illumination, uniformity, safety, color and aesthetics.

    “This is just one example of how we are reducing our footprint at DDOT through the use of green construction techniques, technology and infrastructure,” said DDOT Director Terry Bellamy. “We’re also fostering environmentally friendly forms of transportation and expanding our tree canopy. The Mayor’s vision for a Sustainable DC is achievable with this type of investment, and with our partners at DDOE and other agencies, we will continue to do our part.”

    The District Department of Energy (DDOE) is supporting and funding the LED lighting project, under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficient and Conservation Block Grant program.

    “An initiative like this that saves the city money, improves residents’ safety, and reduces our energy appetite is certainly worthy of our investment,” says Christophe A.G. Tulou, director of DDOE. “This is a great example of how involvement of many departments across the city will make Sustainable DC a reality.”

    Before the start of this project, in conjunction with the Howard University Transportation Research Center, DDOT conducted a study and analysis of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting products from a variety of vendors and manufacturers. The study involved the evaluation and analysis of photometric readings, fixture life, efficacy, aesthetics, color temperature, dimmability and compatibility with remote monitoring and control systems. At the conclusion of the study, DDOT selected Lighting Science Group’s (LSG) LSR-2 LED fixture as the preferred choice to replace the District’s existing alley lights.


  • NEXT Lighting will be launching the company and announcing its breakthrough linear replacement lamp NEXTLamp(TM) at LIGHTFAIR 2012 in Las Vegas, NV May 9th - 11th. The release of the NEXTLamp 4-foot replacement lamp is timed to coincide with the U.S. ban of energy-wasting T-12 fluorescent lamps on July 14, 2012. With over 500 million T-12 lamps still installed in the U.S., NEXT Lighting has made this conversion market its initial focus.

    With its distinctive form factor, NEXTLamp provides a mercury-free lighting solution that is dimmable, quiet, and flicker-free, delivering an overall more pleasing lighting experience. NEXT Lighting’s proprietary thermal and optical management system results in category-leading system efficacy, while enabling the LEDs to operate at a low temperature for extended life and stable color maintenance. With its unique ability to shape light distribution, the NEXTLamp is able to excel at some of the most challenging applications for linear lighting.

    The NEXTLamp has been subjected to thorough product characterization at accredited ISO 17025 NVLAP laboratories, demonstrating substantial outperformance of the best T-8 fluorescent lamps. NEXTLamp’s extremely high system and fixture efficacy enables an energy-saving drop-in replacement in the ubiquitous fluorescent fixtures. NEXTLamps have received accolades from initial customers, who are enjoying the energy savings and superior light quality provided by the lamp.

    “We have initially focused on the fluorescent replacement lamp market, which many view as the ‘holy grail’ of LED lighting,” said NEXT Lighting’s CEO, Randall Sosnick. “With the forthcoming ban of the T-12 fluorescent lamps, we see a tremendous near-term opportunity for LED technology to establish a foothold in this very large market,” continued Sosnick. “We’ve designed the NEXTLamp to provide compelling value to our customers as they make the transition from this legacy technology,” he concluded.

    NEXT Lighting was founded in 2009 with a vision to develop environmentally friendly solid-state lighting solutions that provide value not achieved with traditional fluorescent lamps.


  • Rio has gone further upmarket with strong lines for a characterful design more closely aligned with the rest of Kia’s range. The body’s all new - sharing no panels with its predecessor or Hyundai’s related i20 - and it’s bigger, with wheelbase up 70mm and width by 25, though the roof’s actually 15mm lower for a sportier profile while the boot’s bigger, at 288 litres.

    Feedback that Rio’s seats were too hard has resulted in changes which include better bolsters and soy oil biofoam to cut petrol use in the car’s raw materials.

    As for engines, the petrol’s now a 80kW/138Nm 1.4, but power-to-weight remains the same as the outgoing 1.6. Thirst is claimed at 6.4l/100km for the auto - our vigorous Hanmer Springs launch drive returned 7.3 - while the 66kW/220Nm 1.4 diesel arriving in December claims 4.1l/100km. Buy a manual transmission and you’ll also get auto stop-go to cut the engine at Rechargeable diving flashlight and save fuel during city running.

    Kia’s going great guns globally, with its third consecutive year of 25 per cent growth. Rio’s segment is growing worldwide and in NZ, where Kia GM Todd McDonald predicts it’ll expand by 37 per cent this year. Two distinct specification levels pitch EX at price-conscious practical private buyers and LX at businesses seeking low ownership costs and advanced safety. Expect a four-door sedan variant next year, and a three-door 1.6 with six-speed transmission.

    Rio looks smart inside and out, though some over-hard plastics on areas such as the door tops made us wonder what the entry-level car is like. The top-spec $25,790 EX tested at launch includes a soft-touch dash as well as 16-inch alloy wheels, LED lights, cruise control and rain-sensing wipers. But the $22,990 base-spec LX features six airbags, ABS and stability control, Bluetooth, reverse park sensors and upmarket stuff such as an auto emergency stop signal; hardly shabby for the price. Height-adjustable seats up front will please older buyers, though a glovebox deep enough to lose a household pet may frustrate some.

    Rio’s Euro-tune MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension proved impressive over the rural back roads we traversed out of Hanmer Springs, compliant enough to cushion frost-heave bumps while handling sufficiently well through the corners that we started wishing for a five-speed auto transmission, to allow better use of this motor.

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