- Introducing the Xicato Designer Series
- Xicato Releases Free, Open API for Bluetooth Control
- The Four Shades of White
- Xicato announces significant efficacy increases for modules with 19mm LES
- Don't forget - Xicato speaking March 1 at SIL
- Events: Where to find us
- XIM Gen4 Evaluation Kit
Introducing the Xicato Designer Series
On February 14, Xicato formally released its new Designer Series family of LED modules. Designer Series offers high quality lighting with high efficacy, filling the color rendering and efficacy gap between the Artist Series and Standard Series products and exceeding the stringent requirements of California Title 24 and other state and national energy efficiency building codes.
Xicato Designer Series delivers typical CRI (Ra) of 92 and R9 of 53 and up to 114 lumens per watt at typical operating temperatures and full standard drive current. This initial release includes seven different options in 19mm light emitting surface (LES):
- 2700K in 1300, 2000 and 3000 lumens
- 3000K in 1300, 2000, 3000, and 4500 lumens
The 4500 lumen product provides near-Artist quality with much higher output for high ceiling downlight, spot and flood lighting applications.
“Xicato Designer Series provides the optimal balance between the museum-quality light of our Artist Series, and the high efficacy of our Standard Series products,” said Willem Sillevis Smitt, VP Sales and Marketing at Xicato. “We see the Designer Series setting a new standard for everyday lighting, while continuing to offer the warranted color consistency and longevity for which Xicato has become well known.”
“As Xicato continues to push the envelope on flicker-free dimming and wireless control,” added Menko de Roos, CEO of Xicato, “the Designer Series demonstrates that we continue to be committed to light itself. It is another example of our dedication to meeting the needs of the lighting community and our end users.”
Xicato Releases Free, Open API for Bluetooth Control
On February 17th, Xicato released the Application Programming Interface (API) that allows 3rd party developers to build mobile and desktop software compatible with the XIM Gen4 and its growing ecosystem.
"The release of our API is a testimony to our dedication to open standards," said Menko de Roos, Co-founder and CEO of Xicato. "Not only are we helping to drive the emerging Bluetooth Mesh standard as a contributing member of the Special Interest Group (SIG), but we are actively working with 3rd party hardware and software developers to build a rich ecosystem around the Xicato implementation, which will be field upgradable over the air (OTA) to Mesh later in 2017 when the standard is released."
The API comes as a .zip file containing the same Python 2.7 code that underpins Xicato's own Windows-based Control Panel, and provides access to the full, deep functionality of the Xicato Intelligent Network for lighting control, environmental sensing, and beacons.
The API is open, license-free, and free upon request. Contact your local Xicato Sales Representative or Xicato Authorized Distributor for information on how to obtain access.
The Xicato Control Panel is also available upon request by sending an email to this link.
Most of us involved in lighting have experienced first hand how incredibly effective the human visual system is at spotting color differences. While we can easily adapt to color differences over time (think for example about the different tints of daylight), contrasting colors presented side by side tend to attract our attention.
Even though it is easy to spot color differences, it is not that straightforward to describe them. But we can effectively describe color differences in white light by breaking it down into four shades. Knowing and applying the thresholds for visible color differences for accent lighting, we can realize spaces of a higher quality, something that will be noticed both consciously and sub-consciously.
First two shades: yellow and blue
The concept that white light can appear “cooler” or “warmer” is intuitive to most. Cooler light appears bluer and warmer light appears more yellow or orange. Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) describes the color of white light emitted by a black body that is heated to very high temperature (thousands of Kelvins). Ironically, a hotter body will appear "cooler" (bluer), while a cooler body will appear "warmer" (yellow, orange, or red).
Yellow = warm white = low CCT.
Blue = cool white = high CCT.
Third and fourth shades: pink and green
With the advent of gas discharge lamps it became clear that there can be other tint differences in white light than can be described by the blue vs. yellow of CCT. For example, fluorescent tubes from one manufacturer may appear pinkish, while tubes from another manufacturer may appear greenish, even though they are labeled with the same CCT. The problem lies in how CCT is defined in various color spaces. While a given CCT allows for no blue - yellow variation, it does not limit pink-green variation.
So, if CCT is the measure for blue - yellow, what should be the metric for green - pink? Different color spaces provide options. CIE1960 is very suitable because points of the same CCT lie on a line that is orthogonal to the BBL. The two axes in CIE1960 are referred to as u and v respectively, and distance from the BBL as Duv.
Pink = positive Duv. Green = negative Duv.
What is good enough?
This mostly depends on your application and the amount of spatial contrast. Accent lighting aims to achieve to high spatial contrast and is therefore one of the most critical applications for avoiding color differences. Because of their high brightness, small size and emission in one direction, LEDs are particularly suitable for accent lighting. But as is clear in many places around us, LED lighting presents a major color uniformity challenge.
When Xicato was founded, one of its key objectives was to solve the color non-uniformity problem with LEDs for accent lighting. Xicato conducted application research to determine the minimum visual threshold for observing color differences on both the green-pink and blue-yellow dimensions. By presenting light sources of slightly different color with high spatial contrast, we found that the Standard Deviation of Color Matching (SDCM) was a very accurate measure to describe color differences along the green - pink axis, and that for accent lighting the threshold of 1SDCM for these two shades is appropriate. We also found that the eye was a bit more forgiving of differences along the blue - yellow dimension, and that for these shades 2SDCM is appropriate. An improved version of the famous MacAdam ellipse metric, SDCM can also be converted to the blue-yellow measure CCT and pink-green measure Duv.
In other words, it is important to distinguish the different thresholds for these different shades. We are more sensitive to green-pink variations (Duv) than we are to blue-yellow (CCT) variations. So in specifying color consistency, we need to maintain tighter tolerances for Duv than for CCT. And this is what Xicato does.
The transformative effect of uniform color lighting
Imagine that you ask a painter to paint a wall white, but he uses two different tints. No doubt, you would think it looked messy and would ask the painter to redo the work and make it look uniform. We have similar expectations with lighting. Color non-uniform lighting gives a messy, cluttered impression. On the other hand, color uniform lighting elevates a space with an impression of clarity and serenity. That will not go unnoticed!
Xicato Announces Efficacy Increases for XTM and XIM 19mm LES Modules
On February 21, Xicato began informing its customers that they can expect across-the-board reductions in forward voltages and corresponding increases in efficacy for nearly all of its 19mm LES XTM and XIM modules. For the first time, customers can now expect source efficacy of up to 100 lumens per watt in Artist Series, and up to 137 lm/W in Standard Series products at typical operating temperatures and maximum drive current, and even better in under-driven modules.
Xicato has always taken a different approach to specifying its LED modules. Instead of frequent changes to electrical, flux and efficacy as with most vendors, Xicato specifies its products at consistent lumen ranges - for 19mm LES, these are 1300lm, 2000lm, 3000lm, 4000lm and 5000lm, plus or minus 10%. This allows our customers to maintain stable product catalogues, minimizing the need for costly re-engineering.
Documentation of the changes is now available through the Xicato Support page. Contact your local Xicato Sales Representative or Authorized Distributor if you have questions.
Events: Where to find Xicato
|Feb 28 - Mar 2
||Strategies In Light, Anaheim, California
||EuroShop, Dusseldorf, Germany
||SLL - Society of Light and Lighting, Birmingham, UK
||LuxLive Middle East, Dubai, UAE
||LEDucation, New York City, New York
||SeaTac 2017, Carrera, Italy
||EuroLuce, Milan, Italy
Xicato XIM Gen4 Development Kit available for ordering
Try out the new Xicato Intelligent Module, Generation 4 with Bluetooth control and beacons. The XIM Gen4 development kit comes with two XIM Gen4 modules on heat sinks, with optics and power supply, a USB BLE dongle, and the Xicato Intelligent Sensor (XIS), which is a Bluetooth integrated sensor with passive infrared (PIR) motion sensing, lux sensing, temperature, humidity, and an accelerometer.
Making full use of the kit requires the Xicato Control Panel software for Windows, and the XIMtroller iOS software, both of which are free from Xicato and the Apple iTunes App Store. Click below for more information.