Our understanding of RF technology has enabled some of the most rugged devices in the industry – know-how that we have instilled into our RF lighting transistors. The very high efficiency of our LDMOS transistors also allows RF lighting to have an excellent Lumen / Watt, beating conventional sources.
Technology behind RF plasma lighting
Very recently developments in RF power technology – such as decreasing $/W RF power level and strongly increasing power density up to 1000 W per single transistor device – have enabled a breakthrough light source technology: RF plasma lighting.
Basically, the technology makes use of a small, electrodeless quartz light bulb which contains argon gas and metal halide mixtures. The bulb is powered by directed RF radiation, which ignites the gas mixtures, creating and powering a very bright plasma, the color of which can be tuned by the composition of the plasma constituents.
Long lifetime of RF plasma lighting
This technology works without any additional electrodes in the bulb, unlike standard high intensity discharge lamps. No electrodes means very long operating lifetimes, since contamination and wire erosion that lead to decreased efficiency and eventual lamp failure are precluded. The RF light source reaches 50,000 hrs (50% reduction in light output), compared to only 20,000 hrs for typical high intensity discharge lamps. Another strong point of plasma light is its efficiency: 1 W of RF power is converted to 140 lm of light.
RF plasma lighting versus the contenders
The plasma light source outshines most of the competitors. Of key importance is its high brightness per bulb: much brighter than LEDs for example. LED luminaires for street lighting will be considerably larger than those for plasma light sources. Given the high brightness per bulb, the plasma light currently enters the market for applications requiring more than 5000 lm per luminaire, such as street and stage lighting.