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Patent Issued for Multi-Voltage and Multi-Brightness LED Lighting Devices and Methods of Using Same

February 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Miskin, Michael (Sleepy Hollow, IL); Kottritsch, Robert L. (Shefford, GB), filed on May 28, 2010, was published online on February 11, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8648539 is Lynk Labs, Inc. (Elgin, IL).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention generally relates to light emitting diodes ('LEDs') for multi-voltage level and/or multi-brightness level operation. The present invention specifically relates to multiple voltage level and multiple brightness level light emitting diode circuits, single chips, packages and lamps 'devices' for direct AC voltage power source operation, bridge rectified AC voltage power source operation or constant DC voltage power source operation.

"LEDs are semiconductor devices that produce light when a current is supplied to them. LEDs are intrinsically DC devices that only pass current in one polarity and historically have been driven by DC voltage sources using resistors, current regulators and voltage regulators to limit the voltage and current delivered to the LED. Some LEDs have resistors built into the LED package providing a higher voltage LED typically driven with 5V DC or 12V DC.

"With proper design considerations LEDs may be driven more efficiently with direct AC or rectified AC than with constant voltage or constant current DC drive schemes.

"Some standard AC voltage in the world include 12VAC, 24VAC, 100VAC, 110VAC, 120VAC, 220VAC, 230VAC, 240VAC and 277VAC. Therefore, it would be advantageous to have a single chip LED or multi-chip single LED packages that could be easily configured to operate at multiple voltages by simply selecting a voltage and/or current level when packaging the multi-voltage and/or multi-current single chip LEDs or by selecting a specific voltage and/or current level when integrating the LED package onto a printed circuit board or within a finished lighting product. It would also be advantageous to have multi-current LED chips and/or packages for LED lamp applications in order to provide a means of increasing brightness in LED lamps by switching in additional circuits just as additional filaments are switched in for standard incandescent lamps.

"U.S. Pat. No. 7,525,248 discloses a chip-scale LED lamp including discrete LEDs capable of being built upon electrically insulative, electrically conductive, or electrically semi conductive substrates. Further, the construction of the LED lamp enables the lamp to be configured for high voltage AC or DC power operation. The LED based solid-state light emitting device or lamp is built upon an electrically insulating layer that has been formed onto a support surface of a substrate. Specifically, the insulating layer may be epitaxially grown onto the substrate, followed by an LED buildup of an n-type semiconductor layer, an optically active layer, and a p-type semiconductor layer, in succession. Isolated mesa structure of individual, discrete LEDs is formed by etching specific portions of the LED buildup down to the insulating layer, thereby forming trenches between adjacent LEDs. Thereafter, the individual LEDs are electrically coupled together through conductive elements or traces being deposited for connecting the n-type layer of one LED and the p-type layer of an adjacent LED, continuing across all of the LEDs to form the solid-state light emitting device. The device may therefore be formed as an integrated AC/DC light emitter with a positive and negative lead for supplied electrical power. For instance, the LED lamp may be configured for powering by high voltage DC power (e.g., 12V, 24V, etc.) or high voltage AC power (e.g., 110/120V, 220/240V, etc.).

"U.S. Pat. No. 7,213,942 discloses a single-chip LED device through the use of integrated circuit technology, which can be used for standard high AC voltage (110 volts for North America, and 220 volts for Europe, Asia, etc.) operation. The single-chip AC LED device integrates many smaller LEDs, which are connected in series. The integration is done during the LED fabrication process and the final product is a single-chip device that can be plugged directly into house or building power outlets or directly screwed into incandescent lamp sockets that are powered by standard AC voltages. The series connected smaller LEDs are patterned by photolithography, etching (such as plasma dry etching), and metallization on a single chip. The electrical insulation between small LEDs within a single-chip is achieved by etching light emitting materials into the insulating substrate so that no light emitting material is present between small LEDs. The voltage crossing each one of the small LEDs is about the same as that in a conventional DC operating LED fabricated from the same type of material (e.g., about 3.5 volts for blue LEDs).

"Accordingly, single chip LEDs have been limited and have not been integrated circuits beyond being fixed series or fixed parallel circuit configurations until the development of AC LEDs. The AC LEDs have still however been single circuit, fixed single voltage designs.

"LED packages have historically not been integrated circuits beyond being fixed series or fixed parallel circuit configurations.

"The art is deficient in that it does not provide a multi-voltage and/or multi-current circuit monolithically integrated on a single substrate which would be advantageous.

"It would further be advantageous to have a multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness circuit that can provide options in voltage level, brightness level and/or AC or DC powering input power preference.

"It would further be advantageous to provide multiple voltage level and/or multiple brightness level light emitting LED circuits, chips, packages and lamps 'multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness LED devices' that can easily be electrically configured for at least two forward voltage drive levels with direct AC voltage coupling, bridge rectified AC voltage coupling or constant voltage DC power source coupling. This invention comprises circuits and devices that can be driven with more than one AC or DC forward voltage 'multi-voltage' at 6V or greater based on a selectable desired operating voltage level that is achieved by electrically connecting the LED circuits in a series or parallel circuit configuration and/or more than one level of brightness 'multi-brightness' based on a switching means that connects and/or disconnects at least one additional LED circuit to and/or from a first LED circuit. The desired operating voltage level and/or the desired brightness level electrical connection may be achieved and/or completed at the LED packaging level when the multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness, circuits and/or single chips are integrated into the LED package, or the LED package may have external electrical contacts that match the integrated multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness circuits and/or single chips within, thus allowing the drive voltage level and/or the brightness level select-ability to be passed on through to the exterior of the LED package and allowing the voltage level or brightness level to be selected at the LED package user, or the PCB assembly facility, or the end product manufacturer.

"It would further be advantageous to provide at least two integrated circuits having a forward voltage of at least 12VAC or 12VDC or greater on a single chip or within a single LED package that provide a means of selecting a forward voltage when packaging a multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness circuit using discrete die (one LED chip at a time) and wire bonding them into a circuit at the packaging level or when packaging one or more multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness level single chips within a LED package.

"It would further be advantageous to provide multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness level devices that can provide electrical connection options for either AC or DC voltage operation at preset forward voltage levels of 6V or greater.

"It would further be advantageous to provide multi-brightness LED devices that can be switched to different levels of brightness by simply switching additional circuits on or off in addition to a first operating circuit within a single chip and or LED package. This would allow LED lamps to switch to higher brightness levels just like 2-way or 3-way incandescent lamps do today.

"The benefits of providing multi-voltage circuits of 6V or greater on a single chip is that an LED packager can use this single chip as a platform to offer more than one LED packaged product with a single chip that addresses multiple voltage levels for various end customer design requirements. This also increase production on a single product for the chip maker and improves inventory control. This also improves buying power and inventory control for the LED packager when using one chip.

"The present invention provides for these advantages and solves the deficiencies in the art."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "According to one aspect of the invention at least two single voltage AC LED circuits are formed on a single chip or on a substrate providing a multi-voltage AC LED device for direct AC power operation. Each single voltage AC LED circuit has at least two LEDs connected to each other in opposing parallel relation.

"According to another aspect of the invention, each single voltage AC LED circuit is designed to be driven with a predetermined forward voltage of at least 6VAC and preferably each single voltage AC LED circuit has a matching forward voltage of 6VAC, 12VAC, 24VAC, 120VAC, or other AC voltage levels for each single voltage AC LED circuit.

"According to another aspect of the invention, each multi-voltage AC LED device would be able to be driven with at least two different AC forward voltages resulting in a first forward voltage drive level by electrically connecting the two single voltage AC LED circuits in parallel and a second forward voltage drive level by electrically connecting the at least two single voltage level AC LED circuits in series. By way of example, the second forward voltage drive level of the serially connected AC LED circuits would be approximately twice the level of the first forward voltage drive level of the parallel connected AC LED circuits. The at least two parallel connected AC LED circuits would be twice the current of the at least two serially connected AC LED circuits. In either circuit configuration, the brightness would be approximately the same with either forward voltage drive selection of the multi-voltage LED device.

"According to another aspect of the invention, at least two single voltage series LED circuits, each of which have at least two serially connected LEDs, are formed on a single chip or on a substrate providing a multi-voltage AC or DC operable LED device.

"According to another aspect of the invention, each single voltage series LED circuit is designed to be driven with a predetermined forward voltage of at least 6V AC or DC and preferably each single voltage series LED circuit has a matching forward voltage of 6V, 12V, 24V, 120V, or other AC or DC voltage levels. By way of example, each multi-voltage AC or DC LED device would be able to be driven with at least two different AC or DC forward voltages resulting in a first forward voltage drive level by electrically connecting the two single voltage series LED circuits in parallel and a second forward voltage drive level by electrically connecting the at least two single voltage level series LED circuits in series. The second forward voltage drive level of the serially connected series LED circuits would be approximately twice the level of the first forward voltage drive level of the parallel connected series LED circuits. The at least two parallel connected series LED circuits would be twice the current of the at least two serially connected series LED circuits. In either circuit configuration, the brightness would be approximately the same with either forward voltage drive selection of the multi-voltage series LED device.

"According to another aspect of the invention, at least two single voltage AC LED circuits are formed on a single chip or on a substrate providing a multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness AC LED device for direct AC power operation.

"According to another aspect of the invention, each single voltage AC LED circuit has at least two LEDs connected to each other in opposing parallel relation. Each single voltage AC LED circuit is designed to be driven with a predetermined forward voltage of at least 6VAC and preferably each single voltage AC LED circuit has a matching forward voltage of 6VAC, 12VAC, 24VAC, 120VAC, or other AC voltage levels for each single voltage AC LED circuit. The at least two AC LED circuits within each multi-voltage and/or multi current AC LED device would be left able to be driven with at least two different AC forward voltages resulting in a first forward voltage drive level by electrically connecting the two single voltage AC LED circuits in parallel and a second forward voltage drive level by electrically connecting the at least two single voltage level AC LED circuits in series. The second forward voltage drive level of the serially connected AC LED circuits would be approximately twice the level of the first forward voltage drive level of the parallel connected AC LED circuits. The at least two parallel connected AC LED circuits would be twice the current of the at least two serially connected AC LED circuits. In either circuit configuration, the brightness would be approximately the same with either forward voltage drive selection of the multi-voltage LED device.

"According to another aspect of the invention at least two single voltage LED circuits are formed on a single chip or on a substrate, and at least one bridge circuit made of LEDs is formed on the same single chip or substrate providing a multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness LED device for direct DC power operation. Each single voltage LED circuit has at least two LEDs connected to each other in series. Each single voltage LED circuit is designed to be driven with a predetermined forward voltage and preferably matching forward voltages for each circuit such as 12VDC, 24VDC, 120VDC, or other DC voltage levels for each single voltage LED circuit. Each multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness LED device would be able to be driven with at least two different DC forward voltages resulting in a first forward voltage drive level when the two single voltage LED circuits are connected in parallel and a second forward voltage drive level that is twice the level of the first forward voltage drive level when the at least two LED circuits are connected in series.

"According to another aspect of the invention at least two single voltage LED circuits are formed on a single chip or on a substrate providing a multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness LED device for direct DC power operation. Each single voltage LED circuit has at least two LEDs connected to each other in series. Each single voltage LED circuit is designed to be driven with a predetermined forward voltage and preferably matching forward voltages for each circuit such as 12VAC, 24VAC, 120VAC, or other DC voltage levels for each single voltage LED circuit. Each multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness LED device would be able to be driven with at least two different DC forward voltages resulting in a first forward voltage drive level when the two single voltage LED circuits are connected in parallel and a second forward voltage drive level that is twice the level of the first forward voltage drive level when the at least two LED circuits are connected in series.

"According to another aspect of the invention at least two single voltage LED circuits are formed on a single chip or on a substrate, and at least one bridge circuit made of LEDs is formed on the same single chip or substrate providing a multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness LED device for direct DC power operation. Each single voltage LED circuit has at least two LEDs connected to each other in series. Each single voltage LED circuit is designed to be driven with a predetermined forward voltage and preferably matching forward voltages for each circuit such as 12VDC, 24VDC, 120VDC, or other DC voltage levels for each single voltage LED circuit. Each multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness LED device would be able to be driven with at least two different DC forward voltages resulting in a first forward voltage drive level when the two single voltage LED circuits are connected in parallel and a second forward voltage drive level that is twice the level of the first forward voltage drive level when the at least two LED circuits are connected in series.

"According to another aspect of the invention a multi-voltage and/or multi-current AC LED circuit is integrated within a single chip LED. Each multi-voltage and/or multi-current single chip AC LED LED comprises at least two single voltage AC LED circuits. Each single voltage AC LED circuit has at least two LEDs in anti-parallel configuration to accommodate direct AC voltage operation. Each single voltage AC LED circuit may have may have at least one voltage input electrical contact at each opposing end of the circuit or the at least two single voltage AC LED circuits may be electrically connected together in series on the single chip and have at least one voltage input electrical contact at each opposing end of the two series connected single voltage AC LED circuits and one voltage input electrical contact at the center junction of the at least two single voltage AC LED circuits connected in series. The at least two single voltage AC LED circuits are integrated within a single chip to form a multi-voltage and/or multi-current single chip AC LED.

"According to another aspect of the invention, at least one multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness LED devices may be integrated within a LED lamp. The at least two individual LED circuits within the multi-voltage and/or multi-brightness LED device(s) may be wired in a series or parallel circuit configuration by the LED packager during the LED packaging process thus providing for at least two forward voltage drive options, for example 12VAC and 24VAC or 120VAC and 240VAC that can be selected by the LED packager.

"According to another aspect of the invention a multi-voltage and/or multi-current AC LED package is provided, comprising at least one multi-voltage and/or multi-current single chip AC LED integrated within a LED package. The multi-voltage and/or multi-current AC LED package provides matching electrical connectivity pads on the exterior of the LED package to the electrical connectivity pads of the at least one multi-voltage and/or multi-current single chip AC LED integrated within the LED package thus allowing the LED package user to wire the multi-voltage and/or multi-current AC LED package into a series or parallel circuit configuration during the PCB assembly process or final product integration process and further providing a AC LED package with at least two forward voltage drive options.

"According to another aspect of the invention multiple individual discrete LED chips are used to form at least one multi-voltage and/or multi-current AC LED circuit within a LED package thus providing a multi-voltage and/or multi current AC LED package. Each multi-voltage and/or multi-current AC LED circuit within the package comprises at least two single voltage AC LED circuits. Each single voltage AC LED circuit has at least two LEDs in anti-parallel configuration to accommodate direct AC voltage operation The LED package provides electrical connectivity pads on the exterior of the LED package that match the electrical connectivity pads of the at least two single voltage AC LED circuits integrated within the multi-voltage and/or multi-current AC LED package thus allowing the LED package to be wired into a series or parallel circuit configuration during the PCB assembly process and further providing a LED package with at least two forward voltage drive options.

"According to another aspect of the invention a multi-voltage and/or multi-current single chip AC LED and/or multi-voltage and/or multi current AC LED package is integrated within an LED lamp. The LED lamp having a structure that comprises a heat sink, a lens cover and a standard lamp electrical base. The multi-voltage and/or multi-current single chip AC LED and/or package is configured to provide a means of switching on at least one additional single voltage AC LED circuit within multi-voltage and/or multi-current AC LED circuit to provide increased brightness from the LED lamp.

"According to another broad aspect of the invention at least one multi-current AC LED single chip is integrated within a LED package.

"According to another aspect of the invention, at least one single chip multi-current LED bridge circuit is integrated within a LED lamp having a standard lamp base. The single chip multi-current LED bridge circuit may be electrically connected together in parallel configuration but left open to accommodate switching on a switch to the more than one on the single chip and have at least one accessible electrical contact at each opposing end of the two series connected circuits and one accessible electrical contact at the center junction of the at least two individual serially connected LED circuits. The at least two individual circuits are integrated within a single chip.

"According to another aspect of the invention When the at least two circuits are left unconnected on the single chip and provide electrical pads for connectivity during the packaging process, the LED packager may wire them into series or parallel connection based on the desired voltage level specification of the end LED package product offering."

For additional information on this patent, see: Miskin, Michael; Kottritsch, Robert L.. Multi-Voltage and Multi-Brightness LED Lighting Devices and Methods of Using Same. U.S. Patent Number 8648539, filed May 28, 2010, and published online on February 11, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=52&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2551&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140211.PD.&OS=ISD/20140211&RS=ISD/20140211

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, High Voltage, Semiconductor, Lynk Labs Inc..

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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