The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Light emitting diode (LED) lighting systems are becoming more prevalent as replacements for existing lighting systems. LEDs are an example of solid state lighting and have advantages over traditional lighting solutions such as incandescent and fluorescent lighting because they use less energy, are more durable, operate longer, can be combined in red-blue-green arrays that can be controlled to deliver virtually any color light, and contain no lead or mercury.
"In many applications, one or more LED dies (or chips) are mounted within an LED package or on an LED module, which may make up part of a lighting unit, light bulb, or more simply a 'lamp,' which may also include one or more power supplies to power the LEDs. Some units include multiple LED modules. A module or strip of a lamp includes a packaging material with metal leads (to the LED dies from outside circuits), a protective housing for the LED dies, a heat sink, or a combination of leads, housing and heat sink.
"An LED lamp may be made with a form factor that allows it to replace a standard threaded incandescent bulb, or any of various types of fluorescent lamps. LED fixtures and lamps often include some type of optical elements external to the LED modules themselves. Such optical elements may allow for localized mixing of colors, collimate light, and provide the minimum beam angle possible.
"In the case of an LED lamp designed to replace a tubular fixture, such as a standard fluorescent 'tube' type bulb, the heat sink for the strip of LEDs inside the envelope of the bulb typically blocks light in one direction. However, if the bulb is positioned so that the heat sink is oriented up, towards the top, inside or back of the fixture and the LEDs face outward or down, such an LED lamp can be a viable replacement for a fluorescent tube."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments of the present invention can provide an improved LED-based replacement lamp for a linear or 'tube-type' bulb that would normally emit light in all directions around the tube. By filling the void within the lamp with an optically transmissive fluid to cool the LEDs without the use of a traditional heat sink, the light blocking effects of such a heat sink can be avoided. Thus, the LED replacement lamp can emit light in an omnidirectional pattern, making it a more natural replacement for a tube type bulb.
"It should be noted that while tube-type fluorescent bulbs are given as an illustrative example of the type of lamp that could be replaced by an embodiment of the invention, any elongated type of bulb or bulb with an elongated filament or light producing element could be replaced with an LED lamp like that described herein. Other examples of bulbs that could be replaced by an embodiment of the invention include incandescent aquarium bulbs, 'piano lamp' bulbs and tubular appliance bulbs.
"A lamp according to example embodiments of the invention includes an enclosure with an electrical connection. The enclosure may be a tubular enclosure. An array of LED devices is placed in the enclosure and disposed to be operable to emit light when energized through the electrical connection. The array of LED devices may be a linear array. The enclosure is filled with an optically transmissive, fluid medium, which is in thermal communication with the linear array of LED devices. In at least some embodiments, the linear array of LED devices emits light in an omnidirectional pattern. This omnidirectional pattern can be achieved in any number of ways, including geometric placement of the devices in the array, the use of multiple strips of devices, or the use of LEDs with an optically transmissive substrate that allows light to radiate in all directions from the light-emitting layers of the LED. Such a substrate could be, for example, sapphire or silicon carbide.
"In some embodiments, the optically transmissive fluid medium is a liquid. In some embodiments, the optically transmissive fluid medium is a gel. An index matching medium can be used as the optically transmissive fluid medium. The index matching medium can have the same refractive index as the material of the enclosure, the LED device package material or the LED substrate material. The index matching medium can have a refractive index that is arithmetically in between the indices of two of these materials. In some embodiments, the optically transmissive, fluid medium contained in the enclosure mechanically supports the array of LED devices while in thermal communication with the array of LED devices. This mechanical support allows the LEDs in the array to be connected together with little or no packaging to further enable an omnidirectional light pattern.
"In some embodiments, a finished lamp suitable for use as a replacement for a fluorescent or incandescent bulb includes a power supply coupled to or connected to the linear array of LED devices to energize the devices as appropriate. A color mixing treatment can optionally be included to eliminate color tints in cases where multiple LEDs of different colors are used to produce light. Color treatments can include texturing of the tube or other parts of the lamp assembly, as well as the use of an open cell foam or a nanowire or nanowires permeated with the fluid medium. Production of white light in the omnidirectional pattern can also be achieved by using LEDs that give of light of a specific wavelength of light to energize a phosphor that coats the enclosure or is placed elsewhere within a lamp.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a linear LED lamp according to example embodiments of the present invention.
"FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of another linear LED lamp according to example embodiments of the present invention; in this case, the embodiment includes power supply elements to allow the lamp to be powered as part of a pre-existing fixture.
"FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of another linear LED lamp according to example embodiments of the present invention.
"FIG. 4 is a further schematic illustration of yet another linear LED lamp according to example embodiments of the present invention."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Negley, Gerald H.;
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