The patent's assignee for patent number 8773032 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "This application relates generally to the field of lighting fixtures employing Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and more particularly to a LED fixture control system employing multiple independent control inputs.
"Generating visible light with LED light sources has disadvantages when compared to older technologies, such as incandescent or fluorescent light sources. When such LED lighting devices are powered from a low voltage DC source, for example in Automotive, RV, off-the-grid solar, Marine, then issues of cost, efficiency, control, and use are substantial obstacles to adoption. Low voltage LED lighting devices using state of the art design methods are expensive, inefficient, difficult to control, and are inflexible in their use.
"The invention described herein uses new methods and a new architecture which combines a highly integrated microcontroller with a modular system of external devices to achieve a combination of high efficiency, low cost, high reliability, and operating features which are optimally suited to operation from a low voltage DC source."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The invention discloses a new system architecture which uses a control IC which is a combination of a microcontroller and internal control logic which is operatively combined with inputs from a user, both local and remote.
"In an example embodiment, a control IC provides fast control of LED current in a switching Buck-type power supply is controlled by dedicated power supply control hardware is combined with slow changing signals of temperature and input under control of firmware. The control IC optimizes the use of power from the source and optimizes the operating efficiency of the LED output while providing for a plurality of LED devices to be powered in parallel by a single controller.
"In an example embodiment dimming of the LED output is controlled by the user, either by input from a momentary switch or from a wired or wireless control. Functional grouping of remotely controlled devices provides a system of dimming, set by the user, and grouped by device address. The dimming control is non-volatile, so that low voltage systems which are operatively designed to cut-off power may be returned to the state set by the user merely by restoring power, or by local or remote control.
"Adding functions to the device is accomplished by plugging in Function Modules. These added functions are identified by an identification module in the Control IC which operatively changes the behavior of the device. Function Modules may include automated inputs such as a motion sensor, gas sensor, battery pack, etc.
"The features, functions, and advantages that have been discussed can be achieved independently in various embodiments of the present invention or may be combined in yet other embodiments further details of which can be seen with reference to the following description and drawings."
For additional information on this patent, see: May, Dexter; Schlanger, Steven; Trotter, Matthew;
Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Microcontroller,
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