AES Semigas


28 October 2021

GaN Systems’ driver built into higher-power Philips SON-T LED bulbs

GaN Systems Inc of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (a fabless developer of gallium nitride-based power switching semiconductors for power conversion and control applications) says that its power transistors are incorporated in the Philips SON-T tubular 17W and 26W LED bulbs from Signify of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. These products feature a design that introduces a GaN-based driver built into the LED bulb, solving the technical problems of applying traditional glasswork in a high-power LED bulb application. The result is a lower-cost, higher-power and more energy-efficient LED lighting solution, says GaN Systems.

“This signals GaN’s continued preference in more markets as well as GaN’s ability to raise performance to levels previously unachievable in so many applications,” says GaN Systems’ CEO Jim Witham.

Initially, Signify’s built-in driver design was limited to its 8-10W full-glass LED bulbs. To implement this design for higher-watt LEDs, the firm switched from silicon to GaN power semiconductors. This particular innovation centers around the GaN-based AC/DC PFC (power factor correction) circuit built into the E27 screw in the bulb. The driver uses GaN Systems’ 650V transistors (GS-065-004-1-L and GS-065-011-1-L).

The attributes of GaN, such as high switching frequency, combined with GaN Systems’ technology and packaging, allow Signify to implement this design beyond 8-10W bulbs without worrying about size and performance tradeoffs, says GaN Systems. The GaN-based driver offers the following features:

  • High power density: Higher AC/DC circuit operating frequency (200-900kHz) increases the power density of the LED driver.
  • High efficiency: This higher-switching driver is more efficient than the standard power supply. At up to 96% constant efficiency at high temperatures, the LED bulb is more environmentally friendly and presents improved luminous efficacy.
  • Compact design: The built-in power supply unit (PSU) measures 20mm in diameter and 15mm high. Without an external power supply, it makes installation and replacement simpler.
  • Space and cost savings: GaN enables significant size and weight reductions and allows the use of smaller or fewer external components, contributing to cost savings.
  • Longer product life: The LED bulbs with the built-in PSU offer a higher level of protection against dust and water, extending product life.

As replacements for Signify’s legacy high-pressure sodium bulbs, the new Philips SON-T LED bulbs are suitable for road and residential lighting, decorative floodlighting, indoor and outdoor recreational sports facilities, and other commercial and industrial applications.

Tags: GaN Systems