Helping LED designers maintain colour

30 April 2008

Cypress Semiconductor has announced enhancements for its EZ-Color design solution for intelligent colour and white LED lighting systems.

The ColorLock feature enables designers to use optical feedback to automatically ensure precise colour points over time and temperature for applications such as LCD backlighting and architectural lighting. The EZ-Color solution also adds new tools to further support white lighting design. Both features cut design time by allowing users to complete designs without any C or Assembly coding required.

The EZ-Color family of LED controllers combines with PSoC Express to enable designers to select an LED part number, choose either temperature or optical feedback, and choose a colour, including white.

For LCD backlight and other applications that need optical feedback, the ColorLock feature provides a way for designers to guard against LED degradation caused by heat and time. Users can calibrate a colour sensor and set the colour co-ordinates using either industry standard 1976 CIELUV or 1931 XYZ colour space charts, and then set a range of allowable deviations. Adding to the precision of intelligent lighting, Cypress has incorporated the ability to alter a single LED or set colour point for streamlined calibration. The EZ-Color controller receives input from the colour sensor and, working with PSoC Express, adjusts the flux output of the LEDs to match the colour specified by the designer.

The upgraded EZ-Color solution has also simplified the optimisation of the CRI (Color Rendering Index) of white lighting designs by giving users the ability to select white light temperatures points that reproduce the widest range of colours.

LED lighting design requires a complex set of calculations with custom firmware to deliver consistent colour. The two biggest problems that LED lighting engineers face are having to account for differing LED performance specifications based on manufacturing bins and the LEDs’ degradation (such as output flux and wavelength) over different temperatures.

The EZ-Color LED controllers are powered by Cypress PrISM (Precise Illumination Signal Modulation) technology. The PrISM modulation technology reduces low-frequency flicker and radiated electro-magnetic interference. Designers also have the flexibility to add additional functionality to the EZ-Color controllers, including battery charging, motor control, thermal feedback, and programmable control gear, amongst other features.

The EZ-Color family is supported by the CY3261A-RGB evaluation kit, which provides the firmware to create ColorLock drivers in PSoC Express, along with a colour sensor and control loop targeted at the LCD backlight, architectural lighting and general signage markets. The evaluation board has a dedicated test pin for the DMX512 protocol, which is suitable for creating intelligent lighting networks. The kit includes a MiniProg, a 5v LCD display, USB cable, a CD with PSoC Express, Gerber files, and schematics.

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