Archive for the ‘News’ Category



Soraa founder Shuji Nakamura wins noble prize

Soraa, the world leader in GaN on GaN™ LED technology, announced today that one of its founders, Dr. Shuji Nakamura, has been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics. Recognizing that Nakamura’s invention, the blue light emitting diode (LED), represents a critical advancement in LED lighting, the Nobel committee explained the innovation “has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.”

“I am very honored to receive the Nobel Prize from The Royal Swedish Academy of Science for my invention of the blue LED,” said Nakamura. “It is very satisfying to see that my dream of LED lighting has become a reality. I hope that energy-efficient LED light bulbs will help reduce energy use and lower the cost of lighting worldwide, and that is why we founded Soraa.”

In 2007, Dr. Shuji Nakamura, along with pioneering professors Dr. Steven DenBaars and Dr. James Speck, came together and made a bet on an LED technology platform completely different than current industry practice, a technology most industry experts at the time considered to be impossible to execute.

“We knew that our GaN on GaN™ LED technology would be the future of lighting and Soraa has made this a reality,” added Nakamura.

Soraa bet that GaN on GaN™ LEDs would produce more light per area of LED and be more cost-effective than technology based on other foreign substrates like sapphire or silicon carbide. This strategy ran against every trend in the LED industry. That bet paid off: today, Soraa’s LEDs emit more light per LED material than any other LED; handle more electric current per area than any other LED; and its GaN on GaN™ crystals are up to a thousand times purer than any other LED crystal.

“Shuji is simply brilliant and well deserving of this honor. Largely as a result of his work, Soraa has been able to push the boundaries of what is possible in high performance LED lighting,” said Jeff Parker, CEO of Soraa. “Soraa’s GaN on GaN™ LED lamps are now regarded as the best in the world, with quality of light that far surpasses any other LED product.”

For more information on Soraa’s LED lamps, please visit:

About Soraa 

Pioneering lamps using LEDs built from pure gallium nitride substrates (GaN on GaN™), Soraa has made ordinary lighting extraordinarily brilliant and efficient. Soraa’s full spectrum GaN on GaN™ LED lamps have superior color rendering and beam characteristics compared to lamps using LEDs created from non-native substrates. Founded in 2008, Soraa is located in Fremont California, where it manufactures its GaN on GaN™ LEDs in the company’s state-of-the-art facility. For additional information, please visit and follow the company on Twitter and Facebook.

Holiday Pet Photo Contest

Holiday Pet Photo Contest

It is not too late to enter our annual Holiday photo contest!

Share your favorite Holiday pet or home deco photo for everyone to enjoy.

Email us your entries to:
Post to our facebook page

or pin it to Pinterest

We will choose our favorite photo on 1/1/14.








Are Your Whites Really White?

- AND can you tell?

The incandescent bulb that is now disappearing gave us great color rendering.
So now we are familiarizing ourselves with the newer LED options.

But not LEDs are created equal. Some have wonderful color rendering, others make their surroundings look drab.

Lots of products are manufactured with optical brighteners that look terrific under incandescent light, but unfortunately not under conventional blue-based LED lamps. Whites look a dingy, yellowish gray.

So here I thought that all I needed to look for was a high CRI  (Color Rendering Index) # on the box and everything would look great. But while testing different LEDs we saw for ourselves that this is not the case.
Even a lot of LEDs with a very high CRI failed at rendering whiteness properly.

After testing a lot of LED lamps we are blown away by one brand: Soraa.

Soraa’s GaN-on-GaN technology is engineered to render white materials with optical brighteners in exactly the same way as natural incandescence.

The result is a bright, white appearance optimal
for modern-day clothing, cosmetics, paper products, and appliances.”




This chart that I found on the Pure lighting website might come in handy in the jungle of new definitions, acronyms and terms.

Incandescent bulbs have a perfect score (100)  on the Color Rendering Index (CRI) – No wonder we love them so much!
But they unfortunately aren’t that effective in putting out a lot of light in comparison to the energy they consume.

The good news is that some LEDs (that we carry in stock) are getting there at a CRI of above 90.




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Can LEDs step up to the Plate?

Help! Now even more incandescent bulbs are being “banned”!
What do we replace them with?
The problem is that CFLs have not been able to step up to the plate and do the job, even though it seems that there was plenty of time for the technology to evolve after they were first introduced. They are still a poor substitute.
Why else would people literally take to the street and protest the ban on our beloved Edison bulb?
Will LED lamps be any better ?

Well, for now the retrofit lamps have a host of problems of their own: Many don’t fit well, have dimming problems and many can’t be used in a sealed fixture (or they get too hot.) So many have poor color rendering capabilities and just plain don’t give off enough light.

No wonder we hear so much whining from our clients!

BUT we are currently testing some LED lamps from Soraa that are blowing us away with their performance and we can’t wait to share our experience with you.




Dr. Shuji Nakamura, “the man who single-handedly created the current LED revolution”, was recently honored by Lux Review Magazine as their “Person of the Year” and was inducted into Electronic Design’s Hall of Fame for his outstanding work in the lighting industry.
“Shuji Nakamura enabled an entire industry based on high-brightness LEDs replacing incandescent, gas-discharge, and fluorescent lighting in vehicles, homes, businesses, and outdoors. He did it by developing a practical way to manufacture efficient blue and ultraviolet LEDs, which are the basis for ‘white’ LEDs.”



Louis Poulsen Collage

It is always refreshing to see good design in airports. Here I spotted the Collage fixture from Louis Poulsen in the Phoenix airport.

Louis Poulsen Collage


Is Bad Lighting our Future?

Why are people literally taking to the streets to protest the ban on the trusted old Edison bulb?
Well, for one it produces great light. In technical terms: It has a CRI of 100, which is the highest possible.
(CRI or Color Rendering Index, is a scale from 0 to 100 used to indicate how a light source will make the color of an object appear. )

Only 95 of the more than 8,000 ENERGY STAR lamp products on the July 2013 Qualified Lighting Products List published by the EPA,  have CRIs of 90 or above. That’s pitiful!

“As bans on incandescent lamps unfold and governmental regulations continue to ignore the fundamental challenges of delivering high color quality products, the bulk of the LED industry will continue to focus on easier-to-make, mediocre color quality (CRI 80) products that just meet the bar. All this leaves consumers with little choice but to adopt inferior lighting in their homes.”
Mike Krames is the CTO of Soraa
Mike writes an awesome blog:



Hubbardton Forge Cavaletti

Hubbardton Forge’s Cavaletti collection was honored as the recipient of the 2013 ASFD Pinnacle Award for Design Achievement in the lighting category. This marks the ninth time the company has won the Pinnacle award.


One Hour Free Lighting Consultation

Sign Up Now for One Hour FREE Lighting Consultation

Available again on a first-come, first-served basis until all slots are filled.

We offered it two months ago and had to close the offer after the first day, because of the incredible response. We are now ready again for more projects!

How does it work?

Email us what you want to do about your lighting: Start from scratch or fix a specific problem.

You might have a tricky hallway or a kitchen with only one outlet. A new kitchen island with gorgeous granite that appears lifeless and dull at night. Or a vanity area that makes you hate looking at yourself in the mirror.

Please let us help you!! After 30 years in the lighting business we have seen – and fixed – all kinds of lighting dilemmas. And we love it!

After we hear from you one of our  lighting experts will contact you and if needed ask for photos or floor plans.
(If you are not computer savvy, we’ll help you out there, too.)

We’ll then take a look at the situation and then set aside an hour to discuss our recommendations with you. No strings attached.

If you live in Santa Fe or Los Alamos, NM we will do a one hour lighting consultation at your home for free. (for Albuquerque and other areas in Northern NM we charge a travel fee to cover our expenses.)