The Silicon Review
LED technology has completely disrupted and changed the entire lighting industry. With the advancement in LED technology, LEDs for lighting application are becoming widely adopted due to economic, energy and environmental reasons. LEDs are conventionally powered by DC sources or AC sources with constant current converters. And over the years, more and more research works have come up focusing on AC powered LEDs using constant voltage AC or DC drive methods.
Founded in 1997, Lynk Labs originally started out with a focus on broadband technology. But, after the telecom bubble burst in 2001, the company realized that it could shift gears and leverage its expertise and technology to develop novel light emitting diode “LED” lighting technologies. The LED market was just starting to move past traffic signals and TV backlighting towards general lighting and Lynk grabbed the opportunity to develop infrastructure solutions that simplify and reduces the cost of integrating low voltage DC (about 3V) semiconductors (LEDs) into the global high voltage (12V-347V) AC mains powered general lighting infrastructure. Lynk spent the next several years in R&D mode and started to innovate and build a strategic patent portfolio around LED technology.
Today, Lynk Labs is an industry leading OEM supplier and partner for patented low voltage and high voltage AC-LED technology. It manufactures and supplies AC LED components including assemblies, COB’s, AC LED drivers and system solutions.
The First Project Roll-On
To become the ultimate leader in the industry, Lynk Labs started its odyssey by launching its first product in 2004 which later turned into its brand of SnapBrite LED modules. The company initially started selling them to a few medium-sized lighting OEMs that designed them into new LED light fixtures.
The Lynk products were delivering the same amount of light for about 1/10th the power of the incandescent lamps they replaced. The competing products in the market were powered by constant current DC and were a little more efficient, but they needed substantially more electronic components to make them work in the AC lighting infrastructure. Lynk enabled the OEMs to directly connect to low voltage and high voltage AC power sources with very few additional electronics because its technology used the LEDs to drop the majority of the forward voltage from the source it was connecting to.
“The SnapBrite LED modules we developed for that customer was their first LED product and it became the most successful product launch in the history of their company, and ours. This put Lynk on the map to start getting real attention in the market.”
Success sans Struggle Is a Myth
Get an idea, put in cash, start a company and reap the benefits – these all sound like a cake walk, but in reality, it takes years and years of hard work and patience. No company has ever succeeded without overcoming hurdles; challenges come as add-ons.
Just like every other new-born company, Lynk also had to deal with challenges. Even though the company had generated success with a few customers, the engineering community in the industry still continued to be hesitant to accept AC-driven LED technologies for many years. But, the startling thing was that many of them were already starting to use it and Lynk Labs’ IP in one form or another. For many years, one of the major challenges for Lynk was mostly NIHS (not-invented-here-syndrome) and a lot of negative marketing against the company by big players in the market. But, with a mindset to reach the goal, Lynk continued its top-class work and innovated some of the best products in the industry.
After years of hardship and overcoming every single hurdle, Lynk was on the path to expand the company and its offerings. And in 2009, Lynk Labs formed a partnership with Epistar Corp. in Taiwan, the largest LED chip manufacturer in the world at that time. The partnership has helped Lynk expand its resources and capabilities. At about the same time, one of the largest LED packagers from Korea, Seoul Semiconductor also got its focus on AC-driven LED technology and that was the moment when Lynk Labs realized that it had started a new industry segment. Eventually, the company added heat sinks, drivers and certain lamps to its product line and continued to promote the benefits and advantages of the technology.
“The early stage is primarily filled with excitement about the future and success you envision and you’re running in “high confidence mode” here. Your true commitment, capability, and believing in yourselves isn’t tested until you start facing many of the “real” challenges”
Dazzling Future En Route
Keeping Innovation as the company’sprime pillar, Lynk Labs Inc. is planning to roll-out a number of new products based on its patented universal voltage driver on board “DoB” technology. The company has launched a family of products addressing various key lighting applications including downlighting, high bay and more. And now, it is planning to release a number of new color switching and warm-dimming LED light engines it has in the pipeline, high power density compact driver solutions and more.
With Lynk Labs’ patented technology being so widely used throughout the industry in high volumes of various LED products today, the company feels that a licensing division would continue to showcase its innovations in the field of LED technology.
Greet the Kingpin
Mike Miskin, Founder & CEO: Mike has over 25 years of experience developing and productizing patented technologies as well as creating markets for new technology. He was responsible for pioneering the AC/HV LED industry in 2002 and has substantial experience in building strategic IP portfolios within disruptive emerging markets. He has also Developed advanced technologies in the field of high-speed data transport, single wire and wireless power.
Mike in its role as CEO is responsible for leading the team that has built Lynk Labs brand and products to becoming a leader in the LED industry.
“Our products gained popularity because they proved their benefits to be “as advertised” to the market and our customers. We were also innovating ahead of the curve in most cases, backing it with a patent protected position and this was instrumental in our growth.”