Insights From Industry Leaders: Plessey Semiconductors

With one in eight employees working in engineering and manufacturing, Plymouth has the highest concentration of this type of employment in any city south of the Midlands.

Consequently, this sector represents a significant part of the city’s increasingly important STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) economy, which became the chosen theme for The Plymouth Manufacturing Group (PMG) inaugural Christmas lecture – held at Plymouth University on 10.12.15.

Expert presentation
The guest speaker was Professor Sir Colin Humphreys, CBE, Professor and Director of research in the Dept. of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge. His presentation was entitled, “LED lighting is not just for Christmas trees” and below we discuss the background, key takeaways and insights into a leading company in the engineering and manufacturing sector.

Duncan Banks, CEO at IU Energy:
Key takeaways from “‘LED lighting is not just for Christmas trees”

1) Check the LED drivers match the quality of the LEDs
In the wider market, particularly Plessey, we have excellent LED’s and excellent led components. However, not all LEDs are not the same. In some LEDs the driver  units are not of a high quality and degrade the working life of the light units.  My advice is advice is to make sure your LED drivers match the quality of the LED lighting.

2) LED is the often most cost-effective way to reduce energy in businesses
It is also a common solution to reducing energy costs, however, companies should ensure the quality of power to LED lighting before making an investment decision.

3) Wiring and quality of power supply directly affects the effectiveness of the LED
When considering LED, take in consideration the current wiring and quality of power supply as this determines the life expectancy of the LED.

About the Speaker and Plessey
Prof. Sir Colin Humphreys has been working closely with Plymouth-based manufacturer (and PMG member) Plessey Semiconductors, to help place the company at the forefront of the solid state lighting revolution. In 2012, Plessey acquired technology to grow a remarkable man-made material that can emit light in every part of the colour spectrum when electricity passes through it.

Award-winning technology
Plessey’s MaGIC™ (Manufactured on GaN-on-Si I/C) LED technology has won numerous awards for its innovation and ability to cut the cost of LED lighting by using standard silicon manufacturing techniques.

Their aim: to put energy efficient lighting within financial reach of the consumer.

The company is addressing a market that could be worth up to $42 billion by 2019. Plessey are now transforming their facilities at Roborough, Devon and creating a significant number of new jobs.


Plessey’s ability to manufacture LEDs at a fraction of their costs, thanks to a unique process developed by Professor sir Colin Humphries in the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride, is what sets them apart and considered an industry leader.

Plessey state the LED market is said to:

♦  Almost double its penetration into the global lighting market by 2020
♦  Save trillions of kWh of electricity, equivalent to the output of hundreds of power plants
♦  Reduce emissions of CO2 by billions of tonnes
♦  Provide hundreds of billions of dollars in energy savings

Key message: All LEDs are not the same

LED Lighting
Useful links:

For more information about Plessey, their products and awards click here.

For information on PMG and how you can get involved, click here.

To contact IU Energy about LED projects you may be interested in, call 01752 262626 or click here.