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Thursday, June 30, 2011

New players make SSL outdoor lighting news at Lightfair tradeshow

All of the major players in LED-based street and area lighting had compelling Lightfair demonstrations, but new entrants, some with products based on larger LEDs, made the headlines.

LED-based lighting is a proven winner in street- and area-lighting applications outdoors, and Lightfair International (LFI) yielded the expected onslaught of new and expanded product lines. And while established solid-state lighting (SSL) players in the space were omnipresent, some luminaire makers new to SSL made news, and manufacturers of larger LED chips seem to finally be positioned to succeed in outdoor applications.

While bright LED sources, optical efficiency, and low power are all important in outdoor street and area lighting none of those attributes matter if a luminaire can’t form an effective beam pattern. Outdoor lights must evenly illuminate the target area such as a street with minimum light trespass on buildings and into the sky. Luminaires based on large numbers of small emitters covered by total internal reflection (TIR) lenses have so far proven superior at forming the desired patterns.

Assuming such larger LEDs can be effective in forming the desired beam pattern, the devices could simplify outdoor luminaire designs based on the fact that fewer components are required and potentially designers can use simpler drivers.

Eye Lighting uses large TIR lenses

Eye Lighting demonstrated its new KiaroLED luminaire both in its own booth and in the Luminus booth. The product family utilizes the Luminus SST-90 LED that has a package size of 10x11 mm, but with an emitter diameter of around 3 mm. Most LED area lights use 1-mm or smaller emitters.

Combining reflectors and optics

Bridgelux, meanwhile, demonstrated LED-based area lights from Eagle Eye Lighting and SimplyLEDs. Bridgelux doesn’t make individual emitters that match in size those from Luminus, but the arrays offered by Bridgelux can be equally large.
Eagle Eye makes LED-based retrofit kits for existing street lights such as high-pressure-sodium (HPS) cobrahead-style lights. The company developed a module that includes LEDs, optics, driver, and a heat sink. The nearby photo shows a retrofitted light with two of the modules installed.

Eagle Eye has expertise both in LED lighting technology and in designing custom optics. The street-light design combines a custom optic and recesses the LEDs in a reflector box to form the beam pattern. The company offers its technology in Type I, II, and III beam patterns.

SimplyLEDs makes acorn-style LED lighting. It sells its products both as retrofit kits and finished products. The Anello family, for example, can create Type III and IV beam patterns. The acorn style light eliminates the need for a TIR or other optics. Instead, the Anello design utilizes nine Bridgelux arrays, each with 12 emitters that radiate light outwards. A reflector helps spread light downward.

LSG pushes integration

Lighting Science Group (LSG) also demonstrated a highly-integrated LED-based street light that could really lower the cost of entry for deploying LED lighting outdoors. LSG isn’t brand new to outdoor lighting although it isn’t as entrenched as companies such as BetaLED, GE Lighting and Cooper. In fact, LSG may be better known for indoor retrofit lamps, but its new outdoor design could change that.

LSG demonstrated its new Roadmaster design in its LFI booth that integrated the driver directly on the printed-circuit board with the LEDs. In fact, the company designed the driver without an electrolytic capacitor on the output; this is the most likely failure point in most drivers. LSG Chief Development Officer David Henderson said, “We eliminate that failure point and take the cost out.”

The 65W design is meant to replace 100W HPS lights that according to Henderson actually dissipate around 128W. LSG hasn’t set an exact price but expects to sell the luminaire in the $200 to $220 range starting later this year. At that price point, Henderson asserted that the product would pay for itself in a period equal to the first time an HPS bulb would need to be replaced – and that was based on maintenance savings alone. The initial product won’t be dimmable, but LSG plans to add that feature down the road.

Of course it’s easy to demonstrate new technology and sometimes tough to deliver it. Typically drivers with no electrolytic capacitor can create flicker due to ripple current. But Henderson said the ripple is lower in the new driver design than in previous products that use a capacitor. Warranty hasn’t been set but Henderson said it would be at least five years.

Slim design provides elegant look

Of the established leaders in the street-lighting segment, BetaLED had the most appealing new design at LFI. The company announced the LEDway SLM (single light module) and LEDway SLM IP66. The fixtures are essentially identical with the exception that the latter is IP-66 rated.

The luminaires deliver a sleek new look relative to cobrahead-styled lights. The luminaires are long and slim and use a single BetaLED light bar. The luminaires can replace 70W to 250W HPS fixtures and are meant primarily for residential streets.

Outdoor Lighting: Cooper installs LEDs in Ohio, Baltimore fights utility over SSL

Bryan, Ohio is realizing 30% to 35% in energy savings – 5% to 10% better than projected – after installing a mix of LED-based cobrahead and post-top luminaires in place of high-pressure-sodium (HPS) lights. Baltimore, Maryland hopes to start a transition to LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL) for its 70,000 street lights, but the local utility is blocking such a move using safety concerns as a reason whereas a local newspaper suspects revenue from maintenance services is the actual motivation.

In Bryan, the city sought replacements for 150W HPS fixtures. The city selected a mix of 80W Cooper Streetworks OVH LED Cobraheads and 70W CLB Generation LED Decorative Post Top Luminaires. Cooper won the business to replace 329 of the 1400 total lights that the city plans to upgrade. The selection process included four vendors competing to deliver products with a 4000K color temperature.

"Many of our existing streetlights were Cooper Lighting fixtures and we believe that Cooper is an industry leader in testing and warranties of LEDs, so we were confident that we could rely on the company to provide superior luminaires to meet our goals in lighting and energy savings," said Steve Casebere of Bryan Municipal Utilities. “The transition to LED street lights comes from a long history of lighting Bryan's streets with the best fixtures of the time.”

The Bryan project is being funded in part by a $540,000 matching grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The mix of cobrahead and post-top fixtures provides improved roadway lighting while delivering the city’s desired aesthetic ambiance in some areas, according to Cooper.

Still the project would only make sense if it delivered the energy savings that were originally projected at 25% to 30%, but the new installation has proven to be even better. "As an electric power utility, we wanted to reduce our carbon footprint and light pollution. Cooper's LED products helped us achieve those goals as the products are Dark Sky compliant and use less energy," continued Casebere. "Ultimately, this helped us deliver on our business goal of keeping energy rates low since using less power means we purchase less power. Most importantly, we are able to keep customer rates stable."

According to an article in The Baltimore Sun, BGE is using a safety issue as a reason to block a transition that Baltimore wants to make that could eventually save the city $7 million per year with LEDs. The utility claims that the retrofit would only be safe if the utility were to install circuit breakers upstream from the lights and the cost of the circuit breakers would counter any savings from the transition to LEDs.

A consultant has suggested that Baltimore could reduce energy use by 40% if it installed LEDs on its 70,000 street lights.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LED lighting installed in London road tunnel

In a UK first, linear LED lighting has been installed in a central London tunnel by Transport for London (TfL), helping to improve safety and reduce maintenance closures as well as cut energy consumption and costs.

The Upper Thames Street westbound tunnel is now entirely lit with LED lights. The design and colour of the lights is intended to improve visibility for cyclists and motorists to boost safety.

LED tunnel lights in London

Projections show that the cost of lighting the Upper Thames Street tunnel could fall from around GBP 50,000 each year to less than GBP 10,000. The LED lights are expected to last for 20 years, as opposed to the existing system's two-year life span, significantly reducing the need for maintenance closures. Also, the tunnel lights will cut CO2 emissions by more than 60 per cent.

The LED system is contributing towards the Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s target of a 60% reduction in the Capital’s CO2 emissions by 2025, and will deliver an estimated saving around 163 tonnes of CO2emissions per year.

Philips SpeedStar road-lighting LED luminaire is carbon neutral

Lighting manufacturer Philips has announced that its SpeedStar LED road-lighting luminaire has been awarded a certificate of carbon neutrality by the Carbon Neutral Group (CNG).

The certificate acknowledges that the carbon footprint of the SpeedStar fitting has been offset by investing in CNG’s greenhouse-gas-reduction projects.

The Climate Neutral Group is a social venture investing in a wide portfolio of greenhouse-gas-reduction projects around the world, thus generating carbon credits. These credits are sold to companies, in this case Philips, to offset against the carbon emissions caused by the company’s manufacturing and supply-chain processes.

The carbon footprint of SpeedStar is calculated by Philips using standard methodologies. It takes into account both production (including all materials as well as transportation of all the parts from suppliers to Philips’ factory) and recycling.

It’s worth pointing out that the carbon-neutral designation doesn’t include the operational phase of the luminaire. Philips says that the usage phase should be assessed on a project basis, since system-level approaches such as dimming via network control systems can drastically reduce the overall energy consumption.

Also, the SpeedStar platform is designed to be regularly updated by replacing the LED light engine, in order to reduce the energy consumption by

The initiative is complementary with the Philips EcoVision program, which has reduced the environmental impact of Philips manufacturing plants over the last decade.

The SpeedStar luminaire, recently honoured with the iF product design award 2011, has been designed to help local authorities create more-liveable urban environments. Whilst concerned for road safety, city and town councils are coming under increasing pressure to reduce energy consumption at the same time as complying with lighting standards. Philips SpeedStar addresses these issues, says the company. The luminaire incorporates a compact, flat LED engine which is easy to replace and which also offers the flexibility of a modular system.

LED street lights improve visibility at UK highway junction

Philips recently collaborated with the UK Highways Agency to install LED streetlights at a critical access road to improve visibility while reducing required maintenance.

The UK Highways Agency and their main vehicle for highway management, AOne+, worked with Philips to provide the access road at Junction 22 of the M6 highway with high-quality white light with the potential to reduce and prevent road accidents.

Maintenance of the luminaires is drastically reduced based on the estimated lifetime of 60,000 hours.

Neal Symmons of the Highways Agency said: “Public authorities across the UK are increasingly looking to lower their energy and maintenance bills by investing in the most efficient technology. However, public safety remains our highest priority. Philips has provided us with a lighting solution that not only helps to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs, but provides superior lighting quality that helps to enhance safety and security on the roads.”

The project uses Philips' carbon-neutral peedStar luminaire to provide uniform light distribution with a smooth transition from primary to secondary areas. The LEDGINE Greenline upgradeable platform is compatible with most commercially available lighting controls.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Luminus LEDs power new tactical flashlights

Some high brightness flashlights are built with around single LED from Luminus.

The JetBeam RRT-3 has a maximum output of 1200 lumens, providing an effective range of 700+ yards.

The flashlights utilize Luminus’s SST-50 "big-chip" LED, a high-lumen-output, single-chip package. With an input power of 5
watts, the LED has an efficacy in excess of 100 lm/W, color temperatures ranging from 3,000K-6,500K, and L70 lumen maintenance of 60,000 hours.

50 big-chip LEDs are superior to traditional high intensity discharge lamp solutions being used in today’s reflection systems.

Luminus says that the LEDs are also ideal for retail and residential track lighting, PAR/ MR replacement lamps, high bay/low bay commercial and industrial lighting, and outdoor area lighting including roadway and acorn fixtures.

Lemax Lx9

ARC Show sees Arrow team with Carclo

This year’s ARC Show 2011 featured a number of interesting LED-related companies and products, and some relevant business announcements.

The ARC Show 2011 took place on January 12-13 and as usual showcased a number of lighting and component companies working with LEDs. Among the various announcements around the show, Arrow signed a distribution agreement with Carclo, and Architainment was announced as an authorized distributor for EcoSense Lighting (see below).

The ARC Show covers architectural, retail and corporate lighting (hence the initials), and has returned to its original home in the Business Design Centre, London, an older building which makes good use of daylighting:

ARC Show at the Business Design Center

mini-pi 1 lights from Belgium-based Trizo21

AlphaLED (Projection Lighting) builds luminaires using Xicato modules (below), including the 2200-lm linear version. A new version of the standard circular module will produce 2000-lm, and AlphaLED had a prototype luminaire using this module in combination with a very large reflector to produce a powerful 10-degree beam:

Xicato modules on AlphaLED booth

Crescent Lighting showcased a range of LEDZ downlights from Endo, a Japan-based manufacturer, which are based around removable/replaceable LED modules.

Endo downlights on Crescent Lighting booth