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Friday, June 24, 2011

Cree demonstrates LED downlight for the residential market

Cree has unveiled a new downlight that produces warm white light with high color rendering index and good efficiency.

Cree LED Lighting demonstrated the 2010 International Builder’s Show in Las Vegas a new 6-inch LED downlight designed for the residential market. This is a redesigned version of the original LR6 downlight, which shipped more than 350,000 units.

The downlight uses the same TrueWhite technology as Cree's other fixtures to deliver warm-white light (2700K) with high CRI of 90. The nominal light output is 575 lumens at an input power of 12W (around 48 lm/W).The CR6 provides an alternative for home owners that would like to install energy-efficient lighting but are not impressed with the available light quality from CFLs.

A price in the region of $60 puts the CR6 roughly on par with a CFL fixture, including the housing (i.e the can that goes into the ceiling void in North American downlights), the trim (the part of the fixture that's visible) and the lamp.

The CR6 is designed to fit directly into existing housings. Trott estimates that with an operating time of around 6 hour per day, the payback from energy savings is likely to be around 3 years, depending on energy costs. This is a potentially huge market, since the number of available of sockets is in the hundreds of million.

The slightly lower output of the CR6, coupled with the higher performance of current-generation LEDs, means that fewer LEDs are required. The thermal system has been improved, helped by using more efficient LEDs. One very noticeable difference (see photos) is that the large die-cast aluminum heat-sink has been removed from the design, and the fixture body now acts as the heat sink.

Cree has also taken a "fresh approach" to the driver technology, with the intention to maintain performance and cut costs. There is no residential LED downlight on the market today that can come close to matching the value and performance of the CR6.

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