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Sunday, October 30, 2011

LUMEN coalition launches energy-efficient lighting website

The LUMEN coalition has launched, a website dedicated to educating consumers regarding energy-efficient residential lighting options.
The LUMEN (Lighting Understanding for a More Efficient Nation) coalition, an ad-hoc coalition of organizations and professionals dedicated to informing US consumers regarding energy-efficient lighting options, has introduced its website, The LUMEN website shows that consumers can increase their energy savings per household to $100 per year by replacing less-efficient bulbs with halogen, CFL or LED options. The website includes a guide to selecting replacement bulbs, description of the new FTC Lighting Facts label, frequently asked questions and news regarding energy-efficient lighting options.

Spearheaded by the Alliance to Save Energy (Alliance), the American Lighting Association (ALA) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the coalition includes participants from more than 40 nonprofit energy-efficiency advocacy groups, utilities, lighting manufacturers and trade associations.

"A homeowner now has many more options than ever before when it comes to lighting the home. Understanding which option is best for a specific application is where LUMEN members can help the homeowner," said Larry Lauck of the American Lighting Association.
Advisory groups to the LUMEN coalition including the California Energy Commission, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the US Department of Energy, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Understanding lighting data
In addition to "enlightening" the public about the variety and benefits of new lighting choices, the LUMEN website also explains the new FTC labels that will ease the transition from measuring how much electricity a bulb uses in watts to measuring a bulb's light output in lumens. The new labels provide information on a bulb's expected operating lifetime, lifetime cost and the appearance of the white light it sheds on a continuum from cool to warm. More information regarding the interpretation of LED data can be found in the April 2011 article entitled How to interpret LED lamp data, by Jeanine Chrobak-Kando of Verbatim.

Under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, inefficient 100W bulbs will no longer be made starting January 1, 2012, though retailers can sell out their existing bulbs. The higher energy-efficiency standards will apply to 75W bulbs starting January 1, 2013, and to 60W and 40W bulbs beginning January 1, 2014.

Outdoor lighting: Osram lights Portugal streets, Cooper launches new LED light engine

Street-light-manufacturer Schréder has supplied SSL luminaires to Arraiolos, Portugal based on Osram LEDs, while Cooper Lighting has introduced a new version of its LightBAR that primarily targets outdoor lighting.

Osram Opto Semiconductors Golden Dragon Plus LEDs now light the centre-city streets of Arraiolos, Portugal in 400 Rivara luminaires manufactured by Schréder. Cooper Lightings' new LightBAR modular light engine boosts lumen output by 600 lm. Also in news from around the web we have new solid-state lighting (SSL) installations and a question of whether US stimulus money is being properly spent on LED luminaires.

In Arraiolos, each of the Schréder SSL luminaires integrates 36 3000K LEDs with a CRI of 82. The city hopes to achieve 50% energy savings with the lighting both based on baseline savings attributable to LEDs and the inclusion of an intelligent lighting management system (LMS) that will dim the lights late at night. The LMS in the installation utilizes power-line communications to enable central control of the new lights.

Schréder noted several reasons for using the Golden Dragon Plus LEDs in the installation. For starters, the LEDs have a broad 170° beam angle that provides uniform lighting. Moreover the warm-white color temperature and high CRI provide illumination that is symbiotic with the historical look of the city centre with appropriate color rendering.

"The Golden Dragon Plus-LED is characterized by exceptional color rendering and a pleasant, warm-white light," said Miguel Sampaio de Mattos, general manager of Schréder Portugal. "In addition to this, it also allows for increased safety, as the surrounding area is more clearly outlined than is the case with other lighting solutions."

New Cooper light engine
Meanwhile in outdoor lighting fixtures, Cooper Lighting has launched a new version of its modular LightBAR of which the prior version has been widely used in outdoor street and area lighting. Cooper says that the new models will enable SSL luminaires with greater lumen output and higher efficacy.

The new LightBAR modules come in versions with either 7 or 21 LEDs. Cooper offers a choice of 3000K, 4000K, and 6000K color temperatures. Moreover, the light engines can generate 13 different beam patters for applications included street lighting, floodlighting, parking-garage lighting, canopy lighting, and pathway lighting.

Like the original modules, the new LightBAR models use Cooper's AccuLED total-internal-reflection (TIR) optics on each LED to form the beam pattern. Relative to the original 21-LED LightBAR, the new version increases lumen output by 600 lm achieving a total output of 2400. Efficacy is now 100 lm/W.

Monday, October 24, 2011

LED Industry News: Philips, Dominant, Nichia, Epistar, Labsphere and UL

Philips is implementing a cost-reduction strategy, Dominant has opened an LED plant in Laos, Nichia is suing Everlight, Epistar has purchased KLA-Tencor tools, and Labsphere and UL have partnered on metrology equipment.

Philips delivers 6% sales growth, implements cost-reduction strategy
Third-quarter 2011 financial results for Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE:PHG, AEX:PHI) showed 6% overall growth, led by 8% growth in its lighting division and 32% growth in LED-based sales, comapred with the third quarter of 2010. Sales of LED-based products now account for 16% of Philips' total lighting sales.

In the lighting division, the company reported a decline in earnings due to investments in selling and R&D, higher raw material costs, and adverse performance from LED-maker Lumileds and the consumer luminaire sector. Overall earning before income tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITA) declined from 11.8 percent in Q3 2010 to 6.8 percent in Q3 2011.
The company is implementing a program, Accelerate!, to invest in growth while addressing structural change, focusing on execution, reducing overhead costs and adopting a new company culture. The program includes a cost-savings component, which will result in the loss of 4,500 jobs, 1,200 of which will be in the Netherlands.

Dominant Opto Technologies opens LED plant in Laos

Dominant Opto Technologies, an LED manufacturer based in Malaysia, held a grand opening ceremony for Dominant Semiconductors Lao, the company’s first manufacturing plant outside of Malaysia and reportedly the first semiconductor manufacturing plant in Laos.

The ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad and senior officials from related ministries and the company.
Dominant Semiconductors LAO will produce LED products including Model 3528 white LEDs, which are used for T8 tube luminaires and downlights, as well as Model 5630 LEDs for medium-power lighting and TV backlighting applications.
The plant is expected to be fully staffed with about 1000 workers by next year.

 Labsphere signs cooperative agreement with UL Verification Services
An agreement between light metrology equipment maker Labsphere, based in North Sutton, NH, and UL Verification Services of Northbrook, IL, will allow Labsphere to promote and sell UL’s Type C goniophotometers, while UL will promote and sell Labsphere’s integrating-sphere systems. The combination allows customers worldwide access to equip their laboratories with metrology products from either provider.
UL now will be promoting and selling Labsphere integrating-sphere systems with proprietary Spectraflect 99%-diffuse reflectance coating. The UL LSI moving-mirror goniophotometer Series 6400T system, which became a UL product when UL acquired Lighting Sciences Inc. (LSI) in March 2011, will form the cornerstone of the complete LM-79 laboratory solution from Labsphere and UL.

Nichia files two lawsuits against Everlight's white LED products

Nichia Corporation, based in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan, has filed two patent infringement lawsuits in Tokyo District Court. these seek to prevent Tachibana Eletech Co., Ltd., an importer and seller of LED products from Everlight, from infringing Nichia's patent number 4530094, a patent that relates to the density of phosphor inside white LED products.
Nichia is also claiming damages for the infringement with regard to white LED products GT 3528 series and 61-238 series manufactured by Everlight Electronics Co. Ltd., an LED assembly manufacturer based in Taipei County, Taiwan.
In August of this year, Nichia filed a lawsuit against a company that sold white LED products from Everlight. The defendant acknowledged that the white LED products fell within the scope of the claim of Nichia's patent and terminated sale of the products.

Epistar adopts KLA-Tencor's Candela inspection system

LED manufacturer Epistar of Hsinchu, Taiwan, has installed a Candela substrate and epitaxy wafer inspection system from KLA-Tencor Corporation (Nasdaq:KLAC), a yield-management provider based in Milpitas, California.
Epistar adopted this technology in order to automate inspection methods for sapphire substrates, ensuring vendor quality and providing visibility into the GaN epitaxy process to help detect root-cause defectivity and allow early detection of process excursions. The inspection system is designed to provide wafer-level defect detection and classification at production-grade throughputs.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

US DOE releases results from Round 13 of Caliper testing

The Round 13 summary report includes photometric performance results for LED and benchmark high-bay luminaires, LED wallpack luminaires and LED and benchmark 2x2-foot troffers.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has completed Round 13 of product testing through the Solid-State Lighting (SSL) Caliper program. The summary report containing the results is now available for download on the DOE SSL website.

Round 13 of product testing included three primary focus areas: LED and benchmark high-bay luminaires, LED wallpack luminaires, and LED and benchmark 2x2-foot troffers.
The Round 13 summary report provides an overview of photometric performance results, and compares the results with respect to similar products that use conventional light sources, results from earlier rounds of Caliper testing, and manufacturer ratings.

On average, the Round 13 LED luminaires show a significant improvement in efficacy over LED luminaires tested in 2009 and 2010, with a minimum efficacy close to the average observed in 2009–2010. In addition, the variation in performance across the Round 13 LED luminaires is less than in 2009–2010 products; that is, there were smaller differences between minimum and maximum efficacy (see chart), as well as other parameters.

The Caliper summary report from Round 12 of product testing was published in June, which included SSL recessed downlights, SSL track lights, SSL A-lamps, benchmark 100W incandescent A-lamps and 70-100W halogen equivalents, SSL replacements for linear-fluorescent lamps in high-performance troffers, and SSL and benchmark cove lights.

In April, a Caliper study of retail replacement lamps revealed vast differences among the performance of 33 commercially-available lamps. Detailed individual test reports are now available for that study.

Friday, October 21, 2011

LED R&D results: Osram demos 200 lm/W red LED at 40 mA, Intematix hits 98 CRI

Two impressive performance marks were recently set in company laboratories: Osram fabricated a red LED with an efficacy of 200 lm/W at 40 mA, while Intematix demonstrated a CRI of 98 using a blend of three phosphors.

Osram Opto makes red LED with 200 lm/W efficacy

Osram Opto Semiconductors is claiming a record efficacy value for a red LED prototype demonstrated in the company's R&D laboratory. The efficacy was 201 lm/W at an operating current of 40 mA, and 168 lm/W at a typical operating current of 350 mA.

The values were achieved for a 1-mm2 chip housed in a laboratory package and emitting at a wavelength of 609 nm. The red LED’s wall-plug efficiency was 61%. The company said that the increase in output was enabled by advances in thin-film technology.

Martin Behringer, of the LED development team at Osram Opto Semiconductors, said, “The results of this project can be extended to all the wavelengths in InGaAlP chip technology, so we anticipate a boost in efficiency in these light colors – even at 660 nm, which is the wavelength needed for plant lighting, for example. Probably we will be introducing the results of this development project across the entire wavelength spectrum into production in about a year’s time.”

Intematix combines phosphors for CRI of 98

Intematix Corporation, a Fremont, California-based provider of phosphor materials and components, announced that it has demonstrated a phosphor blend that provides a CRI of 98 and R9 value of 99 when applied to a reference LED package. The blend combines three separate phosphor material families, all offered by Intematix. The results have not been confirmed yet by an independent testing laboratory.

CRI is a light-quality measurement that grades how well a light-source renders color on a scale of 1 to 100 with sunlight producing the CRI reference of 100. It is important to note, however, that phosphor-based approaches to very high CRI come at the expense of energy efficiency.
This offering is designed to provide lighting designers with higher-CRI options for applications in retail, hospitality, residential and museum lighting. "This benchmark gives our customers the ability to create the highest quality lighting designs and fixtures," said Yiqun Li, CTO and Executive Vice President at Intematix.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

LED highway lighting project in China features a million Cree LEDs

A major highway-lighting upgrade in Shenzhen has seen the installation of more than 10,000 Kingsun LED lighting fixtures. In related news, Cree has released a 140-lm/W version of its XP-G LED.
More than 10,000 LED street lights from Kingsun Optoelectronic Co. Ltd. have been installed along nearly 75 miles of roadways in Shenzhen, China. The LED fixtures, which were installed along one tunnel and four highways, together use more than a million Cree XLamp XP-G and XP-E high-efficiency white (HEW) LEDs.

Kingsun, a leading China-based LED lighting company, illuminated Jihe highway number G15, Nanguang highway number G9411, Longda highway number S318 and Yanba highway, as well as the Dameisha Tunnel.

Kingsun installed 270-watt and 300-watt RL2R Apollo LED luminaires alongside the highways, including three traffic lanes and an emergency lane in each direction. The installation was designed to average more than 20 lux, the Chinese national standard for illumination of main roads.

A combination of Cree XLamp XP-G and XP-E LEDs were used to provide high lumen output and efficacy with a compact package size. Kingsun anticipates a 60-percent reduction in energy consumption compared to the high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures that have been replaced in the upgrade.

According to the Energy Management Contract (EMC) business model implemented by Kingsun, the energy savings associated with the Shenzhen project can be put toward the installation's upfront costs for an estimated return-on-investment of four years.

"Cree's XLamp LEDs proved to be the perfect solution for our modular lighting system, providing the illumination performance required by our light distribution scheme for this major roadway installation," said Li Xuliang, President of Kingsun Optoelectronic Co. Ltd.
"In large-scale lighting deployments like the Shenzhen Highway Project, where lumen output and efficacy are both essential and required, LED lighting is the ideal solution," said Tang Guoqing, General Manager of Cree China Sales. "Cree's broad portfolio of XLamp LEDs was selected for this demanding project because they are highly efficient and have been proven to reduce overall system costs."

The LED street-lighting installation was a key component of the 2011 Summer Universidade, an international multi-sport event, organized for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), hosted by Shenzhen in August.

Cree’s XLamp XP-G LED now delivers 140 lm/W
Cree has announced a new upper level of performance for its XLamp XP-G LEDs, which now deliver up to 140 lm/W in production quantities.
Cree describes its XLamp XP-G LEDs as “the industry’s premier LED optimized for directional lighting, used in a variety of applications from street and area lighting to PAR replacement lamps to high-output flashlights.” Cree also says it is the first LED supplier to publish 10,000 hours of lifetime data, which can allow customers to project TM-21 reported lifetimes greater than 60,000 hours, or nearly seven years.

The cool-white XLamp XP-G provides up to 148 lm and 141 lm/W (for the highest-performing bin), while the outdoor white (4000K) XP-G LED delivers up to 139 lm and 132 lm/W and warm white (3000K) offers up to 122 lm and 116 lm/W, all at 350mA.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bridgelux and Martini provide LED lighting to grocery stores in Italy

Coop grocery stores on the Adriatic Coast in Italy recently installed LED lighting fixtures from Martini Lighting, which are built using Bridgelux Décor LED arrays.

Bridgelux Inc., an LED chip and array provider based in Livermore, California, has developed the Décor line of ultra-high CRI LED arrays in cooperation with Martini Lighting, a division of Martini SpA of Milan, Italy. The arrays are designed to bring ultra-bright solid-state lighting to demanding applications such as retail, hospitality, museum and high-end architectural lighting.

 In fact, Coop retail grocers on the Adriatic Coast of Italy recently replaced incumbent lighting with Martini Lighting fixtures and Décor arrays, delivering an 80 percent decrease in energy consumption while reducing the heat and radiation that contribute to food spoilage.

The project involved the one-to-one replacement of 80-110W halogen fixtures with just-introduced 21W Virgola GM and GEX GM fixtures incorporating new Décor ES Series LED arrays.

“Our mission was to refresh the design of the interior fresh food section of the Coop supermarkets," said Ing Mingozzi, a consultant with Ricerca & Progetto design firm based in Bologna, Italy. "When we proposed to Coop a solid-state lighting solution, they discovered the technology offered significant design benefits in addition to dramatic improvements in energy efficiency.

"We believe that the decision to develop an LED-based lighting solution not only aligns with Coop’s environmental sustainability values, but also improves the environment and shopping experience in their stores."

Goals of the project included reduced maintenance cost and longer service life, both associated with LED lighting, as well as an improved shopping experience due to improved light quality.

The LED arrays feature a CRI of 97 with a 3-step MacAdams Ellipse color-control option for delivery of a full palette of colors over a wide range of light levels. The Décor line features a lumen output range of 1200 to 2500 lm at 25-50W, with R9 and R15 values of 98 for enhanced depiction of red colors and accurate representation of skin tones.

“The new Décor arrays take us to the next level, enabling very high-end lighting design,” said Giorgio Martini, VP of Martini Lighting. “We can design precision lighting effects and striking contrast ratios, enhancing the presentation of retail merchandise. The Décor arrays now permit us to deliver the highest quality light, brilliantly rendering colors and textures. These are the elements that allow us to present our shops and restaurants in living color.”
The Décor arrays feature the same form factor as previous Bridgelux array product generations, allowing field upgradeability.

Friday, October 14, 2011

TI and Maxim target retrofit lamps with LED drivers

Texas Instruments has launched the LM3448 targeting 2-8W lamps and the TPS92070 targeting 6-20W lamps, while Maxim has introduced an SSL driver for global usage.

Texas Instruments (TI) utilized the stage afforded by Strategies in Light Europe to launch two dimmable LED driver ICs – the TPS92070 flyback controller and the LM3448 developed by National Semiconductor before the recent acquisition by TI.

Separately, Maxim Integrated Products introduced the MAX16841 driver for global solid-state-lighting (SSL) applications with support for AC input ranging from 90-265V and dimmers that are prevalent in the US, Japan, China, and Europe.
                                                                                                                                                                 New driver ICs from TI

TI's new driver ICs are both targeted at AC-powered lighting applications such as retrofit lamps with support for phase-cut triac-based dimmers. The TPS92070 driver IC targets 6W to 20W applications and can also be used in SSL luminaires such as downlights and wall washers. The IC includes power-factor correction (PFC) providing a power factor greater than 0.8 based on a valley-fill circuit. The IC will automatically disable the PFC circuit if it detects a dimmer ensuring optimized dimming response.

The LM3448 utilizes a step-down buck regulator to provide constant output current to LEDs. The IC is specifically designed for space-constrained and cost-sensitive applications such as integral lamps that require minimal external components. The design can handle 2W to 8W applications with full-range dimming and can be combined with external PFC circuits.

Both of the new products include protection features such as thermal shutdown, under-voltage lockout, current limiting, and protection for LED open circuits. Both also integrate the MOSFETs needed to output the pulse-width modulation (PWM) signal that sets the dimming level for LEDs. The products mark the first announcement in the LED lighting space since TI completed the acquisition of National Semiconductor, establishing clear market leadership in LED driver ICs.

Both of the new TI drivers are available now and both come in 16-pin packages. The LM3448 sells for $1.10 and the TPS92070 sells for $0.75 – both in 1000-unit quantities. And both can be used in 110V or 220V lamp designs.

Maxim retrofit lamp driver

Maxim's latest LED driver IC also targets retrofit lamp applications driven from the AC power line. The company says that the MAX16841 driver supports flicker-free dimming from zero to maximum output with leading-edge triac and trailing-edge transistor dimmers – including dimmers sold internationally for 220V operation.

The MAX16841 design can be used in an isolated flyback topology that would be typical in universal lamps for 220V operation or nonisolated buck configurations that might be used in 110V applications.

The new driver can also work in lamp designs that eliminate the electrolytic capacitor. That capacitor is a likely failure point and also increases the size of the driver. Lamp makers may find that eliminating it reduces cost and increases reliability, although some such designs have suffered from flicker in the past. Maxim says it has solved the performance issues in designs that eliminate the capacitor.

The MAX16841 can operate over a temperature range of -40 to +125° C. The compact 8-pin device starts at $1.35 in 1000 unit volumes.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UL’s lighting division signs partner agreement with LUX-TSI Ltd

A UK-based testing company for solid-state lighting has signed a partnership agreement that will enable UL to expand its lighting services in Europe.
LUX-TSI, a solid-state lighting (SSL) product-testing laboratory based in Wales, UK, has signed a Preferred Partner Agreement with UL (Underwriters Laboratories), the global safety accreditation organization.

The agreement with LUX-TSI will enable UL to extend its services for lighting-product performance and safety certification and support in UK and Northern Europe.
"We are so pleased to have this partnership with the world’s leading safety-science organization,” said Gareth Jones, CEO of LUX-TSI. “In addition to expanding UL's services in Europe, LUX-TSI has the opportunity to leverage UL's world-leading certification offerings and knowledge base in order to provide manufacturers with the most efficient method in obtaining testing and certification for lighting products."

"LUX-TSI in partnership with UL is able to provide small- to medium-sized manufacturers with a comprehensive support for pre-compliance testing through to full product certification," added Jones.

UL selects its Preferred Partners (which are independent contractors of UL) based on service offerings that can provide efficient solutions and enhanced certification packages to customers. In addition, UL provides Preferred Partners with further training, dedicated engineering resources and customer service support.

UL’s agreement with LUX-TSI is expected to reduce the cost and time to market of new product introductions by providing expert advice and local testing facilities focused on energy-efficient lighting for the UK and Northern European markets.

"The partnership with LUX-TSI shows UL’s further commitment to the lighting industry as we continue to significantly expand our footprint, our focus, offering new services, initiatives and programs that address and anticipate the evolving needs of our customers," said Alberto Uggetti, VP & General Manager Global HALC Industries (HVAC, Appliances, Lighting, Components).

Friday, October 7, 2011

PennWell acquires The LED Show, plans 2012 event in Las Vegas

PennWell Corp. has acquired the assets of The LED Show conference and exhibition from James Highgate and will hold the event next July 30 – August 1 in Las Vegas, NV.

Tulsa, OK-based PennWell Corp., the parent company of LEDs Magazine, announced that it has acquired The LED Show conference and exhibition from founder James Highgate who will now serve as a consultant to PennWell. PennWell will hold the solid-state-lighting (SSL)-centric event in 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV from July 30 to August 1.

Highgate founded the conference in 2009, focused on lighting design and technology in the SSL segment of the lighting industry. The show has featured participants including leading LED manufacturers and the top SSL luminaire manufacturers, and is poised for growth in concert with the growing LED-lighting segment.

"This event provides a perfect opportunity to expand our editorial excellence, expert market intelligence, extensive promotion, and strong industry reputation to the lighting industry, " said Christine Shaw, senior vice president and group publisher of Pennwell's LEDs & Lighting Media Group. "With the addition of The LED Show, the full spectrum of the industry is uniquely represented in our franchise."

This past July, The LED Show attracted more than 3000 attendees and 87 exhibitors to the Las Vegas venue. The registrants included architects, electrical engineers, home builders, hotel engineers, and lighting designers – and came from all corners of the globe.

Shaw will manage The LED Show as part of the LEDs & Lighting Media Group that also includes LEDs Magazine; the Strategies Unlimited market research operations that's focused on photonics, LEDS, and lighting; and the Strategies in Light conference and exhibition series with events in the US, Japan, Europe, and China. The LEDs & Lighting Media Group is a part of PennWell's Technology Group based in Nashua, NH.

Highgate will help PennWell in its endeavor to grow the event. He said, "I am pleased that PennWell, as the world’s leading and most respected provider of information to the LEDs and lighting community, will further promote the development of our goals for the industry and enhance the event."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cree launches TEMPO luminaire testing program

Aimed at Cree’s LED component customers, the TEMPO luminaire testing and evaluation program includes 21 key test points across thermal, electrical, mechanical, photometric, and optical design elements.

One recurring obstacle to broad deployment of solid-state lighting (SSL) is the complexity of developing reliable LED-based lighting systems, and Cree plans to help its LED component customers with its new TEMPO (Thermal Electrical Mechanical Photmetric Optical) luminaire testing and evaluation program. Luminaire designers can utilize Cree services to validate a design before joining what's become a queue at LM-79 testing labs.

TEMPO is essentially a sequence of services that Cree LED customers can access throughout the design cycle of integral lamps or luminaires. For example, Cree will help with optical and thermal simulations early in the design process. Later in the process Cree offers what it calls SPOT (Single Point Of Test) testing on a light engine. And then the TEMPO-21 test, covering 21 test points, will be performed on complete luminaire or lamp designs.
At the conclusion of the TEMPO-21 tests Cree will deliver a sizeable document to the customer who can then share that data with its customers, providing a third-party validation of performance. Table 1 is taken from the Executive Summary of a sample TEMPO-21 test that Cree performed on one of its reference designs. That table is focused primarily on optical and photometric properties and power consumption, but the full document addresses the other design elements as well.

According to Mark McClear, global director of applications engineering at Cree, the TEMPO concept evolved from bad design practices in the field that often lead to luminaire makers blaming the component supplier. McClear used an example where a customer chose improper glue that created gases as temperature increased inside the luminaire, damaging the LEDs.

McClear said that luminaire makers have no-one to turn to for help and often approach LM-79 and Energy Star testing not knowing if their design will pass. There are specialty firms that might evaluate a thermal design for a substantial fee. LM-79 testing cost $1000 or more, and manufacturers often must wait for a test slot.
Some of the other tests that TEMPO-21 includes in the electrical area are driver efficiency, transient analysis, dimmer compatibility, power analysis, and Hi-pot testing for dielectric breakdown. In the thermal and mechanical area, the tests include validation of a proper solder point for junction-temperature monitoring, thermal imaging with an infrared camera, and a chemical compatibility analysis. The test also includes a TM-21-based estimate of product lifetime that accounts for the thermal design of the fixture, and a review against Energy Star criteria.

Ultimately TEMPO-21 is both a superset and subset of LM-79 which McClear says covers only about half of the evaluation points that are critical to judge a design. But Cree can't perform the complete LM-79 test suite right now. Expect that to change, however, as the company is planning to install a moving-mirror Type C goniophotometer that is required for some LM-79 tests.
That leads to the question of whether Cree will seek official recognition as a Certification Body so that it could handle LM-79 and Energy Star testing for its customers. However, McClear said the company has no such plans for now.

Cree believes it can offer the TEMPO services with turnaround times in days rather than weeks and help customers accelerate time to market. SPOT tests will cost only $300 and a full TEMPO-21 test will cost $1200. The company is clearly not looking to profit directly from the services at those price levels, but rather TEMPO is simply another way to achieve Cree's stated mission of accelerating the adoption of LED lighting.

Although TEMPO was formally introduced in late September, the company has already performed a number of TEMPO-21 tests for customers. When asked if he knew of any similar program at other LED vendors, McClear said, "I think this is something the other component vendors should consider doing."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Welland to replace all street lights with LEDs

Welland, Ontario, is to replace 4300 street lights and 2410 decorative fixtures with LED lights from Appalachian Lighting Systems.

The City Council in Welland, Ontario, Canada, has voted unanimously in favor of a recommendation to completely replace the city’s streetlights with LED fixtures.

The Council has approved entering into an agreement with SSL Energy Solutions and Appalachian Lighting Systems Inc. (ALSI) to replace the existing street lighting system throughout the City with ALSI’s ALLED fixtures equipped with the ALLink control system.

The Council also approved financing of the capital cost of CAN$2.74 million through a debenture. This will be paid back by utilizing the savings from the program. The LED retrofit program is expected to reduce street-lighting energy costs by $221,553 and street-lighting maintenance costs by $159,250 in year one.

Phase 1 of the project will include the replacement of 4300 Cobra-head high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures, as follows:

661 units of 100W HPS replaced with 30W LED fixtures
1574 units of 135W HPS replaced with 30W LED fixtures
1063 units of 190W HPS replaced with 50W LED fixtures
983 units of 285W HPS replaced with 77W LED fixtures
19 units of 485W HPS replaced with 120W LED fixtures

The ALLED SSL fixtures are equipped with ALLink monitoring and control system and software, enabling the lights to be remotely monitored and controlled from a computer or handheld device. The full Phase 1 installation is expected to be complete by April 2012. Phase 2 will consist of the replacement of 2410 decorative fixtures.

Welland estimates that the total cost of operating its current HPS-based lighting system will amount to almost $18 million over 15 years, which is the “estimated true cost of doing nothing.” By switching to LED lighting, the City will save a total of $6.8 million in operating costs. After paying the various charges including debt repayments, the city will save a net amount of $2.38 million over the 15-year term of the agreement.

Also, the City will reduce its annual carbon emissions from 2.1 million kg CO2 to 541,000 kg CO2. The project document says that the City might also benefit from carbon-credit sales
Welland staff led by David Ferguson, Manager of Traffic, Parking & Bylaw Operations, began reviewing LED lighting in 2007 when staff identified that the current street-lighting infrastructure was becoming outdated and in need of replacement.

When the entire project is completed in December 2012, the municipality believes it will become the first in North America to have completely converted its entire street-lighting network to LEDs.