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Thursday, May 31, 2012

GE Lighting and UGL Limited install LED street lights in Sydney

The city of Sydney, Australia plans to convert 6450 street and area lights to SSL and has entered into a contract with GE Lighting and UGL Limited to handle the retrofit.
Sydney, Australia plans to retrofit 6,450 street and area lights with LED luminaires following an 18-month trial of LED lights in park and street applications. GE Lighting will partner in the AUS $7 million (USD $7.4 million) solid-state lighting (SSL) retrofit with UGL Limited.

George Street in Sydney

Sydney projects energy savings of AUS $800,000 (USD $850,000) annually and a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. According to the city, one third of its annual energy use is attributable to public lighting. The lighting project is an element of Sydney's Sustainable 2030 program that is intended, by 2030, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% relative to 2006 levels.

Sydney tested LED lights extensively in Alexandria Park, Circular Quay, George St, Kings Cross, and Martin place. The city wanted to assess the quality of lighting in addition to the potential energy and maintenance savings. The city said that a public survey found that 90% of the people found the LED lighting appealing and 75% said it afforded improved visibility.

Sydney's Martin Place

The Sydney LED lighting project will utilize several SSL luminaires from GE Lighting. For example, decorative Duna LED fixtures will be used in post-top applications. Round Iberia LED fixtures will serve in urban lighting. And for roadways the project will rely on the R250 LED Road luminaires.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

GE introduces Lumination LED troffer

GE Lighting Solutions has brought to market a recessed LED troffer that is dimmable and provides up to 26 percent savings in electricity cost relative to fluorescent alternatives.
GE Lighting Solutions of East Cleveland, OH, has introduced its first commercial product in the Lumination brand line. It is a recessed LED troffer offered in 600x600-cm (2x2 ft) and 300x1200-cm (1x4 ft) versions with a panel thickness of only 14 mm (0.5 in). Both sizes are offered in 3000K, 3500K and 4000K configurations.

FIG. 1.

The ceiling panel is designed for office, retail (Fig. 1), healthcare and education environments. The troffer is designed to compete with fluorescent fixtures and installs in common T-bar ceiling grids. A built-in dimmable driver, which brings the installed thickness to 64 mm (2.5 in), is designed to ease installation.

A critical aspect of the panel design is the technology used to achieve a particular distribution of light from the panel to the target area. Cree XP-G LEDs are mounted horizontally along the side of the panel while an optical film that incorporates high-efficiency microprismatic materials optimizes the photometric distribution. GE licensed this microprismatic material, called MicroLens, from Sunnyvale, CA-based Rambus. Using proprietary optical modeling software and design techniques, MicroLens optimizes the light distribution across an entire surface or focuses the light in specific locations. Luminous output is 3550 lm at 50W and 4000K or 3220 lm at 3000K and 50W. CRI is 80.

When illuminated, the Lumination LED troffer produces an even glow and complies with the required UGR 19 glare rating for office lighting. When the panel is off, it appears free of a light source, unlike fluorescent fixtures.

“The Lumination brand signals our arrival in LED fixture design and aspires to shape the future of indoor lighting,” says Steve Briggs, vice president of marketing and product management for GE Lighting Solutions. “Whether making a bold statement in your office, optimizing a selling environment to dazzle customers or creating a calming healthcare setting, these fixtures are unlike anything you’ve seen before.”

FIG. 2.

The projected life to 85 percent of initial lumens is 50,000 hours and the product is supplied with a 5-year warranty. DALI or 1-10V dimming is standard and the system is compatible with daylight harvesting control systems for additional energy savings.
GE provided an energy savings analysis comparison with various fluorescent fixtures (Fig. 2). The minimal energy savings is 11 percent annually relative to a four-lamp T5 fluorescent tube configuration. Estimated energy savings of 26 percent can be achieved relative to a two-lamp twin-tube fluorescent configuration.

GE Lighting Solutions has stated that it expects to introduce more than ten new luminaires in the next year and a half including including linear, suspended-fixture and surface-mounted troffers.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lighting Controls: Daintree gets ZigBee recognition, CommScope, Redwood Systems, and Digital Lumens

Daintree Networks has received ZigBee Certified recognition for its Wireless Area Controller product designed for lighting control in commercial applications, while CommScope and Redwood Systems announced a controls-oriented partnership and Digital Lumens announced participation in a Sacramento controls incentive program.
Controls-specialist Daintree Networks has gained ZigBee Certified status for its lighting-oriented Wireless Area Controller (WAC) that serves at the center of its ControlScope platform. The ZigBee Alliance certified the WAC for use in both ZigBee Building Automation and ZigBee Home Automation systems.

Networked-lighting-systems provider Digital Lumens announced that it will participate in the Advanced Lighting Controls (ALC) Incentive Program created by the Sacramento Municipal District (SMUD) in California's capital city to reduce lighting energy usage. Building-control-network specialist CommScope announced a partnership with networked-lighting specialist Redwood Systems to marry building and lighting controls.

ZigBee Certified
Daintree has been focused on the wireless, mesh ZigBee network as the basis for its lighting-control system since inception. CEO Danny Yu said, "Daintree Networks is proud to be the first ZigBee Building Automation lighting solution to obtain ZigBee Certified product status, an important milestone in our mission to bring wireless lighting controls to the mass market of commercial buildings."

Daintree's Technology includes the WAC that bridges the ControlScope lighting-management software to ZigBee-enabled light fixtures, occupancy and light sensors, control panels and switches, and other network elements (see image). The standards-based approach has been a missing element in lighting-control systems.

ZigBee compliance will ultimately mean that lighting designers can seamlessly mix and match fixtures, sensors and controllers from multiple vendors. And the ZigBee Alliance just completed the ZigBee Building Automation standards this past September.

Ryan Maley, vice president of strategy at the ZigBee Alliance, said, "The ZigBee Building Automation standard is the choice for intelligent wireless control of HVAC, lighting and other devices across commercial buildings." Daintree's Yu added, "Throughout our nine-year association with the ZigBee Alliance, Daintree has been a strong advocate for the value of open, interoperable communications standards. Our work and certification with the ZigBee Building Automation standard represent an important step towards building-wide, intelligent wireless control networks."

Digital Lumens
While a full ZigBee stack for automation may escalate the deployment of controls, other companies have already had significant success in installing systems. Indeed Digital Lumens has supplied its end-to-end lighting control system in a number of installations finding particular success in warehouses and cold-storage buildings. Examples include Americold refrigerated facilities, Maines Paper & Food warehouses, and Quandt's Foodservice warehouses.

Digital Lumens supplies the fixtures and control technology in its Intelligent Lighting System. The system is built on ZigBee's lower network layers but by necessity includes some proprietary elements given it launched long before there was a ZigBee Building Automation Standard.

Sacramento funding
The Sacramento ALC program, meanwhile, will offer rebates that total $1 million through the end of 2013 using federal stimulus funding. The SMUD hopes to reduce lighting energy by 50-75% in local businesses.

"SMUD provides energy solutions for our customers that help them reduce usage and save money," said Dave Bisbee, program manager of SMUD's Customer Advanced Technologies group. "This program has been the culmination of very thorough research and is designed to meet SMUD's ambitious energy efficiency goals set by our board of directors."

Digital Lumens is working with its distribution partners to identify buildings that range between 20,000 and 100,000 square feet that may be eligible for funding. The awards will top out at $100,000 or a maximum of 80% of the cost of a project. "The ALC Program provides a direct path to energy savings that customers might not have otherwise taken, and we commend SMUD for facilitating the adoption of energy-efficient industrial lighting," said Mike Feinstein, vice president of sales and marketing at Digital Lumens.

CommScope and RedWood
Redwood Systems, meanwhile, has been focused on a proprietary, wired, networked-lighting system that uses low-voltage, computer-network-like cables to send power and data to light fixtures. CommScope is focused on intelligent buildings and the integration of data networks and building-automation networks.

The companies' technologies may prove synergistic. "Information technology in buildings does not only refer to PCs and telephones," said Morgan Kurk, senior vice president of enterprise solutions at CommScope. "It also includes a building's automation system. With lighting accounting for as much as 35% of the energy used in commercial buildings, stringent building codes are now requiring greater energy efficiency from lighting systems. The Redwood platform's ability to run over structured cabling and integrate with building automation systems made them a natural fit as CommScope's lighting provider of choice."

Like Digital Lumens, Redwood Systems has had measurable success with its proprietary system. Examples include installations at Volkswagen Group and SAP Labs.

Intematix receives $16.2 million in new funding round

Phosphor maker Intematix says it will use the new funding to expand facilities and continue to develop its product range.
Phosphor manufacturer Intematix has received $16.2 million in funding from current investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Crosslink Capital, as well as from a new investor.
Fremont, California-based Intematix plans to use the latest round for facility expansion, working capital and development of its phosphor products and ChromaLit remote-phosphor products.

“LED technology is the future of lighting, and Intematix’s phosphors and remote phosphors are key components to making this possible,” said Maurice Carson, the company’s CFO. “This investment further enables Intematix to continue its growth trajectory as it addresses the light quality needs required by the general lighting and display markets.”

Intematix says that its phosphors enable white light that is “comparable to conventional sources,” while its ChromaLit remote-phosphor systems “have shown more efficient cooling leading to compact light-bulb solutions.”

“Intematix is a key provider of the light quality needed for general adoption of LEDs in lighting,” said Alain Harrus, board member of Intematix and partner at Crosslink Capital. “Intematix is extremely well-positioned to advance solid-state lighting technology across the world, and to benefit from the current intense market focus on quality of light.”

Monday, May 14, 2012

DOE reopens L-Prize PAR38 competition

The second category of the L Prize competition has been revised and relaunched, and will reward US manufacturers of ultra-efficient LED replacements for PAR38 lamps.
The second category of the L Prize competition has been revised and relaunched, and will reward US manufacturers of ultra-efficient LED replacements for PAR38 lamps. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has reopened the PAR38 category of the L Prize competition. This challenges the US lighting industry to develop an exceptionally high-performance, ultra-efficient LED alternative for PAR38 halogen lamps.
Headline figures for the PAR38 competition are a light output exceeding 1350 lm with a power of less than 11W, and an efficacy greater than 123 lm/W. Products should have a minimum center-beam luminous intensity of 18,000 cd. Not all lamps submitted for testing are required to meet these targets – see “PAR38 criteria” below.

The L Prize competition was established by US Congress in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 and launched by DOE in 2008.

The first L Prize was awarded to Philips in the 60W-incandescent-replacement category in August 2011. The winning Philips product was due to be available in stores in early 2012, and is in fact now being sold for $59.99 on

Philips received $10 million for winning the 60W-replacement competition. The EISA legislation authorized a $5 million prize for the PAR38 replacement, which the DOE says it has set aside from fiscal year 2012 appropriations.

The PAR38 replacement category was temporarily closed in 2011 to “retool the competition based on lessons learned through the 60W competition,” according to the DOE.

The relaunched PAR38 competition retains the original technical requirements established by Congress (see below), but has been “streamlined to keep pace with the speed of technology innovation and to move winning products into the market sooner,” says the DOE.

PAR38 lamps (PAR stands for parabolic aluminized reflector, and 38 designates a diameter of 120 mm or 4.75 in) are directional lamps that are in widespread use in both residential and commercial applications. The DOE says there are approximately 90 million PAR38 lamps installed in the US. Replacing these with lamps meeting the L-Prize criteria would save 11 terawatt-hours of electricity per year – approximately equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of Washington, DC – and avoid 7 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

“The L Prize competition challenges the best and brightest engineers and scientists across America’s lighting industry to drive innovation in new, more efficient products and boost our nation’s competitiveness in manufacturing,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The winning products will help expand lighting choices for consumers, reduce our nation’s energy use, and save money for American families and business owners.”

According to the DOE, “the rigorous performance testing needed to win the L Prize ensures that the performance, quality, lifetime, costs, and availability of winning products meet expectations for mass manufacturing and widespread adoption.”

One stated goal of the L Prize is to generate jobs for US workers. For the PAR38 category, at least 50% of the LEDs must be produced in the US, and all of the assembly must be done in the US.

PAR38 criteria

Full specifications and requirements for the PAR38 replacement competition are available from the L Prize website.

Among the changes made to the requirements are that only 1000 samples need to be submitted (versus 2000 for the 60W-replacement competition); companies must pay for their own LM-79 testing; and only 32 samples (versus 200) will be subjected to photometric and elevated-temperature lumen-maintenance testing.

For many of the product specs, only 90% of sample lamps need to meet the stated levels. For example, the initial light output is given as 1350 lm, but more accurately this means that at least 90% of units must exceed 1350 lm, and no unit is allowed to have less than 1215 lm.

Selected criteria:

  • Light output: 1350 lm or more (10% of samples can be between 1215 lm and 1350 lm)
  • Power consumption: 11W or less (10% of samples can be between 11W and 12.1W)
  • Efficacy: greater than 123 lm/W
  • CCT: 2750K or 3000K
  • Lumen maintenance: 25,000 hours to L70 (70% of initial lumen output)
  • CRI (Ra): at least 90 (10% of samples can be between 87 and 90)
  • Dimmability: not required
  • Center beam luminous intensity: at least 18,000 cd (10% of samples can be between 16,200 and 18,000 cd)
  • Driver mean time to failure (MTTF): more than 25,000 hours at 45°C ambient temperature
  • Power factor: at least 0.7 (10% of samples can be between 0.63 and 0.7)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Seattle LED street-light tests focus on visibility and efficiency

The NEEA and the city of Seattle are hosting a three-night test of LED street lights conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in an attempt to determine an optimum balance of dimming lights for efficiency and providing safe object detection distances for drivers.
Seattle, Washington's Ballard neighborhood is home to the latest round of LED street-light testing conducted by the partnership of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Continuum Industries, and Clanton & Associates. The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and the city of Seattle are hosting the test of four different LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL) luminaires, along with an incumbent high-pressure sodium (HPS) light, and a new lower-power HPS lamp (see video below).

The goal of the tests is measuring the ability of drivers to detect objects (or pedestrians) at safe distances, while using lower light levels to save energy. Dr. Ron Gibbons of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said it's important to evaluate lights in terms of visibility rather than light level. He emphasized that, "Lighting level has very little to do with detection."

Instruments in the rear of the test vehicle
"These tests will illustrate how LED street lights use far less energy while maintaining safety and better vision for Seattle residents," said Edward Smalley, director of the US Department of Energy’s Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium (MSSLC).

Quantitative and qualitative
The tests, the first of which took place on the evening of Tuesday, March 6, include having test subjects ride in an SUV instrumented with light sensors, cameras, and a GPS system all linked to a customized control system (see photos). The test subjects are driven through the test course at 35 MPH and depress a button when they spot small 7x7-in objects placed alongside the road. The GPS capability allows the system to capture the exact location for each detected object.

Some of the test subjects will pass through the course with the LED lights at 100% brightness while others will be subject to 50% or 25% brightness levels. The LED luminaires are 105W Philips Lumec products while the incumbent is a 400W HPS light. The other HPS light is a 250W model.

Sensors and cameras on the test vehicle
Three of the sets of LED lights vary only in CCT from 3500K to 4000K to 5000K. And there is a fourth set that is also 4000K but that has a new asymmetric beam pattern that Clanton & Associates specified specifically for the testing.

The testing will also include a qualitative survey that is completed by test subjects that walk the test area under the lights. The survey includes questions about the quality of the light, glare, feeling of safety, and other issues.

The team conducting the tests had hoped that Seattle would provide both dry and wet nights allowing an even greater opportunity to gather safety data relative to wet pavement. The worry in Seattle, was whether the team would get a dry night. Alas it's dry in Seattle and forecast to be so through the end of the tests on Thursday night. Gibbons said that the city would allow a fire truck to wet the test area on Thursday if the dry forecast holds.

Potential savings
The opening night of the tests drew a contingent of local dignitaries including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. McGinn quipped "Who knew that a successful night required rain in Seattle?" McGinn said that Seattle has already installed 20,000 LED lights, second in the US only to Los Angeles, California, and that the short-term goal is 41,000 LED lights. McGinn said, "That’s operational savings of $2.4 million per year."

McGinn discussed the importance of saving energy and the commitment of the community, and said "We have the first carbon-neutral utility in the nation" referring to municipally-owned Seattle City Light. He said some wonder why worry about energy when the utility is carbon neutral. The answer is a projected load growth driven by electric vehicle charging and the server farms that supply data to the continued escalation of consumer devices that connect to the Internet.

NEMA publishes standard for SSL retrofit lamps

A new standard, NEMA SSL 4-2012, gives suggested minimum performance requirements for integral LED lamps.
The US National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published NEMA SSL 4-2012 entitled “SSL Retrofit Lamps: Suggested Minimum Performance Requirements.”
The standard applies to integral LED lamps, which are defined as a lamp with LEDs, an integrated LED driver, and a base that meets appropriate American National Standards (ANSs) and is designed to connect to the branch circuit via a lampholder/socket that meets appropriate ANSs.

The criteria apply to both integral LED lamps of non-standard form, and those intended to replace standard general-service incandescent lamps, decorative (candelabra style) lamps, and reflector lamps.

Other types of replacement lamps may be added in the future as improvements to LED technology enhance the viability of using LEDs in other replacement lamp types.

The contents and scope of SSL 4 may be viewed at, and a hard or electronic copy may be purchased for $45.

Other SSL-related standards from NEMA

SSL 6: Solid State Lighting for Incandescent Replacement—Dimming

Provides guidance for those seeking to design and build or work with solid state lighting products intended for retrofit into systems that previously used incandescent screw base lamps. Addresses dimming of these products and the interaction between the dimmer (control) and the bulb (lamp). Published Feb 2011, errata issued April 2011.

SSL 3: High-Power White LED Binning for General Illumination

Offers categorization areas (bins) for chromaticity (colors), forward voltage measurements (an electrical designation) and luminous flux (light output) for LEDs used for general lighting. Published Mar 2011.

SSL 1: Electronic Drivers for LED Devices, Arrays or Systems

Provides specifications for and operating characteristics of non-integral electronic drivers (power supplies) for LED devices, arrays or systems intended for general lighting applications. Published Feb 2011.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bridgelux and Chevron partner on LED street lights, announce California installations

Chevron Energy Solutions will provide financial backing to municipalities that want to retrofit street lights with SSL technology using a Bridgelux LED-based module.
Chevron Energy Solutions and LED-maker Bridgelux have partnered to offer municipalities a low-cost path to street-light retrofits using a solid-state lighting (SSL) module designed by Bridgelux. The Northern California cities of Livermore and Dublin have installed the modules and are serving as demonstration sites for the partnership.

Las Positas Rd in Livermore
Exact details of the program haven't been released, but Bridgelux and Chevron say that municipalities will get the energy- and maintenance-saving benefits of LED lighting with little or no upfront cost. Chevron will provide the financing, and presumably the municipality can pay for the lights directly through the reduction in energy and maintenance costs.

"Through this new initiative, we can help cities modernize their infrastructure by financing projects through energy savings," said Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions. "All cities are facing a similar fiscal dilemma: they need to upgrade their infrastructure, but lack the capital to move forward."

Indeed many municipalities have experimented with LED street lights but have no path forward on capital-intensive projects in a tough economy. Bridgelux vice president of business development Keith Scott said, "Everybody has put in 10 or maybe a few hundred LED street lights." Chevron and Bridgelux believe the new program will offer more municipalities the option of installing new lights now, and in a typical scenario, paying for those lights in less than four years.

The first cities taking advantage of the project are excited about both the savings and higher-quality lighting. "All of us in city government look forward to the energy savings and improved street-level visibility," said Dublin mayor Tim Sbranti. "Our community is excited about the evaluation we are doing with Chevron Energy Solutions and Bridgelux." John Marchand, mayor of Livermore, said "The pilot installation has been received with great excitement."

Bridgelux module
The program will rely on a retrofit module (pictured) that is installed in existing cobrahead lights. The installation will require the removal of the existing ballast and socket, but does not require municipalities to dispose of the housing – adding a green angle to the offering.

The Bridgelux retrofit module
Each module includes a single Bridgelux RS LED array. Based on lighting requirements, municipalities can install either one or two modules in existing cobrahead fixtures. A different base plate from the one pictured would be used to support two modules. The design can support light output ranging from 3000-12,500-lm covering applications from residential streets to major roadways.

The module design uses a reflector-based optic (hidden behind the diffuser in the photo) that controls the beam pattern. Different optic packages, including reflectors and clear or diffused lenses, can be combined to support the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Type I through V beam patterns defined in the RP-8 roadway lighting specification.

Bridgelux says the design is also compatible with adaptive control technologies. It can work with the existing photocell technology widely used in street lights. Scott also said there is space allocated in the module where a wireless-enabled controller could be added to the design.

Financing and product availability
Apparently municipalities that are interested in the program can move forward immediately. Chevron Energy Solutions is an energy services company (ESCO) that is already engaged with many municipalities on energy-related, capital-intensive projects such as solar power.

Scott from Bridgelux says that the company can ship modules now. He said, "We do have a large manufacturer supporting us." That manufacturer will go unnamed for now, but Scott said "We can meet the anticipated demand for 2012."

Bridgelux has been very proactive in seeking ways to help customers adopt SSL and therefore buy its LEDs and arrays. For example, the company partnered with Molex in developing the Helieon module that simplifies luminaire designs, primarily for indoor applications.

Lynk Labs demonstrates warm-on-dim AC-LED technology

At Strategies in Light earlier this month, Lynk Labs demonstrated incandescent-like AC-LED technology that reduces CCT with standard dimmers and AC voltage sources.
Lynk Labs Inc., a leading developer of AC-LED technology, has demonstrated a newly-patented AC-LED circuit and drive scheme which it describes as “Warm-on-dim.” This will allow the company to provide AC-LED light engines and COB (chip-on-board) packages which, when dimmed with standard dimmers, provide a similar quality of light to incandescent lamps. Like incandescents, the CCT decreases when the light intensity is dimmed.

“The new warm-on-dim technology is the combination of new drive methods and AC-LED circuit topologies developed by Lynk to fill a growing need in the market,” said Bob Kottritsch, vice president EMEA at Lynk Labs.

The new technology utilizes a simple, new AC-LED drive scheme and LED circuit structure that requires limited components. The technology demonstrated at Strategies in Light (SIL) was at the assembly level, and will next be implemented into COBs, according to Lynk.

“The technology demonstrated at SIL worked on direct mains voltage and dimmed with standard dimmers from 4500K down to about 2000K,” said Kottritsch.

“Assembly-level implementations will be available under our SnapBrite product line in early Q2 with plans to have COB-level Tesla AC-LED packages by late Q2.”

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

UL becomes testing center for Zhaga LED modules

UL will be able to test LED light engines according to a range of specifications defined by the Zhaga consortium.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has been named as a Zhaga authorized testing center, according to a UL press release. Zhaga is a cooperative industry organization aimed at the development of standard specifications for the interfaces of LED light engines.
"UL has been a trusted member and supporter of the Zhaga consortium for many years and we are very proud to be named a Zhaga authorized testing center," said Alberto Uggetti, Vice President and General Manager, UL Lighting. "This authorization underscores UL's position as a key player in driving standardization and test compliance in the LED and lighting space."

Zhaga creates interface specifications for LED light engines with the goal to promote interchangeability of light engines made by different manufacturers. Interchangeability is achieved by defining interfaces for a variety of application-specific light engines.

UL will now be able to test customers’ light engines according to the specifications defined by Zhaga.

Zhaga standards cover the physical dimensions, as well as the photometric, electrical and thermal behavior, of LED light engines. Standardization is expected to prevent market fragmentation into incompatible products.

UL will offer this new testing service either separately or as a bundle with other UL lighting-industry services such as Energy Star testing, performance testing and safety certification.

Life-cycle energy consumption of LED lamps compares well with incumbents

A new DOE report looks at the energy consumption of different lighting technologies over their entire lifetime, including manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has published a report that compared the energy consumed over the entire life-cycle for LED lamps, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and incandescent lamps.
The report is entitled “Review of the Life-Cycle Energy Consumption of Incandescent, Compact Fluorescent, and LED Lamps” and is based on existing literature that assesses the life-cycle of lighting products.

The report is the first installment of a larger DOE project to assess the life-cycle environmental and resource costs of different lighting technologies. It looks at the manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal of the products.
The report says that the average life-cycle energy consumption of LED lamps and CFLs is similar, and is about one-fourth the consumption of incandescent lamps (see chart). But if LED lamps meet their performance targets by 2015, their life-cycle energy use is expected to decrease by approximately one-half.

Also, the “use” stage of all three types of lamps represents the most energy-intensive life-cycle stage, accounting for 90 percent of total life-cycle energy, on average. This is followed by the manufacturing and transport phases, respectively. Transport represents less than one percent of life-cycle energy use for all lamp types.

Most of the uncertainty in life-cycle energy consumption of an LED lamp centers on the manufacturing of the LED package, which is estimated at anywhere from 0.1 percent to 27 percent of life-cycle energy use, with an average of 7 percent.

The larger DOE study will include a life-cycle assessment of an LED lamp, considering both the direct and indirect material and process inputs to fabricate, ship, operate, and dispose of the lamp.

It will also include the purchase, disassembly, and chemical testing of LED and conventional lighting products to study whether potentially hazardous materials are present in concentrations that exceed hazardous-waste regulatory thresholds.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Toyoda Gosei files LED patent lawsuits against Formosa Epitaxy

Two lawsuits filed in Taiwan and the USA allege that Formosa Epitaxy is infringing patents owned by Toyoda Gosei.
Japan-based LED maker Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Taoyuan District Court of Taiwan against Formosa Epitaxy Inc. (Forepi), an LED-chip manufacturer based in Taoyuan County, Taiwan.
The lawsuit alleges that Forepi is infringing Toyoda Gosei's patents (see below) with regard to GaN-based LEDs, and seeks an injunction against various Forepi LED products.

Prior to the lawsuit in Taiwan, Toyoda Gosei also filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the US District Court, Northern District of California on February 21, 2012. This lawsuit also alleges infringement by Forepi of Toyoda Gosei’s LED chip patents (see below), and seeks damages and an injunction against various Forepi LED products, amongst other remedies.

In its press release, Toyoda Gosei said that it has “respected others’ and our own intellectual property rights in Japan and other countries, and have made our best efforts to further develop the market. Particularly in Taiwan, we have not only manufactured and sold our products and procured parts, but we have also established cooperative relationships with our partner firms with regards to manufacturing.”

Patents involved in the Taiwan lawsuit: 356608; 575971

Patents involved in the US lawsuit: 5753939; 6005258; 6040588; 6191436; 6265726; 6420733; 6933169; 7138286.

Philips joins The Climate Group’s LED lighting campaign

Philips has become a corporate partner in The Climate Group’s three-year Clean Revolution campaign, which aims to speed up the global switch to LED lighting.
Philips Lighting has become the first corporate partner to join The Climate Group’s three-year Clean Revolution campaign. The partnership aims to speed up the global switch to LED lighting, which offers extraordinary opportunities for significant cuts in both energy use and worldwide carbon-dioxide emissions, according to the participants.

The Climate Group is an independent, not-for-profit organization working with governments and business leaders to advance policies, technologies and financing that will accelerate low-carbon economic growth. In December 2009, The Climate Group launched its LightSavers program of outdoor LED lighting demonstration projects.

The participants believe that LED lighting also provides important social benefits, such as higher productivity at work, increased road safety, more-effective school learning and an enhanced sense of well-being and comfort at home, in buildings and on streets.

Marc de Jong, CEO of Professional Lighting Solutions, at Philips, said: “We have joined the Clean Revolution campaign as we believe it is an excellent avenue to further strengthen the case for LED lighting that can lead to dramatic savings in energy and spur low carbon growth, while enhancing people’s feeling of security and comfort on streets, in buildings, and at home.”

“This partnership underlines our commitment as a leading health and well-being company to drive the wave of innovative LED lighting and provide meaningful solutions that improve people’s quality of life.”

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said: “Over the next three years we will be working with Philips to highlight the opportunity for governments and corporations in investing in the low-carbon economy with a focus on expanding the use of what is one of the most promising smart technologies, LEDs.”

Kenber said that the Lightsavers program had seen LED-lighting pilots in ten global cities, including Hong Kong, London, New York and Mumbai. “Our cooperation with Philips will allow us to further highlight the great cost-savings and energy efficiency improvement LEDs provide and catalyze a low carbon transformation in lighting around the world,” he said.

Currently, lighting accounts for around 19% of global electricity production. A full switch to LED lighting could reduce energy consumption for lighting by 40% worldwide. This translates to approximately 130 billion euros in running costs and 670 million tons of avoided carbon-dioxide emissions per year.

Furthermore, the switch to LED lighting could cut back the need for capital investment in new electricity-generation capacity of over 1 trillion euros – or some 640 power plants.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lynk Labs unveils new Tesla AC-LED packages at SIL 2012

Lynk Labs expanded its range of Tesla AC-LED products with new packages and chip-on-board arrays that operate when driven by an AC voltage.
Lynk Labs Inc., a leading developer of AC-driven LEDs for general lighting, demonstrated a broad line-up of AC-LED components with various power and voltage options at the recent Strategies in Light 2012 conference.

The company’s Tesla AC-LED packages included products designed to operate from low-voltage (12-48 Vac) direct AC and others operating from high-voltage (50-240 Vac) rectified AC. The packages are available in in various power, CCT and lumen levels.
“AC-LED technology is now penetrating the LED industry as a key enabling technology for LEDs in general lighting,” said Charles “Chick” Huber, VP of business development at Lynk Labs.

“More OEMs are designing Lynk Labs’ AC-LED components into their general-lighting products and realizing the benefits the technology provides, from design simplicity and reliability to infrastructure compatibility,” added Huber.

AC LEDs deliver simple, rapid and reliable design solutions for general lighting. With driver costs, compatibility issues and failures becoming a bigger issue in end-use LED systems, Lynk Labs believes that AC LEDs may be a key future solution for broad market adoption of LEDs in general lighting.

At SIL 2012, Lynk Labs introduced a family of new Tesla AC-LED packages and BriteDriver power supply/drive solutions. It also introduced a new 12V AC-LED single chip “Lamp-On-ChipTM” technology.

“The new 12V AC-LED single chip is part of Lynk Labs’ core patented AC-LED technology integrated onto a single low-voltage chip through a joint development between Lynk Labs and Epistar Corp,” said Mike Miskin, Lynk Labs’ president & CEO.

“This chip has been designed and optimized to be the equivalent of a 5-7W incandescent 12Vac lamp on a single chip. In the next few years, Lynk and Epistar will be delivering the most advanced and enabling AC-LED-based technologies the market has to offer for general lighting. We’ve pioneered the AC-LED industry and have more products, IP and know-how – from chip level to luminaire – than anyone in the industry,” added Miskin.

Friday, May 4, 2012

DOE updates energy-saving specifications for troffers, parking-lot luminaires

The US DOE has released new specifications that target energy savings of up to 75% for LED and fluorescent troffers as well as LED parking-lot luminaires.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has introduced new voluntary energy-saving specifications for LED and fluorescent lighting troffers used in indoor commercial buildings. Specifications have also been updated for LED parking-lot luminaires and various types of parking-structure lights.

The performance criteria for the specifications were developed by the DOE’s Commercial Building Energy Alliances (CBEAs), a group of US companies representing various sectors that have identified energy-efficient and cost-saving practices. Public or private building owners can adopt these specifications to achieve significant energy savings and reduce carbon emissions.

High-efficiency troffer lighting specification
The CBEA High Efficiency Troffer Specification was originally developed in 2011 for 2x2-ft troffers. The new Version 3.0 specification includes 2x2-ft, 1x4-ft and 2x4-ft products and provides minimum performance levels for LED and fluorescent troffers used in commercial buildings.

The DOE estimates that 50% of all commercial fluorescent lighting fixtures are recessed troffers in 2x4-ft, 2x2-ft, 1x4-ft configurations that operate for more than 10 hours a day on average and consume more than 87 TWh of electricity annually. The new specification delivers energy savings of 15% to 45% compared with conventional systems.

The specification includes an optional section on lighting controls, which can boost savings up to 75% by employing technologies such as motion sensors and timers.

High-efficiency parking lot lighting
The DOE has also released updated specifications for high-efficiency parking lot and parking structure lighting. The original specification for LED parking lot lights was introduced in 2009. The new Version 1.3 contains additions related to IES TM-15 and TM-21 and surge protection. This LED lighting specification typically reduces energy use by 50% compared with conventional parking-lot lighting. Early adopters of the new specifications have included Walmart, Lowe’s, and Cleveland Clinic.

WalMart was the first company to use the parking lot specification in a DOE Gateway demonstration project which showed energy savings using LEDs of 44% relative to 400W pulsed metal hydride lamps. WalMart is now using LED luminaires to upgrade more than 250 existing lots. The company has reported energy savings of 58% compared with ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010, a widely used commercial building code.

Lowe’s has tested lighting systems that meet the specification at several sites and plans to expand their use. MGM Resorts International and the US General Services Administration are also considering upgrading their lighting to meet the new specification.

The parking-structure lighting specification includes specifications for high-efficiency fluorescent, induction, and LED lighting in parking structures. Like the parking-lot specification, the parking-structure specification also contains updates related to IES TM-21 and anticipated RP-20 requirements.

Lemnis Lighting launches low-lumen LED retrofit lamps in the $5.00 range

Lemnis Lighting has a new line of LED lamps in its Pharox family with the 200-lm version priced under $5, but the low-lumen output of the initial products will limit the SSL applications in which the lamps can serve.
Cost has stood as the obstacle to broader deployment of LED retrofit lamps – especially in residential application – and consumers are precisely the target of Lemnis Lighting with its newest solid-state lighting (SSL) Pharox BLU lamps. The 240-lm, 5W Pharox BLU 200 and 360-lm, 6W Pharox BLU 300 are available immediately on the Lemnis website priced at $4.95 and $6.95 respectively.

The new low-lumen lamps are the first products in what will become three separate product families for Lemnis. Pharox BLU lamps will be consumer targeted with a one-year warranty and will not support dimming. The dimmable Pharox XL and Pro product lines will carry a three-year 35,000-hour warranty and the latter will also include Energy Star qualification.

The low-lumen output of the initial Pharox BLU offerings will limit the sockets in which they can be serviceably deployed. Still Lemnis co-founder Warner Philips said the typical home will have eight to a dozen sockets in which the light levels would be serviceable. Philips said he is using the new lamps in some recessed cans in the kitchen and dining areas of his own home as well as in closet lighting and in bed-side table lamps.

Residential LED uptake

About the low prices relative to broadly available lamps, Philips said, "Consumers really want to get into the same, but they don't want to pay the price for LEDs." Philips expects the $5.00 level to help trigger residential SSL uptake.

As mentioned above, the Pharox BLU line is not dimmable. Philips doesn't see that as at concern saying that "Only about 13% of the lights in consumer homes are on a dimmer." That does ignore the convenience factor of buying products and the fact that with incandescent lamps consumers never had to buy separate dimmable and non-dimmable lamps.

Philips described another trend that he said bodes well for low-lumen products like Pharox BLU. He said that over the last decade the square footage in new US homes has been on a constant decline yet the number of light sockets has increased by 20%. He noted the trend is more directional lights with less lumen output.

Lemnis calls the Pharox family omnidirectional with a 320° beam pattern. But Philips readily admitted that the flux distribution is not even and that the lamps can be better in applications with some amount of directional requirements.

A speaker from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) presented a paper on retrofit lamps last week at Strategies in Light that appears to back some of Philips' points. Lighting engineer Michael Royer basically concluded that the low-lumen LED lamp segment is underserved with many companies focused primarily on high-lumen 60-100W-equivalent lamps.

Higher lumen offerings

Lemnis does expect to serve the broad retrofit lamp segment. Philips said that the company would have Pharox BLU products in the 400-lm segment soon with 600- and 800-lm products following in the second quarter. He also said that Pharox XL and Pro products would emerge in the second quarter.

Philips would reveal little about the internal design of the Pharox BLU lamps. He said the LEDs point predominantly upwards from the base as opposed to including some emitters that radiate outward as we have seen in lamps from Philips Lighting and others. Lemnis' Philips said that the Pharox BLU 200 and 300 lamps use four and six LEDs respectively.

Lemnis is a relatively small organization depending on partnerships for manufacturing and much of the design work. Philips wouldn't disclose details of the lamp-design process, but said the company has relationships with contract manufacturers in Delhi, India and Shenzhen, China.

Outdoor Lighting: Cree lights gas station and food mart; ATL airport to go LED

Cree has announced another SSL retrofit at an Oregon gas station and food mart, while Atlanta plans a massive LED project for its parking areas and international municipalities consider LED projects.
Cree LED luminaires are being used both in outdoor canopy lighting at an Beaverton, Oregon gas station and inside the adjacent convenience store to deliver 70% energy savings. The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport plans to retrofit more than 4000 legacy fixtures in parking lots with solid-state lighting (SSL). Thiruvananthapuram, India begins an LED project, Pakistan squabbles over LED retrofit costs, and the Philippines see LEDs as a way to efficiently light unlit streets.

Beaverton gas and mart

Highland Chevron in Beaverton
The Highland Chevron gas station and ExtraMile food mart have been renovated indoor and out with Cree LED-based luminaires. Outdoors in the gas station canopy, the retrofit encompasses 24 105W Cree (BetaLED) 304 series recessed canopy lights that replaced 368W metal-halide (MH) fixtures.

The owner of the station, Bob Barman, cited light quality, economic, and environmental benefits attributable to the lighting retrofit. Barman said, "The high-quality LED light makes everything appear brighter and safer - and that translates into a better customer experience."

The Oregon area is known for environmental sensitivity and green practices and that influenced the LED choice. "The payoff is more than what is saved in energy consumption and cost," said Barman. "The payoff is also intangible - it's what your customers think of you as a leader in sustainability and how you think of yourself - it's just the right thing to do."

Cree also noted that the NanoOptic total internal reflection (TIR) lenses that were originally developed by BetaLED tightly control light distribution in the installed fixtures. Those TIR optics eliminate light spill for the outdoor sources and enable the station to meet local light-pollution ordinances.

Still economics are important and the savings are attributable to both the indoor and outdoor lighting. Indoors, 27 Cree 304 series pendant SSL luminaires replaced 330W fluorescent fixtures.

Barman expects the retrofit to achieve payback in 2.5 years. According to Cree, the lighting retrofit will allow the station and mart to consume one third less energy, in total, relative to the typical 24-hour convenience store and gas station.

Atlanta airport

Cree Series 304 recessed canopy light
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Cooper Lighting has won a major SSL retrofit at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport. The busiest airport in the world will apparently use 80W LED fixtures to replace 210W MH fixtures.

The project will include retrofit of covered parking lots for both the north and south sides of the airport terminal. The project is slated for April 2012.

In total the airport will replace 4342 lights according to the report. Cooper has said that the projects can save the city $500,000 per year.

International LED projects

The Times of India reports that Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the Indian state of Kerala, is planning to install LED lights on 65 streets. Apparently the project will begin next month.

In the Pakistan capital of Islamabad, a proposed LED project is generating considerable debate over the cost of the new lights according to The News International. The project could involve retrofits of as many as 6500 legacy street lights.

In the Philippine municipality of Quezon City, the government hopes to install 10,000 LED street lights this year. The Philippine Information Agency reports that LEDs will allow the city to provide lighting on some streets for the first time with a manageable impact on energy consumption. SSL technology will allow the city to increase the number of lit streets by 80%.