VCC Offers LED Light Modeling and Simulation Services to Manufacturers

VCCVCC, a provider of indication and specialty illumination solutions, offers advanced design services that include LED light modeling and human vision simulation that predicts light behavior and provides a complete analysis of all photometric and colorimetric characteristics of any product design.

By combining cross section, contrast, iso-curves, spectral and chromaticity coordinates for analysis, VCC can consider the optical properties of surfaces, materials and light sources using actual data on light intensity, uniformity, contract, propagation and distribution. Light behavior can be predicted and potential hot spots identified, resulting in a more cost-effective design that keeps program development on schedule and delivers the best optical performance for a customer’s application, according to the company.

Utilizing its light modeling and human vision simulation technology, VCC can modify existing product, integrate existing modular components as building blocks into customer existing product, or design and manufacture a complete custom solution that enhances the delivery of light. Custom product development programs include LED light pipes, special function panel indication, indicator assemblies and LED lenses.

Click here to learn more.

Zumtobel Group Award Recognizes Sustainable Innovation

The international jury for the Zumtobel Group Award 2014 has selected projects from Arup of Germany, Studio Tamassociati of Italy and Elemental of Chile as the winners in their respective categories. To promote innovations for sustainability and humanity in the built environment, the Austrian lighting group had invited submissions for the award in three categories: APPLIED INNOVATIONS, BUILDINGS and URBAN DEVELOPMENTS & INITIATIVES.

In the APPLIED INNOVATIONS category, the jury awarded first prize to the SolarLeaf façade co-developed by Arup Deutschland GmbH. The SolarLeaf façade is a building-integrated system that absorbs CO2 emissions and produces biomass and heat. The generation of these renewable energy resources is based on the biochemical process of photosynthesis and the cultivation of microalgae in flat-panel photo bioreactors which require no additional space and are largely immune to the weather conditions. The façade system was developed by Arup Deutschland in collaboration with SSC Strategic Science Consult GmbH and Colt International GmbH, with subsidies from the federal research initiative ZukunftBau. The system was first installed in a four-storey residential building that was designed by SPLITTERWERK architects for the 2013 International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Hamburg. The SolarLeaf façade can play an important part in establishing zero-carbon building clusters that generate surplus energy.

Explaining the reasons for their choice, the jury said: “In the future we need to develop buildings which don’t just offer shelter and minimise energy consumption but also try to deliver answers to how we provide the urban environment with energy, water and better air quality. The SolarLeaf façade is an outstanding example here in that it generates energy without taking up additional space. This project is especially valuable because for the first time we have an application that actually works in an existing building.”

To learn more, check out the below video or click here.

IES Publishes Recommended Practice for Roadway Lighting, RP-8-14

RP_8_14_mainThe Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) recently announced the publication of Recommended Practice for Roadway Lighting, RP-8-14, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved standard. The IES, as an accredited ANSI standards developer, revised RP-8-14 in accordance with ANSI consensus-based procedures. The primary purpose of this Recommended Practice is to serve as the basis for design of fixed lighting for roadways, and streets, including pedestrian and adjacent bikeways when associated with the public right-of-way. RP-8-14 deals entirely with lighting design and does not give advice on construction. It has been prepared to advance the art, science, and practice of roadway and street lighting in North America.

The IES Roadway Committee, author of RP-8-14, has been in existence for 85 years. The night use of public ways has grown greatly. Traffic has changed in speed and density. Studies have established a substantial relationship between good fixed lighting and traffic safety. In addition, understanding of the principles of good lighting has advanced. These changes are reflected in RP-8-14.

RP-8-14 List price: $60.00; IES Member Price: $42.00; ISBN: 978-0-87995-299-0. Click here to purchase.

CSIL Publishes 2014 Edition of Global LED Market Report

The 2014 edition of LEDs and the Worldwide Market for Lighting Fixtures is now available has been published by CSIL, including historical data up to 2013 and 2014-2018 forecasts.

In less than 10 years, LED share on the lighting fixtures market worldwide jumped from 1% to 25%. In just five years, LED share will be in excess of 60%, according to the report.

The worldwide market for lighting fixtures (including top 65 countries) will be in excess of 100 billion USD in the year 2018. At that time, LED share will be close to 20% in the residential market and over 60% in the professional market.

This report, about 160 pages, is priced EUR 1600.

Learn more here.

Product Monday: SlimSurface LED Downlight by Philips

Philips Lighting has flattened the downlight with the introduction of the Philips SlimSurface LED family of downlights. Providing the illusion of recessed downlighting, but with just a 5/8” surface mount design that is nearly flush with the ceiling, SlimSurface allows lighting to be installed in locations where wall and ceiling clearance can be an issue, such as basements.

Designed for quick and easy installation to most standard junction boxes, SlimSurface provides an alternative to traditional downlights. SlimSurface downlights are ENERGY STAR certified, allowing them to qualify for utility rebate programs.

Philips SlimSurface uses edgelit technology to achieve efficacies up to 70 lumens/W and a soft luminaire appearance. Dimmable to 10 percent. Available in a variety of designs and options, including: 4- and 6-in. square luminaires; 5- and 7-in. round luminaires; 2 color temperatures (2700K and 3000K), 2 lumen packages (630 and 900 lumens); and 2 CRI ratings (80 and 90).

Click here to download a spec sheet for the round model.

Philips SlimSurface LED

Halogen Lamps: Still the Standard to Beat

Below is an article I wrote for TED Magazine, which was published in its September 2014 issue. Reprinted with permission.

Although LED directional lamps are steadily improving, halogen reflector lamps remain most popular for directional lighting applications and the gold standard to beat in terms of overall performance.

Available in a wide range of configurations, halogen offers a number of advantages. Besides a low initial cost, the lamp starts instantly, provides excellent beam control and is easily dimmable across the full range of output. Lumen maintenance ranges from 88 to 92 percent. A strong advantage is color, as the lamp emits light across the full color spectrum, with a high CRI of 100, high R9 value of 100 (resulting in excellent rendering of saturated reds), and warm-white color appearance. Frequent switching does not affect life. The lamp can be used outdoors, is resistant to thermal shock, and can operate in areas with high humidity. There are no disposal issues related to mercury and lead, no RF emissions, and no power factor issues.

However, halogen lamps are vulnerable to competition by upstart LED based on three relative disadvantages. First is relatively low efficacy, as halogen lamps operate at 18-24 lumens/W. In contrast, good LED lamps are available that operate for up to 85 percent less energy. Next is relatively short service life. Finally, halogen lamps emit more heat into the environment, which can be particularly disadvantageous in art and museum applications.

“Current and future prospects for halogen reflectors remain strong,” says Shilpi Biswas, Global Product Manager – Lamp Products for GE Lighting. “Halogen remains an initial acquisition cost advantage over current LED. Light quality is preferred over LED and CFL alternatives, especially with a CRI of 100. Currently, no LED challenges halogen on this. As acquisition costs of LED continue to fall, however, this will put pressure on halogen reflectors.”

Although upstart LED is mounting a strong challenge to halogen lighting on the basis of energy savings and long life, halogen is still the gold standard for directional lighting applications. Image courtesy of Philips Lighting.

Although upstart LED is mounting a strong challenge to halogen lighting on the basis of energy savings and long life, halogen is still the gold standard for directional lighting applications. Image courtesy of Philips Lighting.

Today’s offering of halogen reflector lamps is more efficient due to multiple rounds of energy efficiency standards implemented since 1992, with the most recent regulations effective in July 2012. The most-efficient lamps utilize an infrared-reflecting (IR) coating on the inside of the halogen capsule, which reflects waste heat back into the filament. This can be leveraged to increase efficiency, service life or both. The most-efficient halogen IR lamps are 30 percent more efficient than standard halogen lamps, while the longest-life lamps are rated up to 4,500 hours. The result is several tiers of lamps available from manufacturers, from basic to premium lines, that meet various end-user needs.

“If a lamp was on the market prior to the big regulation changes in July 2012, there is currently a replacement available today,” says Soares. “Contractors and end-users can still use halogen reflectors to refill sockets, as all of the phased-out versions have good replacements to choose from. Both PARs (PAR20/30/38) and soft-glass reflectors (R20/30/40) offer the same or nearly identical performance in life and lumens as their predecessors, but are made at a reduced wattage, typically 20-30 percent less than their predecessors.”

Currently, regulatory exemptions for <50W ER30/ER40, BR30/BR40; 65W BR30 and BR40/ER40; and <45W R20 lamps are expected to continue until at least December 31, 2014. DOE is currently reviewing new energy standards for halogen lamps and will be reviewing whether to continue these exemptions, some of which are popularly used in the residential market.

“The rulemaking was announced in the second half of 2011, and the DOE’s intent is to complete it by the end of 2014, although dates can be slip backward,” says Biswas. “Rules are typically effective three years after being finalized, which means the next round of regulations affecting halogen PAR lamps will most likely occur at the end of 2017 or 2018.”

In directional lighting, halogen remains the most popular light source, though LED is on the rise. In May 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimated that of the 248 million lamps installed in this market, 59 percent were halogen, primarily PAR and MR16 with some R and BR lamps, while 25 percent were incandescent (R/BR), 11 percent were compact fluorescent (R/BR) and 4.6 percent were LED. (Ceramic metal halide was not included.) About 80 percent of reflector lamps are used in residential applications.

“Halogen still has a strong customer base and will be viable for several years, until the price/benefit relationship for LEDs eventually exceeds halogen,” says Peter Soares, director of product marketing for Philips Lighting. “We’ve seen many end-users in the retail and hospitality applications switch to LED. However, many in those same applications continue to use halogen because they prefer the color or beam intensity of halogen, or because the cost/investment to switch is still prohibitive in their situation.”

Available in a wide range of configurations, halogen offers a number of advantages such as low initial cost, instant starting and excellent beam control, dimming and color quality. Image courtesy of Philips Lighting.

Available in a wide range of configurations, halogen offers a number of advantages such as low initial cost, instant starting and excellent beam control, dimming and color quality. Image courtesy of Philips Lighting.

Cheryl Ford, marketing manager for OSRAM SYLVANIA, says there are now very good LED lamps with a CRI rating higher than 90 that closely match the color quality of halogen lamps, though they’re a little less efficient than 80+ CRI LED lamps. “For color-critical applications like high-end retail and museum lighting, 90+ CRI LED lamps should be specified to not only get the color quality desired but maximize on energy and maintenance savings over halogen options,” she says. “For conference rooms, corridors and general lighting with downlights, LED PAR lamps should be acceptable.”

Ford adds that another factor is dimming. Dimmability of LED lamps is improving, but none provide dimming to 0 percent like halogen. “Most LED lamps will drop out at 10 percent of power,” she explains. “One hundred to 5 percent dimming is probably the best out there at this time. End-users also need to make sure they check dimming compatibility lists that can be found on most manufacturers’ websites. For hospitality and theater lighting, dimming to at least 1 percent of power is typically desired, so halogen would be the best choice. By using halogen lamps, color and brightness will be more consistent lamp to lamp at low dimming levels and as lights are being brought up.”

Soares adds: “There is a combination of elements to consider, including the application, the fixture, how people use the space, economics, etc. If the end-user can see a reasonable return on investment, then switching to LED today makes sense. However, if a renovation is planned two years from now, they might consider sticking with the current technology for another one to three relamping cycles.”

State of LED Outdoor Lighting Rebates

Briteswitch recently sent me this nifty graphic outlining the current status of LED outdoor lighting rebate programs:


Forecasted Energy Savings from LED Lighting

Republication of Postings from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Program

by Jim Brodrick, SSL Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy

Among solid-state lighting’s many potential advantages, energy efficiency is the one that’s best-known, and it’s the driving reason behind DOE’s multipronged effort to accelerate the technology’s development and market introduction. That’s why DOE has supported studies forecasting the market penetration of LED lighting. These periodic forecasts — the latest entitled Energy Savings Forecast of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications — provide a comprehensive overview of the expected path of LED lighting adoption within the U.S. and estimate the resulting energy savings out to year 2030, and have been widely used by industry and government, both here and abroad. The latest forecast — the sixth iteration since 2002 — has just been released.

The additional historical data we’ve obtained since the last such report have helped us sharpen our pencils considerably. Leveraging updated data sources and providing a more detailed breakdown of general lighting applications than presented in past forecasts, the new report estimates the expected future adoption of LEDs based on the current trajectory for the technology, which doesn’t necessarily represent its maximum potential in terms of market penetration and energy savings. The analysis compares the annual lighting energy consumption in the U.S. with and without the further market penetration of LED lighting, with the forecasted energy savings represented by the difference in energy consumption between the two scenarios.

LED lighting sales (based on lumen-hours) are anticipated to increase from approximately 3% in 2013 to about 48% in 2020. By 2030, LEDs are projected to dominate lighting sales in each of the submarkets examined, comprising 84% of all sales, which will have a huge impact on energy consumption. DOE estimates that in 2013, lighting was responsible for 17% of the country’s total electricity consumption, using about 6.9 quads (609 TWh) of source energy — roughly equivalent to the total energy consumed by 50 million U.S. homes. LEDs are projected to reduce total US lighting energy consumption by 15% in 2020 and by 40% in 2030, saving 3.0 quads (261 TWhs) in 2030 alone — worth about $26 billion at today’s electricity prices, and nearly equivalent to the total energy consumed by 24 million U.S. homes today. But remember: those projections are based on the current trajectory and could end up being even higher.

Of the eight lighting submarkets examined, LEDs are anticipated to grow most rapidly in street and roadway and general service lighting, in terms of the percentage of total sales. In the street and roadway submarket, which is already a popular area for LED upgrades, LEDs are predicted to reach 83% market share of sales by 2020 and nearly 100% by 2030. The general service submarket will shift to LEDs a bit more slowly, with a projected 55% market share of sales in 2020, but will also consist nearly entirely of LEDs by 2030.

Many projections were used as inputs in the lighting-market model underlying the analysis. While the best available resources were used to come up with each of these projections, there are always elements of uncertainty. An online interactive model that accompanies the report allows users to adjust four key input variables — LED price decline, LED efficacy improvement, increased use of automated controls enabled by LEDs, and renovation rate — to better understand how changes in these variables affect the forecasted LED penetration and energy savings. These four inputs were found to have the most influence on results. Many other inputs with inherent uncertainties, such as the projected price of electricity, were used in the lighting market model, but varying them within a reasonable range doesn’t significantly affect the results.


One scenario that’s highlighted in the report’s Sensitivity Analysis section examines the impact on energy savings if DOE’s ambitious goals for LED price and efficacy, as set forth in our 2014 SSL R&D Multi-Year Program Plan, are realized by all LED lighting products. If those goals are reached, LED lighting is projected to achieve a market share of 68% of lumen-hour sales in 2020, and over 90% in 2030. This would result in an additional energy savings of 20% in 2030 (compared to the 40% savings predicted by the conservative reference scenario for that year), making for a 60% decrease (130 TWh) in total lighting energy consumption compared to a scenario in which there is no further market penetration of LEDs beyond current levels — while the cumulative energy savings over the no-LED scenario during the analysis period (2013 to 2030) would increase to nearly 44 quads (3900 TWh), equal to over $380 billion in avoided electricity costs. This shows the significant increase in energy savings that could be captured through increased investment in improving SSL technology.

The report shows LED lighting to be one of the country’s best technology options to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint. And it also shows that there’s still quite a bit of headroom for additional energy savings, so it’s far from “game over” yet. The report is available online at

The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

An article recently published in the IEEE Spectrum alleges that a cartel of lighting manufacturers engineered shorter life into their lamps to ensure a higher volume of ongoing sales.

Read it here.

Special thanks to Howard Wolfman for sending this my way.

Product Monday: Color Select by USAI Lighting

USAI Lighting’s proprietary Color Select technology enables an architectural LED downlight offering independent control of both intensity and color temperature. Users can tune white light from candle-like 2200K up to a very cool daylight-like 6000K, and intensity from 100% to 0.1%, using local dimmers or programmable control systems.

Click here to learn more. This great web page provides a visual presentation of capabilities and how these capabilities can satisfy various lighting applications.