CSA Group Opens New State-of-the-Art Laboratory in Seattle, Washington

CSA Group, a provider of testing and certification services and a standards development organization, recently announced it opened a new state-of-the-art laboratory in Seattle, offering testing and product development services for commercial and residential lighting and optical products.

The new laboratory is 17,600 square feet specializing in the testing of lighting products including energy efficiency testing, LED lumen maintenance testing, horticulture luminaires, transportation lighting and optical product development services. The lab includes light measurement equipment and is designed for the characterization, measurement and testing of LED lights and components to a variety of standards including North American IES and international IEC standards.

The Seattle facility is able to provide reports for government programs such as ENERGY STAR. The lab also offers U.S. Field Evaluation services for electrical equipment meeting the requirements for the National Fire Protection Association publication NFPA 791.

CSA Seattle 2

Brodrick on White-Tunable LED Luminaires

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

The advent of SSL has already brought substantial change to the lighting industry, and one recent development that’s especially intriguing is color-tunable luminaires — that is, luminaires that can change their spectral power distribution (SPD). Although versions of this product type have been around for years, LEDs make color-tunable luminaires much more practical, even though at present they remain a niche market segment. With potential benefits including improved health and wellbeing, increased productivity, enhanced mood or alertness, and higher occupant satisfaction, there’s reason to believe that color-tunable luminaires will gain market share. But at this point it’s important to understand the tradeoffs, limitations, and issues, so that the industry can work together to maximize the rate of product maturation. That’s why DOE’s CALiPER program has begun a series of investigations into this emerging product category. The first report in that series, Report 23: Photometric Testing of White-Tunable LED Luminaires, has just been released.

Traditional photometric testing procedures have already been disrupted by SSL technology, as new product capabilities and performance variables have required the development of new test methods. Measuring and reporting performance of color-tunable lamps and luminaires is the latest such challenge. With a variable SPD, color metrics and other performance attributes such as lumen output, power draw, and efficacy extend across a range for any given luminaire, which makes reporting metric values more complicated than reporting the single values that characterize other products. A single photometric test following IES LM-79-08 procedures is no longer sufficient for characterizing color-tunable products — and in some cases, the range of possibilities is nearly limitless, complicating the development of new test procedures that won’t place an unreasonable burden on manufacturers. To date, no standardized procedure for testing color-tunable products has been developed or proposed, but there are many ideas to consider — similar to the situation that existed prior to the adoption of IES LM-79-08, which standardized photometry of SSL products.


The main goal of the new CALiPER study was to understand the amount of testing required to characterize a white-tunable LED lighting product. In this case, determining a sufficient protocol required more extensive testing than would be feasible for widespread use. Eight white-tunable luminaires were tested at dozens of points covering the range of color tuning (CCT) and dimming (luminous intensity). The new report focuses on the full-intensity measurements, which were typically at 11 color set points covering a range of CCTs, and reveals substantial variation in input power, lumen output, efficacy, and Duv over the color-tuning range for many of the products, which would not be captured with only a few test points. The results show that future test procedures will likely require at least five to seven measurement points to provide a reasonable characterization. The increase in testing burden on manufacturers could potentially be mitigated by specifying a relatively brief measurement stabilization process between readings at different settings, rather than requiring a lengthy warmup period between readings.

The secondary goal of the study was to investigate and document the performance of available color-tunable luminaires that are intended for architectural lighting rather than entertainment lighting — specifically, troffers and downlights. The data demonstrate a variety of approaches used to achieve variable CCTs. A key distinction is linear (produced by two color channels) versus nonlinear (produced by three or more color channels) white tuning. Linear-tuning products can’t track the blackbody locus (i.e., they can’t maintain a constant Duv as CCT is adjusted), whereas the nonlinear-tuning products studied were effective at following the blackbody locus. The importance of this distinction with regard to subjective impression requires further investigation.

A second key distinction is how each luminaire manufacturer chose to treat lumen output, power draw, and efficacy over the dimming range. In some cases, one of the parameters was held constant while the others varied considerably, whereas in other cases, all three parameters were reasonably consistent. The balance of the products exhibited substantial variation across all three parameters. The different approaches are important to consider, not only because they affect subjective impressions, but also for practical reasons during specification or energy-efficiency program qualification.

In most cases, color-tunable LED luminaires are currently not competitive with fixed-color products of the same type, if efficacy is the prime criterion. However, color-tunable products may offer non-energy benefits, such as the ability to shift spectrum to support human circadian cycles, affect mood and alertness, or provide a visually dynamic environment. For the downlight products in the study, the efficacy was substantially below the ENERGY STAR qualification threshold, but in appropriate applications where aesthetics, wellness, or occupant satisfaction is very important, color-tunable luminaires are capable replacements offering features not practically available with any other lighting technology.

There are also others in the industry who are studying the issue of color-tuning luminaires, including a working group of the Illuminating Engineering Society LM-79 committee, and the new CALiPER report will help them in their efforts. But the report also raises a number of questions about existing test methodology and its application to this category of products — questions that will require further discussion and consideration in the near future. DOE has devoted a new section of its SSL website to this important topic, and is in the process of preparing additional guidance — including separate sets of forthcoming guidelines on specifying and controlling LED color-tunable products — as well as further reports in the CALiPER 23 series. So stay “tuned.”

Eaton Launches The Lighting reSOURCE Online Informational Hub

Eaton recently announced the launch of The Lighting reSOURCE, an online hub providing lighting industry professionals with information, news and original content designed to inspire and educate.

The site features educational content including energy and LED tool kits, incentive maps, energy savings calculators and original content about lighting industry trends, regulations and innovations, in addition to photo galleries to inspire designs.

The site also includes Building Information Modeling (BIM) content and a BIM questions and answers section, where visitors can ask Eaton’s lighting BIM professionals questions. In addition, the site also features content and training information from Eaton’s industry-leading educational center, the SOURCE. Lastly, The Lighting reSOURCE will also be home to the company’s annual SOURCE Awards national lighting design competition for students and professionals.

Click here to visit.


Product Monday: High-Bay Luminaires by Hubbell

Hubbell Industrial Lighting has added three new LED products to its popular HBL and KHL high-bay lines: a high output HBL highbay (HBLHO), a flood light version of the HBL (HBL Flood) and a flood light version of the Kemlux III highbay (KHL Flood).

With light output of up to 21,000 lumens, Hubbell Industrial Lighting’s new HBLHO delivers up to 100 lumens per watt; comes in three distinct beam distributions (aisle, narrow and wide); has a sealed optic for a long life of 100,000 hours at L70 and durability. It is also built to withstand temperatures ranging from -40°C to 40°C. The luminaire has a 68 CRI at 5000K and 80 CRI at 2700K, 3000K, 3500K and 4000K.

The new HBL Flood is especially well-suited for tough industrial environments because of its high performance and long-life, combined with its rugged low copper alloy aluminum die cast design and heavy-duty yoke. The LED luminaire is available in three lumen packages, ranging from 10,778 to 16,000 lumens; two beam distributions (narrow and wide); and five color temperatures (2700K, 3000K, 3500K, 4000K and 5000K). The product is built to withstand temperatures up to 55°C.

The HBLHO and HBL Flood are IP56, CSA tested to UL1598 Wet Location; and are DLC Listed, Wet Location Listed and come with a 5-year warranty.

Hubbell Industrial Lighting’s new Kemlux III LED Flood Light (KHL Flood) is designed to efficiently light hazardous applications, such as chemical, petrochemical, marine and power generation plants. Designed to light the most complex environments, the KHL Flood delivers up to 105 lumens per watt of 5100K light with an output ranging from 4,405 to 9,004 lumens. The unique radial design with fins of durable copper-free, cast aluminum allows it to operate in -40°C to 40°C ambient environments and keeps the LEDs cool, resulting in an estimated 100,000 hours of life at L70. Plus, the tan Lektrocote powder polyester paint finish provides excellent corrosion resistance from most chemicals.

The KHL Flood has high-output LED counts of 18, 24 and 36 on up to six individual light engines, providing fail-safe redundancy. The luminaire’s custom-engineered LED optics provide optimally controlled and evenly distributed light with three distinct distributions: Type V square, Type V rectangle and Narrow. The KHL Flood comes standard with surge protection; is listed to UL844 for use in hazardous locations; CSA Listed to UL1598 Damp Location; is Class I, Division 2, Groups A, B, C, & D certified; and has a T-code of 5, The fixture is also IP56 and has a 5 year warranty.

Click here to learn more.

Hubbell Industrial Lighting Expands Its Awarding Winning HBL - flood

Hubbell Industrial Lighting Expands Its Awarding Winning HBL - flood 2

Hubbell Industrial Lighting Expands Its Awarding Winning HBL - press releasephotos

OLED at the Cusp

This article is my contribution to the November 2015 issue of tED Magazine, published by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED). Reprinted with permission.

As LED lighting transforms the lighting industry, another solid-state lighting technology continues to make strides and offer dramatic possibilities as a complementary source. This technology is the organic LED, or OLED.

“Today, OLED is just a design topic,” says Dr. Karsten Diekmann, Senior Manager, Marketing and Product & Application Engineering, OSRAM OLED GmbH. “Tomorrow, OLED is a valid alternative to everything.”

In fact, a range of commercially available products are already currently competing with LED and conventional lighting in various applications.

Image courtesy of Acuity Brands.

Image courtesy of Acuity Brands.

The OLED source consists of a stack of organic (carbon-based) thin films layered between two electrodes and typically encased in plastic or glass. This results in a light source that is ultrathin—less than 2 mm—but can theoretically have a large area.

While the LED is a tiny and directional point source, OLED is a flat and diffuse area source. LED is well suited to providing focused light in a single direction; OLED is well suited to area ambient lighting. LED is very bright, and like conventional sources, it requires external optics and shielding to direct the light and prevent direct glare. In contrast, OLED’s emission is very diffuse, with optics potentially built into the light source itself; the source can be viewed directly without glare.

Because the light source does not get hot during operation and doesn’t need heat sinking, it offers the potential to integrate with architectural surfaces and materials. The source’s characteristics allow it to be manufactured in custom shapes. It also has the potential to be manufactured as a flexible and even as a transparent material.

“As OLED advances in performance, continues to decline in cost, and takes shape in flexible forms, this technology will continue to advance lighting design and what it can do to enhance the spaces where people live, work and play,” says Jeannine Fisher Wang, PE, LC, Director, Business Development, Acuity Brands.

This technology, young even relative to its LED cousin though emerging more rapidly, has gained traction in the display and automotive markets. Several manufacturers have begun commercializing the technology for the architectural lighting market. Early applications are primarily demonstration, custom and decorative projects, though some players are moving into general and niche applications such as task, sconce, pendant, display, signage and wayfinding lighting, and have products available today.

“In the past few years and even today, we see large custom installations,” says Giana Phelan, Director, Business Development, OLEDWorks LLC. “They create a ‘wow’ experience and are often animated with lightshows. More recently, we see OLED luminaires that target architectural and functional lighting applications while offering a very unique and differentiated look.”

Wang says current OLEDs are typically sold to OEMs as panels that can be mounted individually or in assemblies with optics, drivers and housing. OEMs than use the panels to develop OLED lighting solutions for use in traditional and innovative lighting applications.

Image courtesy of OSRAM.

Image courtesy of OSRAM.

The panel may be rigid or flexible. Panel shapes include rigid squares (2 in. x 2 in. up to 12 in. x 12 in.), flexible squares (up to 12 in. x 12 in.), rigid bars (1 in. x 4 in. up to 4 in. x 12 in.), flexible bars (2 in. x 8 in.) and rigid round (2 in. up to 4 in. diameter), with additional form factors emerging. While a luminance of 3,000 candelas per sq.m. is generally optimal for interior lighting, panels emitting up to 10,000 cd/sq.m. are available for applications where the light source is not directly viewed (though higher brightness may entail a tradeoff in service life).

Several tones of white light can be specified, from a warm 3000K to a neutral 3500K to a cool 4000K, with some availability in 2700K and 5000K. Color rendering is good to excellent at 85-90 CRI. Life has increased to 40,000 to 50,000 hours at L70.

“In the past five years, we made an average improvement of about 25 percent per year in efficacy and lifetime,” says Diekmann. “In five years, the gap to LED performance will be minimized, enabling the first penetration of functional lighting applications—not only design-driven applications.”

Wang adds that the next five years will bring new drivers and control protocols, a shift to flexible substrates, improved color rendering (including an R9>50 for rendering of saturated reds), and improved service life up to 50,000 hours at L85. Manufacturers are also exploring how to incorporate OLED into walls, ceilings, flooring and materials such as glass and furnishings.

While OLED solutions may include fewer components than LED and conventional lighting systems, cost remains a significant inhibitor to adoption of OLED because of manufacturing costs associated with the light source itself. Wang estimates OLED’s cost at $200-500/kilolumen at the panel level, though she adds the cost of OLED lighting has come down 40 percent in the last year alone. In five years, she expects panel cost to fall tenfold.

Image courtesy of OLEDWorks.

Image courtesy of OLEDWorks.

“The biggest challenge for OLED is to become widely available at significantly reduced cost,” she says. “While OLED is today more affordable than many think, landslide cost reductions are certainly on the horizon as the technology transfers to production using flexible substrates. At present, OLED can be easily considered for projects designated as specialty areas. For certain types of luminaires, such as sconces, OLED lighting is already cost competitive with comparable LED solutions. OLED will become cost competitive with the more commodity-type lighting solutions such as recessed LED troffers and linear pendants. The industry is making big investments toward achieving this goal and driving a timeline as short as three years from now.”

She adds, “OLED adds a special flair to any project, and electrical distributors should consider stocking some of the discrete-type OLED luminaires such as wall sconces and individual ceiling-mounted modules to offer their clients immediately available solutions that are truly unique.”

Phelan concludes: “OLED and LED are complementary solid-state lighting technologies, both easily controlled, dimmed and highly efficient. OLED’s naturally diffuse light quality, in a very thin package, is providing new inspiration for designers and luminaire manufacturers.”

IES Publishes 2015 Edition of Fundamentals of Lighting

iesThe Illuminating Engineering Society has updated “Fundamentals of Lighting,” its core knowledge course, with a brand-spanking new 2015 edition.

Previously seven modules, the course includes expanded material totaling 10 modules, and also includes new technical and design updates.

Click here to learn more and purchase.

LUX on GE’s Transformation

LUX has an interesting article about GE’s strategy of transforming its lighting business from focusing on lamp sales to regarding luminaires as a part of an intelligent package offering a broad range of capabilities, not just light.

Interesting take; read it here.

Maintenance and LED Lighting

Colorado Lighting’s Norma Frank, CLMC’s contribution to the October issue of LD+A makes the case of maintaining LED lighting. (I’m proud to say Colorado Lighting is one of my clients.)

LED luminaires are not “install and forget” devices, Frank argues. While they don’t require the same level of maintenance as conventional lighting, they must be maintained, and in some key ways they are maintained differently.

Click here to read it.

Product Monday: Kju Circle LED by Selux

Selux Corporation’s Kju Circle LED offers a variety of mounting opportunities and pattern arrangements perfect for illuminating spaces. The circular shape conveys character in any setting.

Soft, diffused light emits via an opal cover for uniform illumination. The Kju Circle LED is transparent and light with minimal construction height. Available in direct and direct/indirect distributions.

Kju is also available in Square configurations.

Click here to learn more.


CLUE Competition Opens

The Community Lighting for the Urban Environment (CLUE) competition, aimed at students and emerging professionals and sponsored by Philips Lighting, is now welcoming submissions of projects and innovative ideas.

Winners receive one of three grants totaling $8,500 and secure an expense-paid trip to LIGHTFAIR.

Click here to learn more.