Month: July 2011

What’s New In Linear Fluorescent Lamps And Ballasts?

Significant innovation in linear fluorescent lighting is being spurred on by commercial building energy codes, sustainability initiatives, new legislation and regulations, customer demands and competition from other light sources, such…

Significant innovation in linear fluorescent lighting is being spurred on by commercial building energy codes, sustainability initiatives, new legislation and regulations, customer demands and competition from other light sources, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In short, fluorescent lighting is generally become more efficient, more controllable and longer life.

Check out this article I wrote for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR that provides an in-depth look at what’s new in linear fluorescent lamps and ballasts over the past 12-18 months, which describes general market trends, specific product trends, and resulting innovations, including a large number of examples of products. The article is based on a presentation Howard Wolfman and I gave at LIGHTFAIR this past year looking at what’s new in lamps and ballasts across all of the light source families.

Read it here.

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HBA Announces the Launch of Illuminate, A New Lighting Design Firm

HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates, a hospitality design firm, is bringing 45 years of experience in creating lighting projects to the global design community through Illuminate. An independent lighting consultancy, Illuminate will…

HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates, a hospitality design firm, is bringing 45 years of experience in creating lighting projects to the global design community through Illuminate. An independent lighting consultancy, Illuminate will provide services beyond HBA projects, reaching-out to all professional design companies and clients by offering them solutions to bring light to their projects.

“Good lighting design should first be dictated by the emotional and creative response, and then facilitated by the mathematical and scientific knowledge,” said Simon Berry, Director of Illuminate. “With the correct balance of light and shadow we draw reference to the natural world. Consider light falling through the branches of a tree creating shadow and texture to the floor beneath; if you remove the shadow then it instantly loses the contrast and the perception of light is lost.”

Illuminate’s strength is founded on the team’s ability to seamlessly collaborate with the client, design team, and art consultant to achieve the physical requirements of the project. It also acts to elicit an emotional response from an individual. This is achieved by calling upon a lighting design team which has a broad range of experience and creative knowledge, enabling Illuminate to uniquely tailor the approach to each project.

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Leni Schwendinger Offers Podcast Tour Of Tidal Radiance Project

Leni Schwendinger Light Projects recently announced the latest installment in a series of podcasts, produced by CultureNow’s MuseumWithoutWalls, highlighting the project Tidal Radiance. To set the stage for a dramatic…

Leni Schwendinger Light Projects recently announced the latest installment in a series of podcasts, produced by CultureNow’s MuseumWithoutWalls, highlighting the project Tidal Radiance.

To set the stage for a dramatic transformation during night, it was important that the sculptural elements remain neutral by day. To accomplish this, Light Projects collaborated with the architect on material selections responsive to sunlight. After dark, Tidal Radiance becomes a shimmering, organic form seen from near and far. The artwork is visible to boats, pedestrians and motorists along the Embarcadero promenade.

Leni Schwendinger introduces you to the project in a free podcast available here.

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Product Monday: Verbatim Launches Color-Tunable Commercial OLED Products

Verbatim Americas, LLC recently announced the availability of color-tunable OLED (organic LED) lighting panels at LIGHTFAIR in Philly. Intended for sale to OEMs for general lighting, furniture lighting and other…

Verbatim Americas, LLC recently announced the availability of color-tunable OLED (organic LED) lighting panels at LIGHTFAIR in Philly. Intended for sale to OEMs for general lighting, furniture lighting and other applications, the 14-cm x 14-cm OLED panels are based on unique materials technology developed by Verbatim’s parent company, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. Full-scale production will start in July.

The large surfaces of Verbatim OLEDs, branded VELVE, produce a soft light, free from glare and with deeply saturated colors. The OLEDs, which do not contain hazardous materials, are very efficient,
producing 28 LPW at 1000 cd/m2 with a high CRI rating. Color tuning and white tone tuning allow the mood of a space to be varied to suit its function at the time. For example, it may be changed from a workspace requiring bright, cool light, to a place of relaxation with warm, subdued lighting.

To simplify development work, Verbatim offers a module as well as a sample kit. The sample kit is designed for lighting engineers and development engineers, containing an OLED that can be connected
directly to AC power. It can be used to evaluate seven pre-programmed saturated colours, white tone tunability and a dimming function. The second product is an OLED module with a printed circuit board
that provides an industry-standard DMX interface for RGB color control and a DALI interface for white tunability. Both development products are available now, direct from Verbatim.

Click here to learn more.

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LD+A Publishes “Confessions Of A Light Addict”

Ingo Maurer’s so-called “addiction to light” began many years ago in Venice when the then-graphic designer had a tad too much white wine during a leisurely lunch. After returning to…

Ingo Maurer’s so-called “addiction to light” began many years ago in Venice when the then-graphic designer had a tad too much white wine during a leisurely lunch. After returning to his room for a nap, Maurer was taken by the sight of a lone incandescent light bulb hanging from the ceiling. What could have been a drunken reverie turned instead into a revelation: Maurer determined that he would turn his sights to the medium of light. More than 40 years later, his work has been showcased all over the globe.

Read the rest of the story here.

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ASHRAE Tells Congress To Resume Work On Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey

Recently, LightNOW reported that the Department of Energy botched the 2007 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, and then postponed work on the 2011 CBECS due to budget cuts. Our take…

Recently, LightNOW reported that the Department of Energy botched the 2007 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, and then postponed work on the 2011 CBECS due to budget cuts. Our take is that you cannot set policy if you cannot measure, and you cannot maximize your building’s savings without benchmarks. The data this survey yields is an incredibly valuable snapshot of commercial building energy use, including adoption rates for energy-efficient lighting strategies. The latest data is from 2003, and is severely outdated.

ASHRAE responded by calling on Congress to let DOE do its job. On July 13, Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Russ Carnahan (D-MO), co-chairs of the High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus expressed their support on the House floor.

Carnahan read from the ASHRAE letter on the House floor, saying if work on the 2011 CBECS data does not resume, “the government and industry will be forced to rely on data that is nearly a decade old, resulting in potential missed opportunities to increase building efficiency.”

“Many members of the High Performance Building Coalition have come to us to express their concern about an updated CBECS since the latest data is nearly a decade old,” Biggert said while addressing the House. “Substantial investments in the commercial building sector have been made since the last CBECS was published in 2003. The updated data is not only valuable to building owners looking to make improvements, but also necessary to inform the Annual Energy Outlook that we, in Congress, rely on.”

Thank you, ASHRAE!

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Jim Brodrick On Round 12 Of CALiPER Testing

Guest post by Jim Brodrick, Department of Energy This week, the Round 12 Summary Report for the CALiPER testing program was published, and as usual, the results are worth noting….

Guest post by Jim Brodrick, Department of Energy

This week, the Round 12 Summary Report for the CALiPER testing program was published, and as usual, the results are worth noting. For those of you who may not know, CALiPER stands for Commercially Available LED Product Evaluation and Reporting, and it’s a DOE program that supports the testing of a wide array of SSL products available for general illumination. Those products are compared for benchmark purposes with similar products that use traditional light sources, and the results of each testing round are highlighted in a Summary Report that’s posted online, with detailed reports going into greater depth.

CALiPER Round 12 focused mainly on recessed downlights, track lights, and replacement A-lamps, and some of the results applied to all of the categories. For example, one of the issues with LED lighting has been its color quality, but that’s starting to change. Color quality was significantly better than it was in Round 11, with almost all of the LED products tested in Round 12 having a CCT in the warm-white range and a CRI above 80. That, combined with an overall improvement in Duv, makes the Round 12 LED products comparable to their traditional counterparts as far as color is concerned – no small feat, considering that it’s easier to achieve higher efficacies with LEDs that emit cool-white light than with those that emit the warm-white light consumers tend to prefer.

The steady increase in efficacy we’ve been seeing continued in Round 12, although it might not be obvious from a cursory glance at the Summary Report. That’s because the average efficacy of all SSL products tested in Round 12 was 46 lm/W, which is slightly lower than the overall average seen in Round 11. How could that indicate an increase in efficacy, you might ask? Well, when we look at the details, we see that it’s actually higher than the average for warm-white SSL products tested in previous rounds, when many of LED products tended to fall into the cool-white range. This means that in a true apples-to-apples comparison, the efficacy trend is still upward.

The results of Round 12 also confirm that LED recessed downlights and track lights are now able to provide high-efficacy alternatives to their traditional counterparts. While those tested varied in terms of light output, efficacy, and beam characteristics, all of the 4-6″ SSL recessed downlights matched or exceeded the average light output levels for similar products that use CFL, incandescent, or halogen lamps – and achieved three to six times the luminaire efficacy of incandescent or halogen recessed downlights. As for the SSL track lights, although their average efficacy is still lower than for SSL recessed downlights, they still significantly outperformed the benchmark track lighting products.

The results of Round 12 testing were also encouraging for SSL A-lamps, which showed significant improvements over previous rounds. All eight LED products tested had efficacies of at least 50 lm/W, with one of them achieving 97 lm/W. That’s especially impressive when you consider that their relatively small size not only restricts thermal management, but requires that the drive electronics be compact and located close to the LED devices.

In terms of color, all but one of the SSL A-lamps emitted warm-white light, with a CRI greater than 80. Two of them achieved the light output levels of a typical 60W incandescent bulb, and one of those two products even mimicked the omnidirectional distribution of incandescent bulbs. However, most of the SSL A-lamps tested had beam patterns that were directional rather than omnidirectional, making them more comparable to reflector lamps (R-lamps) than to the A-lamps.

Things also looked good overall for the A-lamps in terms of manufacturer claims. Three-quarters of them are listed by the DOE Lighting Facts® program, and the performance of all but one of these met manufacturer ratings and equivalency claims. In contrast, the two products that are not listed by Lighting Facts both had equivalency statements that were inaccurate, and one of these also had inaccurate manufacturer ratings in addition to being significantly larger than the standard A-19 format. The latter characteristic might cause problems when trying to screw the product into some sockets – another caveat emptor for consumers.

So it’s clear that, although there’s been progress made with SSL A-lamps, there are a number of things to consider when making purchases. That’s why we’ll be taking a deeper dive into those issues with a special panel at DOE’s sixth annual SSL Market Introduction Workshop, which will be held in Seattle July 12-14. The panel will look at what the latest DOE Lighting Facts Product Snapshot tells us about SSL replacement lamps, as well as what we can learn from a new CALiPER study that purchased such products directly from big-box retail shelves. That study found that the small replacement lamps purchased showed far less consistency of performance, and significantly poorer performance on average, than the replacement lamps tested in Round 12. There’ll also be a representative from one of the major chains, giving a retailer’s perspective on how to use DOE’s Lighting Facts program to assist in product selection and consumer education.

With the efficiency requirements mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 slated to start rolling out next year, LED replacement lamps are an especially hot topic these days, and I hope to see many of you there in Seattle.

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GE Lighting To Acquire LED Driver Manufacturer Lightech

GE Lighting today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Lightech, a privately held company based near Tel Aviv, Israel, with commercial teams in Europe, the USA and Asia….

GE Lighting today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Lightech, a privately held company based near Tel Aviv, Israel, with commercial teams in Europe, the USA and Asia. Lightech specializes in providing LED electronic drivers, plus halogen transformers, to the lighting industry. The purchase price was not disclosed. This strategic acquisition supports GE Lighting position as the lighting market continues to evolve towards more-efficient technology.

“For our customers, this acquisition means we will deliver a more optimized, energy-efficient LED lighting system–faster,” says GE Lighting President & CEO Maryrose Sylvester. “Combining GE’s power electronics design capability with Lightech’s breadth of high-efficiency power supplies and controllability positions GE to respond to the market with complete systems and higher performance drivers and controls. We are excited about the opportunities–for GE and for our customers.”

The transaction, which is subject to customary regulatory reviews and approvals, is expected to close within the next six to eight weeks.

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DOE Releases Summary Results From Round 12 of CALiPER Testing

The Department of Energy has completed Round 12 of product testing through the DOE SSL CALiPER program. A Summary Report containing the results from Round 12 testing is now available…

The Department of Energy has completed Round 12 of product testing through the DOE SSL CALiPER program. A Summary Report containing the results from Round 12 testing is now available for download on the DOE SSL website here.

Round 12 of product testing included six primary focus areas: 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.

The Summary Report provides an overview of photometric performance results, and discusses the results with respect to similar products that use conventional light sources, results from earlier rounds of CALiPER testing, and manufacturer ratings.

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