Month: June 2014

Product Monday: OLED Marker Lights by Acuity Brands

Acuity Brands’ Marker Light Series concept OLED luminaires create a directional beacon in high traffic areas, add visual appeal, provide subtle orientation along a movement path, and provide low-level illumination…

Acuity Brands’ Marker Light Series concept OLED luminaires create a directional beacon in high traffic areas, add visual appeal, provide subtle orientation along a movement path, and provide low-level illumination in critical care areas as part of a 24-hour lighting scheme. The series also demonstrates use of an amber OLED at a 590 nm peak and fixed luminance of 600 candelas per square meter, making the lighting solution suitable for night lighting in healthcare applications.

This concept luminaire series, featuring OLED panels from OLEDWorks, was demonstrated by Acuity Brands at the company’s LIGHTFAIR booth in Las Vegas.

Click here to learn more.

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Call for Donations to the Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund

The Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund (JSSF) is a UK-registered charity which provides support to students of architecture who wish to enter the architectural lighting design profession. It has been set…

speirsThe Jonathan Speirs Scholarship Fund (JSSF) is a UK-registered charity which provides support to students of architecture who wish to enter the architectural lighting design profession. It has been set up at the request of the late Jonathan Speirs, who passed away two years ago, on June 18.

The aim of the charity is to provide funding to allow “a student of architecture to investigate the study of architectural lighting design.” The charity is entirely funded by donations from companies and individuals, particularly from the lighting, architecture, and engineering communities.

Having launched JSSF in November 2012 the charity successfully raised sufficient funds to be able to support the inaugural Jonathan Speirs Scholarship which was awarded to Alex Stewart of Parsons The New School for Design, New York a year later.

Click here to learn more.

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Jim Brodrick: Reflections on LIGHTFAIR

Republication of Postings from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Program by Jim Brodrick, U.S. Department of Energy If you attended LIGHTFAIR International last week in Las Vegas,…

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

by Jim Brodrick, U.S. Department of Energy

If you attended LIGHTFAIR International last week in Las Vegas, we hope you got a chance to stop by DOE’s booth and catch our SSL educational presentations that played to SRO crowds throughout the show. In between those presentations, the various members of our SSL team found time to walk the show floor, and we thought we’d share our observations with you in this week’s Posting.

Whereas the emphasis at LIGHTFAIRs past seemed to be on LED replacement lamps, this year replacement lamps — albeit plentiful in number — were mostly in the background, with the accent shifted to newer form factors such as pendant-style and flush-mount, in some cases involving flexible materials. That trend could indicate the beginning of the real SSL revolution, as manufacturers start to think “outside the bulb” in earnest. It might also reflect the fact that comparable LED lamps are being offered by a wide range of companies, to the point where customers have become comfortable with, and even used to, those products.

Speaking of form factors, this year’s LIGHTFAIR sent a signal that “thin is in,” with a number of edge-lit LED luminaires spearheading a perceptible movement away from the deeper, heavier, “clunkier” look — a development that will eventually have a significant impact on how buildings are built and how lighting is deployed. While there were some edge-lit products at last year’s show, this year there were far more, and they looked and performed better.

It’s also evident that manufacturers are becoming increasingly attuned and responsive to customer feedback — and that, in addition, they’re starting to focus on putting added value in SSL products. One example that reflects both trends is the move toward higher color quality, which — for replacement lamps — has largely been driven by California’s codes. Many brands displayed at LIGHTFAIR offered 95-CRI options for new and retrofit lamps, usually with CCTs of 2700K and 3000K, and there were numerous products where the manufacturers had “played with the recipe” to achieve better color quality — e.g., by biasing the product below the black body curve and aiming for a wider color gamut. Several displays featured the ability of specially tuned LED lights to make white materials and surfaces appear brighter and whiter. We also saw many LED lighting products that were color-tunable, enabling the user to change the spectral content, with some purporting to affect mood, health, and productivity as well as aesthetics.

There seems to be increased awareness of flicker issues, and a determination to fix them with better drivers and improved dimmer design. And significant gains in efficacy may be just around the corner, as we saw some demos (lamp and luminaire) that were in the neighborhood of 200 lm/W.

Another thing we couldn’t help but notice at this year’s LIGHTFAIR was that controls were everywhere. It seemed as though almost every booth had a control system to demonstrate, and although standards for controls are still lacking, a lot more functions are now being offered — such as tiered capabilities that can encompass individuals, small groups, multiple groups, or integrated building systems, all tied together with networked communication. New developments in sensor technology are leading to an increase in the intelligence of these systems, some of which even offer video capture, real-time analysis, and the use of frequency-modulated light for wireless location tracking of shoppers in retail stores. And in some cases the integration of sensors and communications chips into the luminaire itself is leading to hands-free self-commissioning of installations to meet all required codes.

As for OLEDs, they’re looking better than ever as they move closer to being ready for prime time. But there’s still a lack of commercial products — although those we did see at LIGHTFAIR displayed a good deal of novelty (e.g., transparency, tunability, flexibility). Some of the design concepts based on thin sheets of light, which had been introduced by OLED luminaire manufacturers, are being adopted by LED manufacturers using edge-lit systems — which at first glance might seem to be alarming news to OLED manufacturers but is actually encouraging, not only because it confirms that those designs are desirable and worth pursuing, but also because they’re best-suited to the unique strengths and advantages of OLED technology.

While the progress SSL has made is impressive, it’s far from being “game over.” The technology still has a ways to go to achieve its full potential, and there are a number of issues yet to be addressed. But having seen LIGHTFAIR 2014, we can’t help feeling encouraged — and filled with the feeling that the best is yet to come.

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Greenbuild Registration Now Open

Online attendee registration is now open for Greenbuild, the sustainability conference, which will be held in New Orleans (great city) this year. Click here to register.

greenbuild

Online attendee registration is now open for Greenbuild, the sustainability conference, which will be held in New Orleans (great city) this year.

Click here to register.

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Testing the LED A-lamp Market

The California Lighting Technology Center recently tested 26 LED A-lamp products marketed as alternatives to 60W incandescent A-lamps. Data collected on power (W), voltage (V), luminous output (lumens), correlated color…

cltcThe California Lighting Technology Center recently tested 26 LED A-lamp products marketed as alternatives to 60W incandescent A-lamps. Data collected on power (W), voltage (V), luminous output (lumens), correlated color temperature (CCT), color rendering index (CRI), rated life, and dimming performance allowed for comparison with manufacturers’ claims as well as current lamp quality standards.

The results of this testing program are summarized here.

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Product Monday: SwitchSense Bulb Adapter by Wireless Environment

Wireless Environment’s SwitchSense Bulb Adapter is designed to enable LED and CFL lamps to operate for up to three hours during a power outage. When power is available, the product…

adapterWireless Environment’s SwitchSense Bulb Adapter is designed to enable LED and CFL lamps to operate for up to three hours during a power outage.

When power is available, the product constantly stores power in an embedded battery using a trickle charge. Onboard intelligence detects a failure of power and switches to backup power, during which time the lamp can still be controlled by a light switch.

Designed for luminaires fitted for lamps with an Edison base, the adapter screws into the luminaire’s socket, and the lamp installs in the adapter. Suitable for residential, office, retail and hospitality applications.

The SwitchSense Bulb Adapter will launch in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Click here to learn more.

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DOE LIGHTFAIR Presentations Posted

AT LIGHTFAIR, DOE experts presented on a wide range of solid-state lighting topics. These presentations, plus other materials, are now available for free download here.

doeAT LIGHTFAIR, DOE experts presented on a wide range of solid-state lighting topics.

These presentations, plus other materials, are now available for free download here.

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Utility Rebates for LED Upgrades of T8 and T12 Fluorescent Systems

There are many LED solutions available to upgrade from fluorescent T8 or T12, from new luminaires to retrofit kits and replacement lamps. Utility rebates for these LED solutions are growing…

There are many LED solutions available to upgrade from fluorescent T8 or T12, from new luminaires to retrofit kits and replacement lamps. Utility rebates for these LED solutions are growing but still not widespread. Here’s a BriteSwitch graphic showing what’s available now, based on their database. Learn more here.

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Lighting Research Center Authors National Academies Report on New Roadway Lighting Technologies

The rapid development of lighting technologies, particularly solid-state systems using LEDs, has opened a universe of new possibilities as well as new questions about roadway lighting in the United States,…

The rapid development of lighting technologies, particularly solid-state systems using LEDs, has opened a universe of new possibilities as well as new questions about roadway lighting in the United States, which for decades has been dominated by the use of HPS lamps. Other light source technologies have also been angling for roadway market share. There is a critical need for objective technical information about new types of roadway lighting among transportation agencies.

In response, the Transportation Research Board (TRB), part of the National Academies, initiated a project to evaluate new lighting technologies and identify new metrics for comparison. Lighting Research Center (LRC) scientists John Bullough, who served as principal investigator, and Leora Radetsky, co-authored the report, entitled “Analysis of New Highway Lighting Technologies.”

A major challenge in assessing new roadway lighting technologies is that information for different systems is given in different forms, making comparisons difficult. Bullough and Radetsky systematically analyzed the performance of a number of representative luminaires of each type, and developed a consistent “data sheet” format, allowing direct comparisons. They found that many commercially available LED, CMH and plasma roadway lighting systems can meet existing standards for lighting collector roads and freeways, achieving comparable or greater pole spacing than HPS systems and in many cases, resulting in lower energy use.

Importantly, say Bullough and Radetsky, not all systems of each type performed equally well. This underscores the importance of developing consistent data reporting formats such as those in their report.

The authors found that pole height was an important factor in the overall effectiveness of the roadway lighting system. A metric developed by the LRC, called luminaire system application efficacy (LSAE), can be used to optimize pole height and spacing to achieve optimal economic performance of different roadway lighting designs. Bullough and Radetsky also recommend that transportation agencies begin considering new benefit metrics for roadway lighting including photometric quantities based on mesopic vision, brightness perception and visual comfort.

Download the report here.

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DOE Suspends L Prize PAR38 Competition

Effective June 13, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy suspended the L Prize PAR38 Competition. No entries will be accepted. The L Prize Competition launched in 2008 as the first…

Effective June 13, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy suspended the L Prize PAR38 Competition. No entries will be accepted.

The L Prize Competition launched in 2008 as the first government-sponsored technology competition designed to spur development of highly efficient, high-performance LED replacement products. A winning entry in the 60W replacement lamp category was awarded the first L Prize in 2011, but no entries have been received in the PAR38 category.

According to DOE’s SSL Program Jim Brodrick: “The competition sets reach targets for industry, and current LED PAR38 products on the market fall far short of reaching the rigorous L Prize targets, making it unlikely DOE will receive a qualifying entry in a reasonable amount of time. DOE cannot lower the efficacy target because it was set by Congress. DOE will continue to monitor the PAR38 market for performance and price improvements, to consider reopening the competition at a later date.”

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