Month: January 2016

Hubbell’s Chris Bailey on LED Optics

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Bailey, LC, LEED AP BD+C, DDI, MIES, Director, Business Development and Product Innovation for Hubbell Lighting, Inc. The topic: optical approaches used…

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Bailey, LC, LEED AP BD+C, DDI, MIES, Director, Business Development and Product Innovation for Hubbell Lighting, Inc. The topic: optical approaches used with LED illumination products. I’m happy to share his responses with you here. The interview informed an article I wrote for the June 2016 issue of tED.

DiLouie: What is the purpose of an optical system, as applied to a light source in any luminaire or directional lamp?

Bailey: The purpose of an optical system is to redirect the light emitted from the source or sources as a means to achieve a desired photometric effect. This may vary from the overtly creative to the highly technical. Whether the goal is to enhance productivity, reduce errors, prevent crime, increase occupant safety, satisfaction and comfort or to simply create drama, light is capable of doing so much, given the appropriate optical system.

DiLouie: What optical approaches are common for traditional fluorescent, HID and incandescent/halogen luminaires and directional lamps?

Bailey: Light emitted from most any lamp is controlled in a similar way, through reflection and refraction. Lamp characteristics such as surface temperature, lamp profile/shape, lamp source distribution pattern, lamp envelope (size), surface brightness, etc. play a role in how optics are physically carried out. To the extent that these characteristics are somewhat similar, the optical systems deployed are similar as well.

DiLouie: What optical approaches are common for LED luminaires and lamps? Why were these approaches developed?

Bailey: Just as the use and application of LED technology broadly covers general ambient and specialized categories, the optical systems in use today for LED luminaires and lamps ranges from the simple, like frosted diffusers, to the complex and elaborate, for example nested TIR (total internal reflection).

In residential applications, as well as some recessed linear commercial applications, it is relatively common to use an interior reflective white surface or frosted (at times prismatic) diffuser, prismatic film, or a combination thereof, to collect, shape, diffuse, control and transmit the light emitted from a luminaire. Typical materials for both recessed and suspended linear products include matte and mirrored linear reflectors, molded prismatic lenses (for control and diffusion), louvers and light guides.

Recessed downlights intended for architectural and commercial applications more frequently utilize specular reflectors in an effort to maximize efficacy, enhance photometric precision, manage striations, minimize the apparent brightness of the reflector surface and generally blend into a commercial or architectural ceiling. Typical materials and approaches include Alzak reflectors, molded baffles, Fresnel lenses and regressed optics. More recently, the use of TIR optics and/or prismatic films have been deployed in this category of products. As such, the role of the specular reflector, in some cases, is has become simply aesthetic or used for lamp source shielding. The use of diffusion film of “frosted” internal optical elements are also used today where different (color or color temperature) LEDs are being utilized (ex: multi-die LED array) within a single luminaire; as would be in the case in a “color tunable” and some “dim-to-warm” products.

Perhaps the most common optical system in use today for industrial, outdoor and some indoor products is the TIR optic, which are available in a range of materials such as acrylic, polycarbonate, silicone and glass. While some reflector-based LED optical systems are in used today, this approach has proven to be one of the most efficient means of maximizing both optical coupling (light extraction) and optical efficiency (light transmission). These lenses can be designed as single elements or molded in an array to control the light from multiple LEDs and encompass some of the necessary mechanical provisions.

DiLouie: What are the benefits of these optical approaches compared to optics for traditional products?

Bailey: While some of these optical approaches should seem quite familiar, some are distinctly new (ex: light guides and TIR optics). Given the relatively small format of LED sources and inherent directionality of light emission, these approaches uniquely enable LED luminaire designers to imagine new luminaire physical profiles and maximize luminaire efficacy.

DiLouie: Some manufacturers are offering 3D printed optical systems allowing optics to be made to individual specification. What are the pros and cons and target markets for this offering?

Bailey: 3D printing holds much promise for the solid-state lighting industry. Given the relatively high cost of injection molding reflectors or TIR optics, 3D printing enables optical designers and manufacturers to either quickly evaluate several optical approaches or confirm design assumptions prior to committing to the cost and lead-time for optical tooling and first article parts. While the precision of some 3D printers might be high enough for production optics, these printers are still rare, and the piece part pricing is still much higher than traditional injection molding. Also, the UV stability, transmission (clarity) and surface finish available from the resins and 3D printers in use today may limit the applications to those indoors, at least for the time being. However, the recent developments with 3D printing technology certainly holds promise for cost-optimized and production-grade 3D printed optics in the future.

DiLouie: Some manufacturers are now offering TIR lenses for chip-on-board arrays. What are the pros and cons and target markets for this offering?

Bailey: Generally speaking, the sheer size of chip-on-board LED array require larger discrete optics. This can be somewhat limiting when molding precision plastic parts. Also, efficiently coupling to a plurality of LEDs within a single LED package can be challenging as well. If a generally symmetrical optical pattern is desired, then a COB with a TIR or combination (reflector + TIR) optic may hold promise. However, it may not be ideal for COBs – at least today – in asymmetric outdoor distributions or those applications requiring high center beam candlepower (CBCP). Companies, such as Fraen, have developed nested two-piece TIR optics for COBs which utilize a transition layer to aid in the collimation of light emitted by larger COB arrays. Most recently, many manufactures have resorted to “oversizing” the COB and lowering the current density to the internal LED array which helps overcome lower optical efficiencies by increasing source efficacy. While this may lead to relatively high delivered system efficacies, this approach does not necessarily improve lumen utilization or light on target.

DiLouie: What is the overall trend in LED optical design? What will LED optics look like in 3-5 years?

Bailey: As luminaires are purposely designed around LED sources, versus the common practice of “LEDifying” luminaires designed for legacy technologies, optical systems will continue to grow in significance. It is the “business end” of the luminaire. It represents a significant opportunity for specifiable differentiation and will remain such for years to come. As the overall physical footprint of LED luminaires scales, presumably down, to LED sources, optical systems may also play an increasing role in the overall fixture design and aesthetics.

DiLouie: What is the minimum electrical distributors should understand about optics when selling LED products to their customers?

Bailey: It’s not about lumens and efficacy. Some of the better performing luminaires may require less light (and corresponding fixture power) to meet the required light levels. Also, some products may sacrifice system efficiency to provide significant improvements in uniformity, reductions in glare and increased target efficacy. Suppliers should demonstrate a solid understanding of how to make LEDs work for you and provide compelling application performance for your customer though advanced optical design and technology.

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2015 SSL Technology Development Workshop Presentations Posted

The 10th annual DOE Solid-State Lighting Technology Development Workshop, held November 17–18 in Portland, OR, gathered more than 230 attendees to learn the latest on today’s toughest LED lighting issues…

The 10th annual DOE Solid-State Lighting Technology Development Workshop, held November 17–18 in Portland, OR, gathered more than 230 attendees to learn the latest on today’s toughest LED lighting issues and find out what’s next on the horizon.
Click here to download the presentations from the workshop.

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ARCHITECTURAL SSL Issues Call for Projects for Product Innovation Awards

Architectural SSL magazine recently announced the sixth annual Product Innovation Awards competition, which recognizes outstanding products and product developments relating to solid-state lighting. Products—both luminaires and components—and products as applied…

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Architectural SSL magazine recently announced the sixth annual Product Innovation Awards competition, which recognizes outstanding products and product developments relating to solid-state lighting. Products—both luminaires and components—and products as applied in projects, will be reviewed by the editorial staff and an expert panel of judges. The award winners will ultimately represent a peer-recognized selection of quality products that the architectural and lighting design community can feel comfortable specifying.

The cost per entry is $130. There is no limit on number of products that can be entered. The competition deadline is February 10, 2016.

Click here to learn more and submit a product.

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Brian Liebel, PE, Chosen as IES Technical Director of Standards

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) recently appointed Brian Liebel as the new Technical Director of Standards, effective February 16, 2016. Liebel succeeds Rita Harrold, who retired June…

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) recently appointed Brian Liebel as the new Technical Director of Standards, effective February 16, 2016.

Liebel succeeds Rita Harrold, who retired June 30, 2015. While Liebel will primarily be responsible for overseeing the development and production of IES Standards, he will also play a key role in developing plans and implementing programs to meet the objectives of the 2014-2020 IES Strategic Plan specific to Educational, Consensus, Research and Advocacy objectives.

It’s a tough and important job, with tough shoes to fill after Rita Harrold’s departure, but Liebel appears to be well suited to it.

Liebel joined the IES as a student while attending the University of Kansas School of Architectural Engineering, then under the direction of Ron “Doc” Helms. He attributes his dedication to lighting and the Society from his experience at KU, where he was a member of the first class of Besal Scholarship recipients in 1984. Throughout his 30-year career, Liebel has been involved with the IES as an educator, committee chair, and for the last 2½ years, a member of the Board of Directors. His professional career path has always emphasized his belief in melding the art and science of lighting design and illuminating engineering; he has received awards for both innovative design and technical achievement, been a recognized advocate for quality lighting in energy codes, and provided design guidance in lighting research. He received the Presidential Award at this year’s Annual Conference for overseeing the IES Business Review that was conducted in 2015.

Congratulations, Brian!

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Product Monday: Iolite Modular Downlight by Nora

NSpec, a division of Nora Lighting, has introduced Iolite, a series of modular LED downlights. Iolite is available with 1-, 2- and 4-in. apertures for a minimal architectural appearance and…

NoraNSpec, a division of Nora Lighting, has introduced Iolite, a series of modular LED downlights. Iolite is available with 1-, 2- and 4-in. apertures for a minimal architectural appearance and offers more than 100 design and trim possibilities.

The LED downlight features one LED core module, which is compatible with a dedicated downlight housing with various dimming options. It can also be retrofitted as an adjustable downlight. All Iolite modules are field-fittable with any 1-, 2- and 4-in. square or round trims from the Iolite collection, allowing multiple design possibilities. The 1-in. (12W) LED downlight produces about 600 lumens, while the 2- and 4-in. (14W) gimbal and deep-regress adjustables produce 800 lumens.

The luminaire has 95 CRI for realistic color rendition and a range of CCTs.

Click here to learn more.

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DOE Decides Not to Regulate HID Lamps

On December 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a decision that mandatory energy conservation standards for high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps are not technically feasible or economically justified. Furthermore,…

On December 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy issued a decision that mandatory energy conservation standards for high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps are not technically feasible or economically justified. Furthermore, the DOE determined that higher energy conservation standards for HID lamps would not yield significant energy savings for the nation.

Click here to read the text of the decision.

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IESNYC Announces New Scholarship

The Illuminating Engineering Society New York City Section recently announced the establishment of the IESNYC Scholarship, which will be awarded annually. The first Section Scholarship will be available for the…

IESThe Illuminating Engineering Society New York City Section recently announced the establishment of the IESNYC Scholarship, which will be awarded annually. The first Section Scholarship will be available for the Spring of 2016. The scholarship is an unprecedented $25,000.

Applicants must be first-year students currently enrolled in a full-time graduate program as a degree candidate in the field of architectural lighting at an accredited college/university in New York State.

Applications are being accepted now through February 15, 2016.

Click here to learn more.

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DOE Issues Energy Regulations for Ceiling Fan Light Kits

The Department of Energy (DOE) has published a Federal Register final rule pertaining to energy conservation standards for ceiling fan light kits. The effective date of this rule is March…

The Department of Energy (DOE) has published a Federal Register final rule pertaining to energy conservation standards for ceiling fan light kits.

The effective date of this rule is March 7, 2016. Compliance with the amended standards is required on and after January 7, 2019.

The amended energy standards are:

kits

DOE estimates average life-cycle cost energy savings of 24% in residential applications and 53% in commercial applications.

Get the complete text of the ruling here.

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ZigBee and EnOcean Alliances Collaborate to Combine Benefits of EnOcean Energy Harvesting Wireless with ZigBee 3.0

The ZigBee Alliance, a non-profit association of organizations creating open, global standards that define the Internet of Things (IoT) for use in consumer, commercial and industrial applications, recently announced with…

The ZigBee Alliance, a non-profit association of organizations creating open, global standards that define the Internet of Things (IoT) for use in consumer, commercial and industrial applications, recently announced with the EnOcean Alliance, a leading consortium for battery-less, wireless smart buildings and smart homes, that the two organizations will cooperate on combining the benefits of EnOcean energy harvesting wireless solutions with ZigBee 3.0 for worldwide applications.

The cooperation connects the two alliances’ advantages, synergies and track record of standards advancements to create an open, global specification that will extend energy harvesting wireless communication to a broader range of self-powered IoT sensor solutions. These solutions use the surrounding environment as their energy source, making battery-less connected devices a reality.

This technical cooperation agreement will build on the EnOcean Alliance’s position with more than 1,500 interoperable products available for home and commercial building automation, and expand it bringing energy harvesting wireless communication to many more applications in the IoT and consumer arenas. It will also take advantage of the newly ratified ZigBee 3.0 standard, which enables battery-less devices to securely join networks across a variety of energy harvesting applications. As a result, the industry will have new opportunities for creating intelligently connected buildings and developing other solutions across a variety of applications. The collaboration is also designed to provide a foundation to seamlessly bring data to the IoT frameworks of other industry initiatives, in order to facilitate interoperable communication from the sensor to the cloud.

A Technical Task Force will be built of ZigBee Alliance and EnOcean Alliance representatives to define the technical specifications required to combine standardized EnOcean Equipment Profiles (EEPs) with the ZigBee 3.0 solution, which operates in the worldwide IEEE 802.15.4 2.4 GHz standard. The alliances plan to complete definition of this technical specification and share details of associated collaborative marketing and business activities in the second quarter of 2016. ZigBee 3.0 is the first single unified, open and complete wireless IoT product development solution of its kind. It extends all the way from the physical layer to the application network layer, and includes certification and branding for improved interoperability across a growing range of market segments.

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Product Monday: Mobile Lighting Control App by Digital Lumens

LightRules Mobile by Digital Lumens provides users a simple and convenient way to control and manage lighting settings from their mobile device or tablet. It works with the iPhone, iPad…

digital lumensLightRules Mobile by Digital Lumens provides users a simple and convenient way to control and manage lighting settings from their mobile device or tablet. It works with the iPhone, iPad and iTouch running iOS8 or later. Support for Android devices will follow.

Click here to learn more.

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