Month: September 2017

Interview with Andrew Kites of Philips Lighting

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Kites, Global Product Manager, Philips Lighting. The topic: light and color. I’m happy to share his responses with you here. The interview…

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Andrew Kites, Global Product Manager, Philips Lighting. The topic: light and color. I’m happy to share his responses with you here. The interview informed an article I wrote for the November 2017 issue of tED Magazine.

DiLouie: How do LEDs differ from traditional light sources in terms of color characteristics, and what opportunities does this create?

Kites: Traditional light sources are generally broad spectrum emitters that produce high quality color rendering of objects. Color LED sources emit light in a narrow spectral band, and phosphor converted white LEDs provide a narrow peak in the deep blue wavelength range, while also producing high irradiance in the 470 to 630nm spectral range.

LEDs allow us to isolate and understand the impact of specific spectral bands on human physiology, plant growth, environmental impacts of electric light, etc.

DiLouie: With LED technology, it is possible to precisely engineer the spectral power distribution of a product. What possibilities and markets does this serve/create?

Kites: It is possible, but not necessarily practical. LED sources have seen dramatic cost reduction, much of this driven by manufacturers reaching economies of scale and R&D breakthroughs. The industry has converged on a somewhat limited set of phosphors and pump emitters to help drive cost down and push efficacy up. Using multiple narrow band emitters (red, blue, green, amber, etc) and optically mixing these colors to produce white light is one way lighting companies can test new concepts in applications where white LED light sources aren’t sufficient. We can now produce high quality white, and color in the same light fixture. Retail, healthcare, horticulture, and general architectural applications will benefit from this tech.

DiLouie: In 2015, the IES introduced the TM-30 method of evaluating color quality. Do you see designers and manufacturers getting behind TM-30? For what application is the precision of TM-30 ideally suited? What do you think will happen next in terms of new color standards?

Kites: At this time, we have not seen large adoption of the TM-30 standard. As the industry better understands how use the color information that TM-30 provides, we could see adoption pick up. As lighting designers see how color fidelity and gamut can help them deliver application specific color metrics, TM-30 data will become important. Ease of use is also an important factor.

DiLouie: Please describe the process of binning and how standards and manufacturer methods ensure good color consistency. Is there anything new to report in this area in terms of new standards or technology?

Kites: Color consistency from credible LED manufacturers has improved significantly since white LEDs were first produced. Some manufacturers have gotten much more skilled at producing LEDs that are closer to the center of the ANSI bin for that CCT, reducing waste in manufacturing from out of spec product, reducing LED costs, all while improving color consistency. There are no new standards or technologies for white light binning widely available.

DiLouie: The California Title 20 standards require a bump in general-service lamp CRI that may result in 90+ CRI being standard but with the tradeoff being higher cost and potentially lower energy savings. What is your view of these regulations, and (if applicable) how is your company responding?

Kites: As the industry has concluded, CRI is not necessarily the best metric to measure color quality of LED sources. Instituting regulation without properly weighing cost/benefit could hinder the adoption of LED lighting and/or impede innovation.

Many of our customers feel that the existing LED light quality standards are “good enough” for general purpose applications. CRI was developed on the basis of a reference lamp and helped compare quality of light across different lamp types. Over time, as this became an important metric to specifiers, manufacturers started to focus on setting minimums for certain applications. However, the ability of a human eye to differentiate between a CRI of 88 and a CRI of 90 is very low, since it’s a mathematical metric, and not based on human perception differences of color fidelity.

DiLouie: How important is color to circadian lighting, and where does the industry stand on understanding the science and developing products and a market for it?

Kites: The fundamental research in light and well-being is more than twenty years old. Our approach is to test and adapt systems, which can be reconfigured Research is ongoing to determine the appropriate light levels, spectral content, and lighting design that provides support for human circadian biorhythms. The research points to humans generally having a biological response to both blue and red wavelengths. easilyThe research into lighting and its effects is ongoing and we continue to uncover new insights.

DiLouie: Are there any other important new developments in lighting and color?

Kites: Using color for design, functional, and physiological impact will continue to grow as control systems become more color friendly. The psychological impact that colors can have on people, and the associations that people have for various colors and elicit emotional responses. As research develops, we will see how these emotional and psychological impacts color has on humans, plays out in various applications and use cases.

DiLouie: Why is color important to understand for electrical distributors selling lighting?

Kites: Color is important in order to acheive the desired lighting effect. Customers new to LED lighting will look for recommendations and distributors have the opportunity to help educate the market.

DiLouie: How can electrical distributors turn their understanding about color into lighting recommendations and sales?

Kites: Matching customers speed with the correct products will help speed LED light source adoption. For multi-color light fixtures, knowledge of controls and general installation requirements will ensure customers get the most out of their digital lighting systems.

DiLouie: How should electrical distributors qualify products based on color performance? What performance features, metrics and standards should they be paying attention to?

Kites: CCT and CRI at a minimum and CRI R9 values are becoming increasingly important. For tunable lighting systems, color mixing, optical beam quality, CCT range, how well it tracks the black body curve, color consistency across luminaires, and TM-30 values are also important.

DiLouie: If you could tell the entire electrical industry just one thing about lighting and color, what would it be?

Kites: Lighting has a profound effect on the human body, how we feel, and how we function. Whether it is student focus in the classroom, employee comfort in the office, shopper behavior inside the store, or patient recovery in the hospital, it is quite easy and exceedingly beneficial to customize an indoor space using the right light, with the right spectral content, at the right time in order to support a diverse range of daily activities.

DiLouie: Is there anything else you’d like to add about this topic?

Kites: Spectral knowledge and color-tunable systems are new and exciting to the lighting industry, and will bring more challenges and opportunities to the market. The more we know and understand how these systems can positively impact our customers, the bigger the opportunity to bring value to our customers.

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LRC Releases New Version of Circadian Stimulus Calculator with Expanded Functionality

The Lighting Research Center has released a new version of its free, open-access circadian stimulus (CS) calculator to help lighting professionals select light sources and light levels that will increase…

The Lighting Research Center has released a new version of its free, open-access circadian stimulus (CS) calculator to help lighting professionals select light sources and light levels that will increase the potential for circadian-effective light exposure in architectural spaces.

The new calculator provides additional functions not included in the original version, including the ability to calculate CS levels in rooms with multiple light sources; and combine pre-loaded SPDs from the calculator dropdown and user-supplied SPDs to provide one CS measurement and a single relative SPD.

Lighting professionals can use the CS calculator to compare the effectiveness of various light sources for stimulating the circadian system. The CS calculator utilizes the CS metric, a measure of how one-hour exposure to a light source of a certain SPD and light level stimulates the human circadian system, as measured by acute melatonin suppression.

Click here to learn more and download the calculator.

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DOE Evaluates LED Industrial Luminaires

I wrote the below news item for the September issue of tED Magazine. Reprinted with permission. High- and low-bay luminaires are common in industrial applications such as warehouses and manufacturing…

I wrote the below news item for the September issue of tED Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

High- and low-bay luminaires are common in industrial applications such as warehouses and manufacturing but also certain commercial applications such as big-box stores. “High bay” frequently refers to luminaires mounted at a height over 20 feet, “low bay” up to 20 feet. Due to the greater distance between the luminaire and the task, more light output is required—commonly 5,000 to 20,000 lumens per low-bay luminaire and 15,000 to 100,000 lumens per high-bay luminaire.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), industrial luminaires represented 15 percent of all lighting energy consumption in 2015. These luminaires represent a significant amount of wattage and have long operating periods (at least 12 hours per day), making them a suitable candidate for replacement by more-efficient LED alternatives. DOE estimated LED penetration at six percent of this market in 2015, showing plenty of room for growth.

How do these LED alternatives perform? A new DOE CALiPER Snapshot Report profiles current average performance among LED industrial luminaires targeting incumbent HID and fluorescent technology. The results are based on more than 8,000 applicable products listed in the Lighting Facts database.

The report suggests strong improvement in this Lighting Facts category between April 2014 and March 2017, with big gains in light output while wattage remained fairly steady, resulting in an efficacy (lumens/W) increase. Mean efficacy was 115 lumens/W, a 20 percent improvement. In comparison, the mean efficacy of metal halide and fluorescent luminaires is around 70-90 lumens/W. This category is also more efficacious than linear, troffer, area/roadway and parking garage luminaires listed in Lighting Facts. In fact, Lighting Facts’ most efficacious product is a 22,000-lumen high-bay luminaire operating at 210 lumens/W.

Efficacy for about two-thirds of the products exceeded 105 lumens/W, the threshold for inclusion in the DesignLights Consortium’s (DLC) Qualified Products List (QPL). At the high end, about a quarter of the products were rated over 130 lumens/W, the threshold for DLC QPL Premium listing.

DOE found that a majority of the Lighting Facts-listed industrial luminaires emitted comparable light output as their metal halide and fluorescent counterparts. Mean light output was 18,000 lumens, far exceeding the DLC QPL minimum requirement of 5,000 lumens. About one-half produced 11,000-22,000 lumens. About two percent, or 150 products, emitted more than 50,000 lumens, which is able to match the output of 1000W metal halide luminaires.

Color quality for the Lighting Facts-listed industrial luminaires was similar to that of their conventional counterparts. About one-half offered a correlated color temperature (CCT) of at least 5000K, which is a very visually cool shade of white light. A significant portion of the remainder had a CCT of 4000K, with some available at 3000K and 3500K. About two-thirds of the luminaires offered a color rendering index (CRI) rating in the 80s, with most of the rest having a CRI in the 70s.

“In terms of the data captured by LED Lighting Facts and reported in the new Snapshot, LED industrial products offer a compelling alternative to incumbent products,” James Brodrick, DOE SSL Program manager wrote in his April 12, 2017 SSL Postings. “While the report focuses on basic photometric characteristics, choosing a product for a specific installation requires a more comprehensive analysis, including light distribution, projected lifetime, lumen maintenance and cost.”

Click here to read the report.

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Will Lighting Manufacturers Shift to a Service Model?

At the Smart Lighting 2017 conference, Stijn Bröcker, head of connected lighting for OSRAM, warned lighting manufacturers will have to completely overhaul their business processes, from manufacturing to sales, as…

At the Smart Lighting 2017 conference, Stijn Bröcker, head of connected lighting for OSRAM, warned lighting manufacturers will have to completely overhaul their business processes, from manufacturing to sales, as the Internet of Things encourages a shift from a product to a service business model.

The reshaping spans across a wide range of practices, such as targeting a potential customer’s CEO rather than the facilities manager; altering salesforce incentives and compensations; replacing internal computer systems; and much more.

Interesting stuff. LEDs Magazine has the story here.

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Product Monday: LED Troffer Retrofit Kit by Cree

Cree, Inc. has expanded its ZR Series LED troffer family by adding the new ZR-RK Retrofit Kit. Designed to deliver maximum improvement with minimum effort, the four-part design can be…

Cree, Inc. has expanded its ZR Series LED troffer family by adding the new ZR-RK Retrofit Kit. Designed to deliver maximum improvement with minimum effort, the four-part design can be installed in only four minutes, according to the company.

Efficacy of 132 lumens/W, DLC Premium 4.1 eligibility, 80 CRI.

Click here to learn more.

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The Labor That Once Produced 54 Minutes of Light Now Produces 52 Years

This interesting BBC article talks about an economist’s efforts to chart the efficiency of light production from the discovery of fire to the LED. Yale Professor William Nordhaus studied the…

This interesting BBC article talks about an economist’s efforts to chart the efficiency of light production from the discovery of fire to the LED.

Yale Professor William Nordhaus studied the amount of hours of labor required to produce 1,000 lumen-hours using fire, oil lamps, candles, and light bulbs. He found the labor once required to produce 54 minutes of light now produces 52 years.

Hooray for human progress!

Click here to read it.

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Lumileds’ George Craford Recognized for Major Contributions to LED Lighting

George Craford, Lumileds Solid State Lighting Fellow, was recently awarded the IEEE Edison Medal for “a lifetime of pioneering contributions to the development and commercialization of visible LED materials and…

George Craford, Lumileds Solid State Lighting Fellow, was recently awarded the IEEE Edison Medal for “a lifetime of pioneering contributions to the development and commercialization of visible LED materials and devices.”

Craford’s career spans from the early days when LEDs were first developed to delivery of high brightness LEDs suitable for commercial use in a variety of applications, including LED lamps. He is best known for his invention of the yellow LED in 1972. Craford then led the development of increasingly brighter red, orange and amber LEDs. In 1979, Craford began work at Hewlett-Packard, where his team pioneered the development of AlInGaP LEDs using metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). MOCVD was then a relatively expensive lower volume process and had not been utilized for the high volume commercial production of LEDs. AlInGaP LEDs increased the performance of red and yellow LEDs by more than 10 times. Craford’s team continued to achieve technology breakthroughs in AlInGaP LEDs, eventually reaching 100 lm/W.

“Not only was George responsible for substantial breakthroughs in technology, but with his team, ensured that the technology could be reliably and cost effectively manufactured,” said Mark Karol, 2017 IEEE Awards Board Chair.

One can see the impact of Craford’s early work in the color LEDs now ubiquitous in traffic signals, emergency and automotive lighting. Craford’s later work focused on making white LED light cost effective for retail, office, architectural, outdoor and industrial lighting markets. In the early 2000s, his team’s work enabled commercialization of the first high power LEDs in the 10-20 lumen range. Such LEDs contributed to the creation of the first LED bulbs to meet the high efficiency and long lifecycle requirements to win the U.S. Department of Energy’s “L Prize” for a 60W-equivalent LED bulb.

Today, Craford is Lumileds Solid State Lighting Fellow at Lumileds. He is an IEEE Life Fellow and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has received numerous awards including the 2002 National Medal of Technology and the 2015 U.S. National Academy of Engineering Charles Stark Draper Prize. He has also been awarded the International SSL Alliance Global Solid State Lighting Development Award, the Strategies in Light LED Pioneer Award, the University of Illinois Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Award, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the Optical Society of America Nick Holonyak Jr. Award, the International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors Welker Award, the Materials Research Society MRS medal, the Electrochemical Society Electronic Division Award and the Economist Innovation Award.

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National Academy of Sciences Releases Report on Solid-State Lighting

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) has published a report, Assessment of Solid-State Lighting, Phase Two, which is a follow-up to its 2013 report. The new report…

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) has published a report, Assessment of Solid-State Lighting, Phase Two, which is a follow-up to its 2013 report.

The new report focuses on three key areas: commercialization (noting the rapid uptake of SSL since the 2013 report), technology development (updating the findings of the 2013 report), and manufacturing. In the process, the NAS committee has updated material that was presented in the earlier study.

Click here to read it.

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New Report Published on Color Shift Impact on Reliability

An industry working group facilitated by with the Department of Energy has published a new report on the impact of color shift on reliability. LED Luminaire Reliability: Impact of Color…

An industry working group facilitated by with the Department of Energy has published a new report on the impact of color shift on reliability. LED Luminaire Reliability: Impact of Color Shift was written to provide a better understanding of how and why color shifts. It does not define limits for specific applications.

Developed by the LED Systems Reliability Consortium (LSRC) under the auspices of the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance, it’s available here.

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Product Monday: BeveLED Micro by USAI Lighting

Available with 4-, 6-, 8-, and 12-light configurations, USAI Lighting’s BeveLED Micro enables creation of distinctive patterns such as starbursts and circular designs to highlight specific architectural elements. The luminaire…

Available with 4-, 6-, 8-, and 12-light configurations, USAI Lighting’s BeveLED Micro enables creation of distinctive patterns such as starbursts and circular designs to highlight specific architectural elements.

The luminaire features a 1.25-in. aperture, 8-41W, 2700K to 4000K, and downlight, adjustable, and wallwash options.

Click here to learn more.

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