Category: LED + SSL

Metabolic Media

Inspired by photosynthesis in plants, Studio Loop.ph Ltd. set out to build architectural structures with energy-harvesting canopies that absorb solar energy during the day and emit light at night. “A…

Inspired by photosynthesis in plants, Studio Loop.ph Ltd. set out to build architectural structures with energy-harvesting canopies that absorb solar energy during the day and emit light at night.

“A modular photovoltaic membrane was prototyped for the installation that can be clad to our geotextile architecture to provide both shelter and shade from the sun during the day and once evening falls light is cast into the darkness using low-power micro LEDs with printed circuitry,” Rachel Wingfield, MPhil RCA told LightNOW. “We will be developing this over the next 12 months together with Risø DTU, the National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy in Denmark, as a low-cost, high-volume source of light for emergency shelter relief.”

The same technology can be used to provide a lightweight solution for growing food plants in small spaces without soil, she adds.

Visit Studio Loop.pH at Loop.pH and Risø DTU at www.risoe.dk/solarcells.

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Boston University Explores Wireless Communication Based on Visible Light

One possible future wireless technology is interesting not because of its potential for lighting control, but its potential to use visible white light as a communication medium for control of…

One possible future wireless technology is interesting not because of its potential for lighting control, but its potential to use visible white light as a communication medium for control of computers, phones and appliances.

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In October 2008, Boston University’s College of Engineering announced that it had received a National Science Foundation grant to develop wireless communication technology based on visible light instead of radio waves.

The researchers expect to piggyback data communications capabilities on white LEDs to create “Smart Lighting” that is expected to be faster and more secure than today’s network technology. The LED lighting would provide Internet connections to computers, PDAs, TV and radio reception, telephone connections and thermostat temperature control.

The ability to cycle LEDs ON and OFF at a very high frequency is key to the technology. Flickering light in patterns enables data transmission without a noticeable change in room lighting. A wireless device within sight of an enabled LED could send and receive data through the air initially at speeds in the 1-10 megabit per second (Mbps) range with each LED serving as an access point to the network.

Such a network would have the potential to offer users greater bandwidth than current RF technology, although they will have to get the data rates up to take the technology where they want it to go. This will likely take some years.

For more information, visit Boston University’s Smart Lighting project here.

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LEDs Will Rule the World

Okay, maybe not. But the technology available for LED building illumination has come a long way in a surprisingly short amount of time. According to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,…

Okay, maybe not. But the technology available for LED building illumination has come a long way in a surprisingly short amount of time.

According to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, LED technology is moving so quickly that next-generation products are entering the market every six months, feeding a global illumination market that approached $2 billion in 2007, according to Strategies Unlimited.

Check out this graphic based on information provided by the U.S. Department of Energy in March 2008. DOE says there will be commercially available cool-white LED devices with an efficacy of 150 lumens/W in about 1-2 years and similar warm-white LED devices in about five years.

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As efficacy increases and costs come down, LED products will become positioned for widespread use in general lighting.

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Are LEDs Ready to Retrofit the T8?

A recent article I wrote for Electrical Contractor talks about the push to replace linear fluorescent lamps with linear LED replacement lamps. In a nutshell, linear LED replacement lamps are…

A recent article I wrote for Electrical Contractor talks about the push to replace linear fluorescent lamps with linear LED replacement lamps.

In a nutshell, linear LED replacement lamps are now being offered as direct drop-in replacements of 4-ft. T8 and T12 lamps. Even with the possibility of delamping due to higher fixture efficiency and the maintenance benefit of a service life up to 50,000 hours, at $45-$300 per lamp the payback is still not good enough to pass most corporate hurdle rates.

The biggest problem is that these lamps are typically not producing the promised light output, according to product testing by the U.S. Department of Energy’s CALiPER program. In fact, DOE found that manufacturers are often overstating performance.

CALiPER testing addressed a range of standard lighting measures, including power usage, luminous flux, photometric distribution, source and luminaire efficacy, correlated color temperature (CCT), and color-rendering index (CRI) for the lamps tested separately and in troffers.

Key findings:

• The comparatively low light output of LED linear replacement lamps could result in unacceptably low illumination levels in retrofit applications.
• LED linear replacements achieved higher fixture efficiencies than benchmark fluorescent configurations in CALiPER testing; however, low lumen output and efficacy limited their overall performance to levels significantly below those of fluorescent systems.
• CALiPER testing at this time shows that LED technology is not yet ready to displace linear fluorescent lamps as replacement light sources in recessed troffers for general interior lighting.

There are several lessons here, which are presented at the end of the article, but probably the most important is: Just because a lighting product is LED does not automatically mean it’s energy-efficient.

To read the complete article, visit Electrical Contractor here.

See the results of Round 5 of the DOE’s CALiPER testing here. A benchmark report has also just become available here.

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Eko Traffic Light May Help in the Fight Against Road Rage

Serbian designer Damjan Stankovic has introduced a practical idea for traffic lights: EKO, an integral visual countdown letting waiting drivers know when the signal will change from red to green….

ekoSerbian designer Damjan Stankovic has introduced a practical idea for traffic lights: EKO, an integral visual countdown letting waiting drivers know when the signal will change from red to green.

Check it out here.

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Designers Lighting Forum to Host LEDucation III on March 11, 2009

The Designers Lighting Forum of New York (DLFNY), with the support of the New York Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IESNY), is presenting a special program on LED technology…

The Designers Lighting Forum of New York (DLFNY), with the support of the New York Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IESNY), is presenting a special program on LED technology that features more than 70 manufacturers and a unique informational program designed for The Lighting Community.

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Only three years old, LEDucation already is a leading LED event and returns to New York City on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at the Hotel Pennsylvania on Seventh Avenue.

Attendees will see presentations by the Next Generation of Luminaires (NGL) Design Competition in partnership with DOE, IALD, IES and The Pacific Northwest Laboratory. The NGL reveals the results of a national competition among LED/Solid State Lighting manufacturers at LEDucation III.

Many of the selected products will be on display in a special product showcase area.

Two special LED seminars, accredited by AIA (HSW credits, certificates will be provided), will also be offered.

LEDucation III will be held at the Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 Seventh Avenue at 32nd street, across from Madison Square Garden in New York City on Wednesday, March 11, 2009.

Specifically, the LEDucation III program features:

Continuous Exhibits and Tabletop viewing: 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Next Generation Luminaires presentation: 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM
LED Basics Seminar Series: 2:30 PM and 5:30 PM

There is no charge for students and DLF and IES members, but registration is required and students must present ID at the door. For everybody else, there is a modest $20 fee, with pre-registration required as there will be a higher fee for registering at the door.

Click here for more information and to register. You can also contact pegmeehan@verizon.net for more information.

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Cree Announces Volume Availability of 2×2 LED General Lighting Fixture

Cree, Inc. has announced the volume availability of the LR24, a 24-inch square recessed LED general lighting fixture. The LR24 is intended for suspended-ceiling applications traditionally addressed by linear fluorescents,…

Cree, Inc. has announced the volume availability of the LR24, a 24-inch square recessed LED general lighting fixture. The LR24 is intended for suspended-ceiling applications traditionally addressed by linear fluorescents, also known as lay-ins or troffers.

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The LR24 is the newest addition to the Cree family of recessed LED fixtures and delivers uniform, high light levels required for offices, schools,hospitals and retail environments while consuming less energy than most linear fluorescent systems.

The LR24 features a CRI rating of 92 and is dimmable from 100-5% using standard protocols.

“With the addition of the LR24, we can light an entire office using Cree LED fixtures,” said Neal Hunter, Cree president of LED lighting.

He added: “The volume availability of the LR24 builds on Cree’s success to-date, as we’ve already installed more than 1,000 early-production LR24s in various national-account projects.”

With a 24-inch square form, the LR24 offers architects and designers a modern lighting aesthetic. The lens is recessed above the ceiling for glare reduction and a distinctive look.

“We have installed LR24s on one floor at the U.S. Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C. as part of our ongoing energy-efficiency program,” said Chris Jennings, U.S. Federal Reserve, plant manager. “The graphic designers in the department love the uniformity and the color rendering of the new lights. We are impressed with the amount of light delivered by the LR24, and we look forward to evaluating additional Cree LED lighting products in other applications within the Federal Reserve.”

According to Cree, the LR24 can deliver recommended light levels at only 0.5-0.75W/sq.ft.

Click here for more information about the LR24.

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DOE Releases LED Streetlight Demonstration Project Report

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released the Phase III report from the solid-state lighting (SSL) demonstration of LED streetlights in Oakland, CA, according to an email I recently…

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released the Phase III report from the solid-state lighting (SSL) demonstration of LED streetlights in Oakland, CA, according to an email I recently received from Jim Brodrick at DOE.

The GATEWAY demonstration report, prepared by Pacific Gas & Electric and Energy Solutions, provides an overview of project results measured over a 12-month period, including comparison to Phase II luminaires, energy consumption and illuminance levels, and economic analysis.

In this project, four LED fixtures on one of the Phase II streets were replaced with next-generation LED luminaires (58 watts) from the same manufacturer, with the same chip and driver.

Key findings include:

• Energy savings increased by 25% relative to Phase II (LED luminaire wattage dropped from 78W to 58W) and by 52% relative to the baseline system (from 121W to 58W)
• Luminaire cost decreased by 34% between Phase II and Phase III (from $610 to $400)
• Lighting performance was maintained

Check out the photos below for a quick before/after. The difference in lighting quality is compelling.

Click here to download the complete report (PDF).

Click here to learn more about DOE’s GATEWAY demonstration program.

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Free PIER Technical Briefs Available for Download

Interested in new lighting technologies? PIER has published three briefs about emerging technologies that are available for free download. Note: All files download as PDF files. Savings Persist with Monitoring-Based…

Interested in new lighting technologies? PIER has published three briefs about emerging technologies that are available for free download. Note: All files download as PDF files.

Savings Persist with Monitoring-Based Commissioning (TB-39) shows how monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx), a program approach that combines permanent building-energy-system monitoring with standard retrocommissioning practices, can provide substantial, persistent energy savings. A pilot program conducted at 25 California university campuses demonstrated that MBCx has the ability to:

* Reduce peak-period electricity use and total annual energy use;
* Trend and benchmark building-performance data continuously;
* Catch problems with control systems that are normally hard to detect; and
* Identify cost-effective retrofit opportunities.

MBCx can be used in commercial and institutional buildings with energy information or energy-management systems that are capable of trending building energy use.

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Daylight Harvesting Made Simple (TB-36): Daylight harvesting systems, which automatically adjust lights in response to the amount of daylight in a space, can provide significant energy and demand savings. However, these systems are usually expensive to install, commission, and maintain and may not perform as well as expected.

This brief explains how researchers at the California Lighting Technology Center at the University of California at Davis developed a new approach called the Simplified Daylight Harvesting system that is easy to install and provides automatic and continuous calibration. The system uses photosensor readings to set lights to on, off, or intermediate levels and gives users the ability to adjust settings. The fixtures can be cost-effectively used in daylit spaces in commercial buildings to produce energy-cost savings and reductions in peak demand charges.

LED Hybrid Porch Light Cuts Energy, Maintenance Costs (TB-37) addresses the problem of wasted energy in keeping outdoor areas, such as porches and walkways, illuminated all night long. A new hybrid lighting design features a low-wattage, high-brightness LED integrated with an occupancy sensor that turns on a CFL or incandescent lamp only when motion is detected—enough to light a path or allow a person to unlock a front door. After a few minutes, the occupancy sensor turns off the CFL or incandescent, while the LED array continues to run. The hybrid porch fixture enhances security while saving energy. The fixture is well-suited for entry and walkway lighting at office buildings, hospitals, apartment complexes, residential housing, universities, hotels and motels.

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GE Suspends Work on the HEI Lamp

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 regulates the efficiency of general-service 40-100W incandescent and halogen screw-in lamps starting in 2012. With only a few exceptions among energy-saving screw-in…

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 regulates the efficiency of general-service 40-100W incandescent and halogen screw-in lamps starting in 2012. With only a few exceptions among energy-saving screw-in halogen lamps, today’s incandescent lamps do not comply and will therefore be eliminated.

Light Bulb Crash

The good news for incandescent fans (and those who simply want choice in residential sockets, or use dimmers) is that the law does not present an outright ban on incandescent lamps but instead approximately doubles the efficacy of today’s lamps. After the passage of the Act, GE announced that it intended to launch a compliant high-efficiency incandescent (HEI) lamp by 2010.

The bad news is that GE has suspended work on the lamp. The company issued a brief statement:

“GE Consumer & Industrial and GE Global Research have suspended the development of the [HEI lamp] to place a greater focus and investment on what we believe will be the ultimate in energy-efficient lighting—light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).”

While there may still be some options for consumers interested in retaining incandescent lighting, generally demand is expected to shift to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which have been rapidly gaining share of market against incandescents in recent years.

Right behind the CFL, however, is LED and OLED lighting:

“Research and development of these technologies is moving at an impressive pace and will be ready for general lighting in the near future,” said GE. “LEDs and OLEDs used in general lighting are now poised to surpass the projected efficiency levels of HEI along with other energy-efficient technologies like fluorescent, and have the additional benefits of long life and durability.”

Philips Lighting similarly recently indicated that it would not be investing in R&D for CFLs but instead focusing on LED lighting. Kaj den Daas, chairman and CEO of Philips Lighting, said it’s not spending any money on CFL R&D but is instead focusing most of its R&D budget–5.2% of the company’s global lighting revenue–on research into LED light sources.

Omnidirectional LED lamps bombed in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) product testing over the past 2+ years and are therefore not yet considered ready for prime time as a replacement against workhorses such as 60W incandescent A-lamps. To speed things along, DOE created a $10 million L Prize offered to whomever can produce a high-performing LED replacement lamp for 60W incandescents, and is expected to release final ENERGY STAR criteria for LED replacement lamps in summer 2009.

DOE is optimistic, expecting a replacement lamp to be developed in the next 1-3 years.

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