The Tasca test mule turned 2 years in continual illuminated state this May. That’s 8,760 continuous operating hours in the cold, hot, and messy environment of the shop in which it lives. It gets abused as well, from tossing greasy rags over it to see what happens when airflow over the heat sink is cut off, to blowing coolant on it until it freezes. There have been several lessons learned in this time. For example, lumen depreciation, captured by measuring the fixture’s output, has been negligable. Losses have been less than 1.2% so far, which means the White Optics reflector and anti-reflective glass are doing their job, as is the Bridgelux ES Array LED. Temperature readings taken over this time have not changed anywhere, which indicates the internal construction attaching the thermal slug to the heat sink is durable and reliable.
While the Mule will remain in service without changes, the product line itself has been updated using lessons learned and incorporating the latest LEDs. The original product consumed just over 15W, delivering 620 lumens, for an efficacy of 41 lm/W when it won the PIA award in 2012. This has improved significantly in 2013, with the latest Bridgelux array, adjustments to the reflector design and updated driver from Recom. The current version now delivers 801 lumens using only 12.3W, for an efficacy of 65 lm/W. This is an increase in light output of 29%, while reducing energy consumption by 17%. In addition to these improvements, a new driver circuit board incorporates screw terminals, making it an easy to replace module should their be a need for maintenance. In fact, the entire product is modular. The head is easily removed from its arm for replacement or repair. The driver is now fully modular and field replaceable. The LED is pre-wired and now uses a GrafTech thermal interface pad, which improves thermal performance, and allows the LED to be serviced (replaced) without messy greases. The power supply – the most likely component to fail in any LED system, is a separate wall plug device connected with in-line DC connector, making replacement simple and fast.
Based on the test results and ongoing experience with the product, Tasca now comes with a 7 year warranty. This is not just for the normal “materials and workmanship” most offer. I am warranting that under normal operating conditions, the product will maintain 70% of its initial light output for a period of 36,000 hours, or 7 years (whichever occurs first). Between this warranty, tough construction, and the modular components, the Tasca work light is perhaps the first and only true long life LED product on the market. There is no reason this product cannot remain in service for decades.
I am an enthusiast for old machine shop equipment built in an era when durability and maintained longevity pre-dated today’s throw-away planned obsolescence. My specific goal with Tasca was to follow the traditional approach to engineering – built in toughness and long useful service life. I don’t follow or support the idea that a product should be discarded when the light inside becomes unusable. I believe in products built to last, testing to verify assumptions are correct, and backing what I make with a warranty that reflects the intended use of the product. Tasca Uno, the work light represented by the mule, is Tasca’s flagship, reflecting three years of continuous improvement and over two years testing.
Anyone interested in having one of these lights in their work space can find them on-line at Tasca where more detail can be found and links are provided for on-line purchasing.
ArchLED’11 will be marked as the official coming out for Tasca, my work lighting product offering. We presented examples of the base Uno line, as well as several Renovar and one Accent light. If you are wondering what these are, and are curious to learn more, you can visit the Tasca web site now. The sitre is fully populated with pictures and a specification download at:
We have also put several products up on the Lumenique Product Center for direct purcahse. These are semi-pre-configured products with popular options. You can choose one or dozens, we don’t mind.
While I do not intend to make this blog a commercial site promoting products and pitching our offerings, I do need to make a living, so there will be occasional updates to share where we are and what we are doing in this regard. This is how we pay for the fun side of being in the business, and afford the time to invest and share with others information on solid-state lighting.
A Little More on Tasca
Tasca is primarily focused on the work environment. Whether this is a machine operation, an assembly work station, an inspection station, or administration workplace, my intent is to offer the most effective light for enhancing visual performance with a durable product. I’ve invested decades experimenting with task lighting. My personal approach has been to lower ambient surrounding light levels to the minimum required to support the low acuity activities in the space, supplemented by localized task lighting to enhance visual performance in critical work areas. I have applied this in lighting designs over the last 30 years to reduce energy consumption, and live under it on a daily basis. In other words, I am passionate about this approach and believe it is a superior approach to achieve high visual performance. I strongly believe we are over-lighting our work spaces to some compromised light level, which is too high for ambient requirements and too low for effective task performance.
Over the last few years, the idea of creating a work light for hard service environments, bringing the advantages of SSL technology to work spaces that require high visual performance to support safe, accurate, and efficient work tasks. For over a year now I have been investing considerable time building a product I feel satisfies the demands of work environments, with an efficient product that will survive harsh environments. Tasca is the product of this effort, and just the beginning of a larger effort to produce desirable performance SSL lighting products for niche work space demands. We’ve already provided customized versions of Tasca for UV curing applications, and will be releasing specialty products, such as a 98CRI sourced heads for color critical inspection (like printing presses, millwork, textile and paint inspection), as well as a unique welding light that will bring welders vision of their welding field that has never been possible before.
Tasca is also founded on the concept of sustainability from durable products that are recycled either by dismantling, rebuilding, or re-purposing at the end of service life, not just thrown away. Unlike products that are filled with potting materials and irreversible assembly techniques that make recycling too expensive to be practical, Tasca fixtures are heavy duty assemblies designed to be reworked, rebuilt, or dismantled easily for recycling of materials content, separate of the electronics components that must go through a separate recycling channel. This includes the use of glass for the lens cover, which can survive decades of use, or be recycled easily through existing waste management channels economically. The Renovar and Accent line take all of this one step further by harvesting old task lights for their arms, refinishing the devices, recycling the old lighting heads, and converting them to Tasca lights by adapting our lighting heads, before a complete refinish and refurbishing.We will also refit your existing task lights, bringing old favorites back to life by bringing them up to date, or through Accent, create a custom design to suit your specific taste.
This is just the start of a great deal more to come. Sort of pulling the plug out of a dyke and letting things flow. This is an exciting niche opportunity for me, where I can add value through design integration assistance, and provide customization to suit unique customer needs. Unlike imports which must be marketed in large batches of off-shelf products to move production inventories – Tasca is made here in the USA, to order, to meet individual customer needs – even if that means building something completely new and unique that has a total customer market of one.
At ArchLED11, held in Chicago November 9-10, TASCA will be revealed publicly for the first time.
TASCA is a lighting professional based product focused on hard service task lighting. This is not the decorative foo-fah, designer pretty stuff that intends first to please the eye with elegant line and sexy physical execution of artistic design that just happens to put out a little light to justify their existence. Tasca focuses first on delivering high quality light on the task and work surface, of a color and level to improve visual performance. Unlike low power light emitting decorations, the smallest Tasca products delivers 210 Fc at a distance of 18″, lighting an area of 36″+ in a smooth light pattern free of harsh shadows. We deliver a unified single light source presence to eliminate the multi-dot dazzle and fun-house shadowing created by the typical multiple LED arrays found in lesser lighting products. Tasca optics control brightness to avoid discomfort glare, while delivering the efficiency, instant on, flicker free, low heat, high quality light of solid-state technology that no conventional light source can hope to compete with, in a hard service package designed to withstand hard use for decades. Tasca intends to participate in putting an end to the era of inefficient heat of halogen and slow starting flicker and poor intensity of CFL work lighting.
There will be three executions of Tasca presented at the show:
TASCA UNO is the core product line, offering flexible goose-neck arms in a wide range of lengths and mechanical arm mounting, as well as direct mount, magnetic base mount, stand and bracket mounts. Uno offers customization of configurations to suit the exact mounting configuration needed to satisfy application needs. We’ll do customs as small as one-of requests to complete facility systems. Tasca Uno is designed as a modular system of light head, mounting arm and mount, allowing the customer to put the light where they need it with precision, rather than force a standard fits-all solution.
TASCA RENOVAR is industrial recycling at its best. We capture used mounting arms from classic task lights, like those from Swivelier and Dazor; vintage industrial products from South Bend and others that have been used for decades with incandescent, halogen, or fluorescent heads; and cherished favorites brought to us by customers. We renovate the arms, refinish them, and refit them to include the Tasca lighting head. The finished products deliver the best of all worlds. Recycling of components rather than disposal by integration of the latest LED technology, to deliver significantly improved lighting performance. Tasca Renovar will produce more than twice the illuminance at less than 1/3 the energy of any conventional light source.
TASCA ACCENT is a blend of Tasca lighting heads with more decorative finishes and mounting details. These can be founded on recycled components, or they can be completely custom to suit a specific desire. Tasca Accent is for those installations where there is a need for a little more focus on aesthetics is desired, without compromising lighting performance.
Tasca products are made in the USA, built to customer order. We are not a warehouse operation focused on shoving inventories purchased overseas into the market in volume. Our strength is in our ability to build a product that is specifically tailored to the needs of the customer. Tasca products utilize Bridgelux LEDs, and nothing but the highest quality modular electronic components available. The modular construction allows any potential failed component to be replaced independently producing decades of useful service. Tasca products are also rebuildable by returning them to the factory for quick turn around of refitting and renovation. We can even re-purpose products by refitting mounting components should application needs change.
For those in need of application assistance, we are here to serve. We can help in laying out a lighting strategy, application of task as well as general ambient illumination, to the design and manufacturing of the mounting hardware required to execute a complete high productivity lighted environment. Our foundation is built on lighting design experience first, with a long history of interest in task level illumination. We are passionate about work lighting like none other in the solid-state lighting space.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for Tasca.
We will have 11 fixtures on display at ArchLED, booth #204. I will also be presenting a couple times and assisting with the show MC duties, so will not be hard to find.
Hope to see you there!
My absence for a few months here is the result of time taken to organize, expand operations at Lumenique, complete customer projects, and to put the final pieces together for an all new company – Tasca. Over the last few years, I have sought to find a small place for myself as a product manufacturer within lighting, specifically in producing SSL products that deliver new value. After considerable effort and more than a years exploration, I have finally found what I was looking for. Here are the specific qualifiers I used:
- Product must put LED light sources into service to deliver a value that is superior to other light sources – beyond simple energy savings
- Product must capitalize on low heat, instant on, good optical control, lack of flicker, endurance to shock and vibration
- Product application must be demanding and serve a need where lighting is important to the end use customer
- Product line must deliver value at a reasonable price
- Product line must include capabilities and new lighting effects that cannot be matched with conventional sources
- Product line to be made to order, with significant domestic content
- Product line is to be configurable to suit end use customer needs
- Company focus must be outside the commodity mainstream and large corporate entity immediate interest at the time of initial launch
- Company must be scalable, with controlled investment requirements, utilizing available technologies without over-investment in R&D for all new technology
- Company must be profitable
- Industrial aesthetic
- Solid and durable construction
- Ease of use
- Long service life with end-of-life rebuilding
- Consultive sales assistance
- Highly configurable and flexible for application in a wide range of uses