Archive for December, 2008

This test was accomplished using a Testo 540 light meter, under continuous operation. The lamp is a Lights of America model number 2004LEDDL-35K-24 purchased at Walmart for $16, using a cluster of 60 5mm LEDs on a plastic enclosure with an Edison socket. The approximate scale of the product is a long R20 lamp configuration – although the length to the illuminated tip of the lamp is far too long resulting in a portion of the lighted elements projecting from the trim of a regular downlight. The initial light output at the beam center is approximately equal to a 45W R20 Flood lamp at 549 candelas. However, this drops off very quickly, (more…)

With Lighting Science Group acquiring Lamina, Philips absorbing Color Kinetics then Genlyte, and Cree absorbing LLF, on top of Acuity acquiring Io, and other similar combination over the last year, it would see that solid0state market is already trying to gel up. Are we really already at the point where its time to focus on market share over innovation? Is this technology already at the point where we know where this is all going, and its time to build the big conglomerates to satisfy the mainstream demand with already known product? I don’t think so (more…)

This is a great quick-reference product identification label concept.

This is a great quick-reference product identification label concept - it would be even better with but 4 more items added.

The Lighting Facts web site, sponsored by the DOE is an outstanding addition to the tools needed to address product characteristics for lighting customers. On the site, there is a pledge for those interested to become SSL Quality Advocates. This is a good start, as is the sites lisitng of manufacturers and partners.

On the site is a product label concept that does a nice job of putting some of the information needed in graphic, easy to read form.

There should be four more items added to the label (more…)

Nothing will kill a promising new technology faster than the resonance of early customer disappointment.

Nothing will kill a promising new technology faster than the resonance of early customer disappointment. Angry and disillusioned customers are very difficult to win back, while happy customers often act as advocates and active promoters.

While the efforts of the DOE, EPA, IALD, IESNA, NGLIA, etc… are certainly productive and useful, they are too inwardly focused when it comes to dissemination of information. Consumers, who make the purchase decisions in the retail market remain blissfully ignorant in the absence of information targeted at them. Solid-state lighting will suffer if we do not make a direct effort to educate and grow awareness of this technology and how to identify good products over bad, and what is reasonable to expect from it.

There is a lot of noise in the market trumpeting the general idea that LEDs are the ultimate solution. To amplify this, technically challenged press reporters have offered that LEDs last forever, have no heat, and use no energy. This sets customers up to be exploited by manufacturers of poor performing products ,making big claims, wrapped around cheap products to profit from the hype. Without realistic information in hand, customers are being set up to be taken advantage of in this cloud of ignorance. This ultimately leads to disappointment. In the end, we all suffer from the negative impact this has on customer perception.

All people are consumers first, including engineers, architects, (more…)

The following two quotes say more than I can (gathered from recent news releases and related blogs).

From Philips:

“We are not spending one dollar on research and development for compact fluorescents,” said Kaj den Daas, chairman and chief executive of Philips Lighting. Instead, the bulk of its R.& D. budget, which is 5.2 percent of the company’s global lighting revenue, is for L.E.D. research.

From General Electric:

GE spokesman David Schuellerman replied that “GE Consumer & Industrial and GE Global Research have suspended the development of the high-efficiency incandescent lamp (HEI) to place 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).”

For anyone in the lighting and energy industry, (more…)

This stair and hall are lighted with generic PAR20 and PAR30 LED retrofit lamps. The total energy consumed for the space shown is 36 watts.

Entry Hall and Stair

The only way to benchmark the good and the bad of LED lighting in typical home environments is to put them in place and live with them. These images show that even current LED devices can work, producing attractive, if not dramatics effects, and some energy saving . This is a summary of one test project.

The original lighting in the main stair and entry hall included (3) 50PAR20 NFL lamps and (3) 75PAR30 NFL lamps, mounted in track heads. These were dimmed to roughly 30% of full light output, and were measured to consume a total of 265 watts. The LED retrofit lamps are operated at 100%, since no suitable dimmers have been found to control them. The LED products consume a total of 36 watts. This represents and energy savings of 86% over the halogen lamps replaced. The cost of the LED lamps was $164. With an annual energy cost saving of $18, payback is over 10 years. However, with no loss of color and quality, the contribution of (more…)

For screw-based retrofit applications, this lamp and remote make color changing painless.

For screw-based retrofit applications, this lamp and remote make color changing painless.

This is a solid-state product that delivers color changing modes, fixed color modes, remote control and acceptable brightness in a simple screw-in package. The lamp contains the logic and costs about $60, while the remote is less than $20. The remote can control several lamps, so their is only a need for one per application. We selected the narrow 30 degree beam pattern for a test application. A wider 60 degree beam pattern is available.

The size of the lamp unit is compact, roughly the scale of a PAR20 halogen lamp. At 5 watts power consumption, and relatively low light output, this is less about energy than it is about fun and adding some color using existing luminaires. (more…)

These are PAR Lamps available at a wide range of on-line retailers.

These are PAR Lamps available at a wide range of on-line retailers.

Ideally, reviews here should be of specific manufacturer’s products so specific claims can be attributed directly to the point of origin. Unfortunately, this is impossible when the manufacturer is concealed behind retailer identities. In the case of these three products, there is no marking on the products to indicate their origins, nor are they UL or CSA approved. This means the claims of the retailer are all that are offered, with no supporting data.

This is unacceptable of course, and is another case of where the solid-state market needs to be more involved in controlling the technology.

That said, because these lamp replacements are widely available, and after having them in use for a year, I offer that they are worthy of mention and at least a perfunctory review.

The lamps shown here are claimed to utilize quality 1W LEDs. (more…)

The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act signed into law in December 2007 has been cited as the national law that will end the incandescent lamp outright and put the world at the doorstep of solid-state lighting once and for all. Is this real? (more…)

Anyone in the business of SSL has either considered the fate of the CFL lamp, or used it as a whipping boy for marketing efforts. Why can’t this lamp catch a break? Is there anything we can learn from this product in deploying solid-state technology?


This is a residential lamp, rarely used in the commercial sector.

To truly put this in perspective, let’s separate reality from conventional wisdom.

First, the compact fluorescent lamp has been a huge success in the commercial market, where plug-in lamps are used with external electronic ballasts. These small lamps fill 90% of the decorative wall sconces, bowls, and surface ceiling luminaires, and over 50% of the recessed downlights in commercial, institutional, industrial, retail, and health care facilities around the country. The incandescent lamp was kicked to the curb for being an energy and maintenance resource consumer. Plug-in style CFL lamps range from 7 watts to 120 watts, in configurations that include twin tube, triple tube, and quad tube configurations. They are seen in 2,700k, 3,000k, 3,500k, and occasionally 4,100k. While there are many that are dimmed, most operate on simple switches or automatic controls. The hospitality market has adopted this lamp in new products, in combination with the screw-base retrofit lamp to eliminate incandescent table, downlight, accent and wall sconce lighting.

The residential market is another animal altogether. (more…)