Archive for December, 2008

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…)

Renaissance Lighting has one of the most attractive LED downlights on the market today.

The deep reflector, invisible LEDs, and excellent optical mixing set this downlight apart from all others.

The deep reflector, invisible LEDs, and excellent optical mixing set this downlight apart from all others.

Renaissance utilizes a patented optical design that locates the LEDs in a ring array around the perimeter of an optical mixing chamber (dome). This unique approach has several intriguing advantages. First, in RGB color applications, the light from the LEDs is blended thoroughly before exiting the optic aperture, where it is directed by the lower reflector component. The result is no pixelation from  LEDs and a very usable downlight distribution with both reasonable focus, zero glare, and excellent cutoff control. (more…)