Posted: February 24, 2010 in General Commentary
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The following note was sent to me for posting by the previous President of Kim Lighting:

“Hello Kevin. I enjoy reading your articles and seeing your “52 in 52” work….

You have invited comments, so here is mine: I am embarrassed to have been a part in making Kim Lighting a leading innovator, and reputable company based on what they have done with LEDs. I call your attention the the Warp9 LED and PGL7 LED catalogs which proclaim “Glare No, Brilliant Yes”. At first I believed their propaganda until I saw the product, compared it to what was stated in the catalogs, and listened to feedback from their own reps and specifiers. Here are my conclusions:

1. The fixtures produce as much high angle glare as Beta or any other outdoor system on the market. All you have to do is look at the photometrics, which do a fine job in refuting the lies in the catalogs.
2. The uniformity is so bad that their reps won’t even show the product illuminated in a specifier’s office.
3. One specifier told me that in his opinion, LSI and KIM have the worst LED optics.
4. The catalogs are full of lies, half truths, and misleading graphics.

I could continue, but what really flabbergasts me is that they continue to advertise these pathetic products and seem to get away with it. Doesn’t anybody care about false advertising anymore?

Thanks for letting me vent.


Wayne Compton”

  1. Lee Kirby says:

    I could not agree with Wayne more! When I worked for Gardco, I saw, firsthand, what Wayne is talking about. In several full-scale on-site mock-ups in California, KIM was by FAR the worst performing and most glary product being evaluated. The distinct shadow directly below the fixture is so pronounced, that at first glance, you can’t be sure the unit is even on!

    Wayne asks: does anyone care? I do! And every true Lighting Person should! The market will eventually adjust to the truth, although it may take a while…

  2. Personally, I am not all that enamored with any of the LED area/roadway lights I’ve seen so far. The brilliance of arrays of LEDs aimed into the field is not attractive. I’m also a bit put off by most of the parking garage and canopy lights using similar approaches. I know, they save energy and maintenance… and this may be the only qualifier in the end – which means one glare bomb or another is a matter of degrees of bad, and not much else. At some point, LED efficacy, individual array sizes, and optical design will catch up and produce a higher quality approach – at least I can hope for as much. I’ve had about my fill of products that play the numbers game well, but deliver questionable overall lighting quality – be it glare bomb area lighting, or high efficacy down-lighting that lacks optical and cutoff control. This is not what will wins the hearts and minds of the market overall, just those who have little or no qualitative taste.

  3. SSLPro says:


    Temp tranquility, gave me a chance to review your last
    seasons artistry, I had a question or two. You seem very democratic in your
    choices for the Leds you use – do you have some favorites if so…
    I have noticed you will utilize both Ac driven as well as Dc driven modules
    do you have some thoughts on AC/Leds for general lighting.
    Especially within the context of Par lights or A lamps use! Dennis-

    • kwillmorth says:

      My favorite LEDs so far have been the Bridgelux arrays. I like the single light source/high luminous output of these types of packages, and believe they will become the mainstay for many general illumination products. I also like the LynkLabs 12VAC products, as they are very simple to incorporate into products, are an excellent value, and produce very nice light. I have more products I have made in personal use, using LynkLabs products than any other source… which happened by natural selection, so there must be something to them that is drawing me to them.

      12VAC LEDs are a great way to build affordable LED products. Any simple transformer, from magnetic to electronic can be used to power them, they can be dimmed like any other 12V halogen product, and they are scaled well for light output vs. source size. I believe for residential applications the 12VAC LED approach may be the perfect pairing of LEDs with a market that is so first-cost sensitive and technologically disinterested. While DC powered LEDs may be ultimately superior, not everyone wants a Ferrari, or needs a full blow surround sound system to be happy. 12VAC LEDs, like those from LynkLabs, are a real bread and butter, grassroots level approach – which I believe will play a real role in transforming residential, hospitality, and other cost/complexity sensitive market spaces.

  4. SSLPro says:

    Thanks for your insights Kevin,

    I think the world of the high quality items coming from LynkLabs- Especially their
    Tesla products, Their leadership is not only seeing to quality production, they
    innovate and they champion the use of AC/leds. Mike, Marty and the rest
    of the folks at LynkLabs exemplify excellence in SSL!!

    More people need to know about them!

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