ALT Unveils New 8ft LED Tube
May 14, 2013...Durham, North Carolina-based Cree has expanded color temperature offerings, and introduced Cree 'Full Definition' versions of its CR4 and CR6 downlights. In Cree terminology, the Full Definition (FD) versions use only conventional white LEDs as opposed to the existing TrueWhite versions of the downlight families which mix red LEDs with cool-white LEDs to attain a high CRI while maximizing warm white efficiency. Both the TrueWhite and FD models will be offered in 3000K, 3500K, and 4000K, in addition to the 2700K that was the previous sole CCT option.
By using conventional white LEDs in the FD version, Cree has brought down the price point by up to 25 percent compared to the TrueWhite versions. The Full Definition 4" and 6" recessed downlights have a slightly lower 83 CRI, and a somewhat shorter expected lifetime of 35,000 hours compared to the 50,000 hour lifetime for the TrueWhite versions. Cree says that the price reduction came primarily from the company's latest advancements in LEDs and driver design with full-system thermal and electrical integration, and allows the product to beat fluorescents on an initial cost basis, putting it in reach of wider range of commercial and residential applications.
“Cree is committed to delivering customers the LED lighting solution needed to fit their budgets and applications,” said Greg Merritt, vice president, lighting at Cree. “The new Full Definition CR downlights cost less than fluorescent alternatives and also use 20-30 percent less energy compared to the outdated CFLs they replace. With the low initial investment and good light quality, customers should never need to install an outdated fluorescent or incandescent downlight again.”
The Cree CR4 Full Definition downlight delivers up to 575 lumens and the CR6 Full Definition downlight delivers up to 625 lumens. Both models feature 2700k color temperature and are dimmable to five percent with most standard incandescent dimmers. The Full Definition downlights are qualified for both residential and commercial ENERGY STAR® standards. According to Cree, the new CR Full Definition luminaires can deliver payback against incandescent downlights in less than one year in many installations (Based on typical commercial usage of 9 hours per day and $0.11 per kWh electric costs and virtually zero maintenance). All the new TrueWhite versions of its existing CR Series feature a CRI of 90 or higher. The Full Definition CR4 and CR6 downlights and the new color temperatures of the existing CR4 and CR6 down lights are sold through Cree lighting sales channels and are available now.
May 14, 2013...White Light was chosen to supply lighting for the The Jackson's: Unity Tour, which performed at packed venues across the UK in March of this year. Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon took to the stage each night. Their high-energy performances were matched with a range of powerful lighting visuals designed by Lighting Director Theryn Knight.
For the UK part of the tour, Knight and Production Manager Scotty Ross worked with Lester Cobrin, White Light's Head of Concert Touring, to choose the layout of the lighting rig. After toured the show in America, Knight decided to turn to mostly LED lighting for the UK tour. "In the US, we used mostly conventional sources - incandescent pars and similar - which didn't give me a lot of flexibility and required constantly changing gels," Knight said. With the opportunity to design the new rig, she looked to LED technology.
Knight used the flexible LED-based lighting rig to create variety of looks throughout each performance which flowed seamlessly from one to the next as the Jackson 5 stars treated audiences to fan favorites.
Knight specified more than 30 of JB Lighting's VaryLED A7 Zooms for use overhead and on the deck. She employed the VaryLED fixtures for increased flexibility, vibrant colors, and wide angle coverage to give the show bright and bold looks. Knight used a dozen Pixeline 1044 LED units to display patterns and color effects. Martin Mac 2000 Profiles added further depth.
In addition to being impressed with the equipment's versatility Knight, was also impressed with the service and support of White Light. "As with every tour," she explained, "each venue brings its own challenges, but service and support from White Light throughout the UK has been outstanding. The knowledge and willingness of the staff was incredibly valuable, meaning any changes were handled with ease and efficiency. "
May 14, 2013...UK-based LED lighting company, PhotonStar was awarded a grant by the UK
Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for up to £372,269. The grant
from the DECC Energy Entrepreneurs Fund and will be used to develop further
PhotonStar’s ChromaWhite smart circadian retrofit LED lighting solutions,
particularly the ChromaWhite smart lamp, a standard lamp form factor, with full
The grant will be paid in installments upon the completed development of
certain milestones during the current financial year. ChromaWhite is the
Group’s next generation light engine technology, which the company claims
allows microprocessor controlled color tuning and superior light quality, at an
extremely competitive price-point. The Group unveiled its first ChromaWhite
smart lamp prototype at London’s Ecobuild exhibition in March 2013. James Mckenzie, CEO of PhotonStar, commented, “We are already
making good progress with Chromawhite and are on track to have both new
installation and retrofit products available for the market in
The grant will be paid in installments upon the completed development of certain milestones during the current financial year. ChromaWhite is the Group’s next generation light engine technology, which the company claims allows microprocessor controlled color tuning and superior light quality, at an extremely competitive price-point. The Group unveiled its first ChromaWhite smart lamp prototype at London’s Ecobuild exhibition in March 2013.
James Mckenzie, CEO of PhotonStar, commented, “We are already making good progress with Chromawhite and are on track to have both new installation and retrofit products available for the market in 2014.”
May 14, 2013...Neuchatel – CSEM has joined a recently launched €11.2 million European initiative to help bring flexible OLEDs to market. The project, known as Flex-o-Fab, will create a pilot-scale manufacturing line for flexible OLEDs and use it to develop reliable production processes. The project is funded through the EU’s 7th Framework Program.
The first OLED products using rigid glass tiles are already on the market. However, OLEDs have also been produced and demonstrated (at least in the lab) on plastic films to create flexible light sources. It is expected that eventually, Flexible OLEDs could be produced at lower cost than glass-based OLEDs. Flexible OLEDs could be embedded into most kinds of everyday objects.
While flexible OLEDs have been successfully demonstrated in the laboratory scale by many groups (including CSEM), the Flex-o-Fab project aims to take them from lab to fab through the development of reliable processes for manufacturing OLEDs on plastic foils. The project will reportedly set up a modular, integrated pilot production line and associated manufacturing chain to achieve this. The Flex-o-Fab project will migrate existing sheet-to-sheet processes to roll-to-roll (R2R) production for a further reduction of costs and to enable high-volume production. The project will focus on lighting applications. The project participants hope to have a proof-of-concept pilot line operational by September 2015.
In collaboration with a range of partners, CSEM will contribute to develop new bonding-debonding solutions to facilitate reliable manufacturing of flexible OLEDs based on “foil on carrier” concept. The solutions developed will be compatible with the complete OLED processing flow. This will eventually provide the consortium with a reliable and roll-to-roll compatible handling method for OLED processing on polymer foils.
May 9, 2013...Retrofitting GE LED lighting is helping Las Vegas Sands Corp. curb the environmental impact at its leading resort and meeting properties. As part of its "Sands ECO 360 Green Meetings" program, Las Vegas Sands has completed an expansive energy-efficient LED lighting upgrade to its meeting spaces at The Venetian and The Palazzo Las Vegas replaced halogen lamps in their meeting rooms with more than 5,700 energy smart® BR30 LED lamps. This is expected to reduce the resort’s annual electricity use by nearly 4.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh), saving more than $400,000 in annual lighting costs.
The move to GE’s energy-efficient LED lighting solution further enhances Las Vegas Sands’ comprehensive Sands ECO 360°Global Sustainability program that features an array of best practices in four integral areas—green buildings, environmentally responsible operations, green meetings, and stakeholder engagement.
“The team at GE Lighting impressed us with the range of products that help us conserve even more energy without sacrificing the high aesthetic standards that our meeting and convention customers expect of a five-diamond resort and meeting center,” said Norbert Riezler, senior vice president and chief procurement and sustainability officer at Las Vegas Sands.
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Commentary & Perspectives...
May 16, 2013...As a result of a midnight premier of Star Trek - Into Darkness last night (this morning, technically), the forward-looking technology thoughts are flowing judiciously. Apparently I walked into the conclusion of the discussion on when and where the movie was happening, only to catch the part where I was being asked if I wanted to see it "when it opens". Lacking the context they thought I had overheard, I was inextricably offered the opportunity to earn the cool dad title (and it was indeed earned, while waiting to get in, as I showed the group of late teen to 20-somethings some tricks with the polarized lenses in the 3-D glasses). The movie is a must-see, by the way, for anyone clued-in to the backstory elements from the "Original" Star Trek movies' reality/timeline, of which this is a slight alternate. I did have to overlook what looked like a current generation swoopy T8 fluorescent fixture stuttering in the engineering section after the warp core was damaged in the treacherous attack... The solid state lighting in the 23rd century won't be re-striking as a result of the jolt, thank you very much. So from there I've been led to ponder what our LED "light bulb" should be doing for us in the future (and not the far future at that). The answer is "lots of stuff".
First, it will be important to set aside the fact that LED lighting visionaries insist that we'll simply "do light differently" and that we need to break out of the whole LED light bulb mentality. No doubt that is true, but no one is beaming our legacy technology away, so "differently" is more a matter of time, and it could be validly argued, a long time before light bulbs have been replaced by "something else" in both our homes and offices. We personally own table lamps that are probably 50 years old, and they aren't antiques, they are just "the lamps by the couch". Fresher ones in the house date back 15-20 years, with the newest fixtures (front porch, back porch) being the youngsters at 5 or so years. I believe the ceiling fan in our bedroom has been continuously spinning for 7 years, other than a 1 day period when it moved from the rental we installed it in over to the house we're in now. The point is that our indoor fixtures really don't wear out, and all are fresh enough to allow me to spin in at least one last bulb. If that has a nominal 25,000 hour life, I figure it's not going to be "driven" to change for the next 20 years or so (based on our 3 hours per night average use). Heck, given that the oldest floor lamp now has a Philips Hue installed, and with a recent iPhone update we have at least 3 devices in arms reach and available to control it, we actually are leaving the power switch on, greatly reducing the next most likely failure point. While our sockets will be disappearing at some point, that point will likely be a long time from now. Fluorescent sockets in many commercial spaces, especially T5's and T8's, will be similarly sticky, although the addition of more granular control capabilities that LED (aka "digital") lighting enables will provide retrofit opportunities ahead of simply waiting for the next interior renovation.
Residential markets - What do we want that bulb to do? Low power consumption, bright enough, good quality light, and useful for the variety of sockets that we have scattered around the house. That means dimmable on the ubiquitous TRIAC dimmer for the ceiling, as well as useful in a 3-way socket found in many table lamps. And there doesn't seem to be any reason that they can't also be fun, so something along the lines of a dimmable RGB-W configuration that also takes clues from the 3-way socket... and it communicates... to more than just "the controller" but with the big, wide world. There are examples of all the features out there now, most notably Philips aforementioned Hue for that communications and fun. Recent fun additions include "geo-fencing" so that your smartphone can trigger lights on or off as the residents come and go from the house, as well as support for If-This-Then-That (IFTT) to trigger events based on other events (our recent coverage here). Stock price hits a target, flash the office lights. Team wins, paint the house lighting the team colors). Cree, and probably a few lesser-known others, have recently hit that dimmable white part at a useful $10-ish price point, and at LIGHTFAIR we saw those 3-way and 75w to 100w replacement category "bright enough" introductions from Switch. Are we being unrealistic to envision a future that brings them all together into one affordable LED replacement lamp? That would be like expecting your cell phone to also take pictures, record movies, let you video conference, surf the web, watch movies and let you listen to music. I mean to be big dreamers, maybe we should also expect the phone to provide maps, point to point navigation as well as control your lights at home. So no, it's not unrealistic to expect the residential light bulb to handle the light, fun, dim, 3-way and communication, as well as adding in daylight or ambient light compensation and even other environmental sensing. My good old iPhone 3 had a stack of sensors and functions that were just waiting for apps to bring them to life, and there is no doubt our bulbs can and will do the same.
Commercial markets - Heavy on sensing, light on fun. It seems doubtful that the property operators are going to be very keen on creating the disco effect as the lighting color pulses to the music it "hears" through its microphone (just got that app for the Hue at home... hilarious fun to instigate a pillow fight with strobe mode on). But the tenants will be keen on the increased productivity that comes from more "effective" light. Whether it is better to be maintaining a constant ambient color temperature in spite of changing daylight, or modify the CCT as well as inject some additional "perky" wavelengths in those post-lunch sleepy times, we'll leave to the scientists to figure out. We will want the capabilities to be pretty much the same, whether retrofitting in a full LED-based luminaire, upgrading a troffer with a LED kit, or just swapping in LED tube. We'll expect them to integrate seamlessly into the control network, as well as operate with "coordinated autonomy", not needing to hear from "central control" that there is a particular amount of sunlight, or zero, one or a meeting's worth of bodies in the room. And since we need luminaires in every space, there is no reason that every kind of building-automation, environmental and security sensor that is practical should be integrated into the room's light. "A person-down sensor in every space" might be the battle cry (although one does have to wonder how it will respond when the boss starts doing his or her yoga... yes there will be unpredicted issues along the way).
Timing - Slower than desired, but faster than expected. It's inevitable, as technology advances often are. We expect a lot from our technology, and while we may want it pretty quickly, since we don't have it, we don't "miss it" for the lack. I still harken back to the year 2000 when I sat in a room of "normal" people here in high tech Austin, who were polled on how many had fast (broadband) internet in their homes. It was about 5-10% that had access of something other than dial-in, and at the then-blazing speed of 500K to 1Mbit data rates. A scant decade or so later, and someone without that data rate streaming into their pocket is considered the odd man out. Change is like that, and technical change is accelerating, not peaking by any means. We'll have our light bulb "egg-laying-wool-milk-pigs" before the end of this decade, with Grade AA quality on every feature. Need pictures of the strobing pillow fight? Just tell the light.
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