Archive for the ‘News’ Category

LED Lighting to Capture 52% of the Commercial Building Market by 2021

25 Nov

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are gaining significant momentum as an alternative to incandescent and fluorescent lighting in commercial buildings, particularly as the cost of LED lighting technology continues its rapid decline.  While the market share of LED solid-state lighting (SSL) is currently quite low, a new report from Pike Research forecasts that LED share will reach 52% of the commercial lighting market by 2021.  The cleantech market intelligence firm anticipates that LED lighting costs for various SSL products will be reduced by 80% to 90% in many cases during the next decade.

“LEDs represent perhaps the most significant breakthrough of the last 130 years in lighting technology,” says research analyst Eric Bloom.  “The production of white LEDs, which began in the late 1990s, is starting to transform the lighting industry, and the transition to this new technology is likely to occur very quickly.  Rapidly-evolving technologies, such as semiconductors and software, are finding their way into the lighting market, catapulting this traditional, historically slow-moving industry into a new era of high technology.”

Bloom adds that incandescent and less efficient T12 and T8 fluorescent lamps will be almost completely eliminated over the next 10 years.  To take more than 50% of the market, LEDs will take share from compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting, and general linear fluorescents.

Pike Research forecasts that the global market for commercial lighting will reach $42 billion in 2011 and see a peak of nearly $54 billion in 2012 before gradually declining to about $30 billion by 2021.  The decline will be due to the extended lamp life of both fluorescents and LEDs as they become the primary lamp types, increasingly displacing demand for replacements for less efficient and shorter-lived incandescent lamps.

Pike Research’s report, “Energy Efficient Lighting for Commercial Markets”, describes the key factors that are influencing the market for energy efficient lighting around the world:  trends in energy codes, rebate and subsidy programs, sustainability/green certifications, raw material supply issues, geopolitical influences in developing and developed nations, and more.  The report describes the influence of industry structure, key applications, and the many technology issues involved in the decision to specify various lighting technologies.  Comprehensive unit and dollar forecasts are presented through 2021, segmented by application, lamp type/LED, luminaires, and geographic region.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets.  The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors.


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GE Lighting’s Irick Says Reliable, System-level SSL Solutions Will Prevail

13 Sep

At a recent press conference, Jamie Irick, GE Lighting Solutions CEO talked about a system-level approach to solid-state lighting.

When Thomas Edison developed the first light bulb in 1879 it lasted less than 14 hours. Today’s LED lamps are rated for 25,000 hours – that’s 22.8 years when the lamp is operated for three hours a day. “You need to make sure you can count on the company that supplies that lighting solution,” said Jaime Irick, president and CEO of GE Lighting Solutions. In a recent press conference at the company headquarters at Nela Park in Cleveland, Ohio, Irick outlined a future of lighting that is dominated by solid-state solutions, making all other technologies obsolete, eventually.

GE has made a stronger investment in its LED sector recently, increasing its R&D personnel by 2.5X in the last three years. In Cleveland, they have 30 LED technologists researching next-generation optics, thermals components and electronics, while 90 LED engineers investigate performance, timing and reliability. This group developed the 40W equivalent 450-lm LED lamp on which subsequent 60W, 75W and 100W equivalent LED lamps will be based. In the mean time, customers will also have the choice of high-efficiency halogen bulbs, CFLs or LEDs to meet the energy-efficiency standard requirements. “It’s all about choice for our customers, but they were looking for more energy efficient alternatives, even before the legislation was enacted,” said Irick.

When asked when LEDs are likely to penetrate the general indoor lighting market, Irick said he expects that to still be 10 years in the future. However, LED costs are coming down at approximately 20% per year, and the introduction rate for LED lamps has accelerated. “We have 70 Energy Star LED products now and will have 120 by the end of the year,” said Irick.

Irick points out that customers are dictating the form that lighting will take. “While other companies may have product expertise, GE’s will offer the best system integration platform, bringing together the LED module, thermals, optics and drivers to provide the most efficient lighting platform for the application.” One example is GE’s LED edge lights, which are based on backlighting technology, and use LEDs around the perimeter of the panel and Rambus MicroLens technology to distribute the light uniformly across the panel.

Irick said that people are just beginning to envision new lighting applications. For instance, on airplanes, controlled RGB LEDs are being tested in cabin lighting to help passengers sleep during night flights.

Irick indicated that the industry is in a period of transition. He said that GE is behind the efforts of the FTC with the new Lighting Facts label. “The DOE has found that nearly thirty percent of the products tested in its Caliper studies do not meet manufacturer’s performance claims. In fact, we have already seen some products being pulled from retail shelves,” he said. “This will help level the playing field.”

GE is already seeing a shake-out of manufacturers. John Strainic, global product general manager at GE Lighting claimed this is similar to the consolidation they saw with the compact fluorescent lamps when they began to replace incandescent bulbs, which took 5-7 years to complete.

Product reliability is a cornerstone of GE’s operations. While the company does not manufacture LEDs, their reliability laboratory performs incoming qualification and accelerated lifetime testing on LEDs and LED modules. “Not all lighting manufacturers test their LEDs, but we have rigorous testing requirements and over ten years of field test data,” said Cherian Jacob, systems manger of GE Lighting Solutions.


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Europe Says Goodbye to 60W Incandescent Lamps

02 Sep

The European phase-out of low-efficiency lamps, which began two years ago, now encompasses clear 60W incandescent lamps.

From today, the 60W incandescent lamp will gradually become a thing of the past in Europe. This type of lamp can no longer be manufactured in Europe or imported into the region. However, the lamps can be sold until stocks run out.

The new regulation comes into force as a result of the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC), which has already outlawed 100W and 75W incandescent lamps (in September 2009 and September 2010, respectively).

Specifically, the regulation coming into force today says that clear (transparent) lamps with a wattage level of 60W or above need to have an energy-label class of C or above (A is the highest, G is the lowest).

This effectively eliminates standard incandescent lamps from the market. However, the class C requirement means that other more-efficient technologies (such as improved incandescent bulbs with halogen technology) can remain on the market. This was felt to be necessary because compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LED lamps, while being much more efficient, can’t provide the same “type of light” as incandescents.

From September 2012, all clear lamps at all wattage levels will have to achieve at least class C. Also, since September 2009 there has been a requirement that all non-clear (also known as pearl, or frosted) lamps must be class A, which in practice means that non-clear lamps have to be CFLs.

In its current form, the Directive only applies to non-directional lamps, while further legislation will cover directional lamps. This is sure to be one of the issues covered in the upcoming Strategies in Light Europe conference in early October.

The European Commission has a website devoted to energy-saving light bulbs, which contains some useful details, particularly covering the relevant legislation.

A section entitled “Why has the EU acted?” focuses principally on energy savings and on the benefits of CFLs. Another interesting source of information is the “Professional FAQ” document that can be downloaded from the Technical Background section of the website.

This document covers issues such as the alleged intrusion of Brussels into citizens’ private lives, the risk of lamp shortages and factory closures, and the effect on lamps that are sold incoporated into luminaires. There is also a question about possible weakening of the measure’s impact caused by people stocking up on conventional incandescent bulbs – which is referred to as “hamstering.”

The EC has also implemented other changes. Since September 2010, lamp packaging should carry better product information to help consumers choose the best solution according to their needs. Lamp producers are obliged to mention the lifetime of the lamp in hours, the number of switching cycles the lamp is designed for, the color temperature, the warm-up time, the size of the lamp and whether the lamp can be dimmed or not.


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Color LEDs Enable Architectural, Entertainment, And Horticultural Applications

29 Aug

Philips Lumileds adds a deep-red LED to its Luxeon family, while Lebelight Technology claims new brightness record in green LEDs.

While phosphor-converted white LEDs are touted for general-illumination and backlighting applications, colored LEDs can serve in many more applications in architectural, entertainment, horticultural, and other segments. Philips Lumileds has added to its color portfolio with a new deep-red emitter. Lebelight Technology has a green emitter that it says can produce 150 to 160 lm.

Philips has a Luxeon Rebel color portfolio that ranges from royal blue (440-460 nm) to deep red (650-670 nm). The deep-red LED is the recent addition and targets applications such as horticulture and entertainment. Moreover, Philips says that some governments require the deep-red color in railway- and roadway-signaling applications.

Deep-red for safety and horticulture

The deep-red LED differs from the standard-red (620-645 nm) offering. The deep-red color is more visible in safety-centric application and Philips rates it at double the drive current of most of the Luxeon color portfolio. The emitter generates 720 mW of radiometric power or radiant flux at 700 mA.

“For more than a decade, Luxeon LEDs have been the first choice for enlivening city centers and architectural wonders, bringing drama to concerts and performances, and ensuring people can move safely on our public transit systems,” said Steve Barlow, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Philips. “We are committed to the continuous improvement of our color portfolio and have delivered substantial light output increases.”

Luxeon LEDs light Guangzhou TV Tower

Horticulture could prove to be a major consumer of the deep-red LEDs. It turn out that the 660-nm wavelength corresponds to peak chlorophyll absorption in plants as we covered in an article on LED-based horticultural lighting. Plant factories and green houses are moving away from broad-spectrum lights to ones that provide specific wavelengths hoping to induce better plant grow with less energy. Osram has been keen to support such applications introducing deep-red LEDs last year.

The other color in the Luxeon portfolio that has a specialty applicability is the royal-blue LED. It too is characterized at 700 mA delivering 1120 mW, and targets remote-phosphor-based general-lighting applications. Philips introduced the royal-blue LED earlier this year, and we just ran a news story on the remote-phosphor topic with Cree introducing a royal-blue LED.

Brighter green LEDs

Green LEDs, meanwhile have been challenged in terms of lumen output due to a physics phenomenon called the charge separation effect. Research organizations such as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) have been working diligently on brighter green LEDs.

Lebelight Technology of Xiaoyi, China claims to have produced a green LED that delivers 150 to 160 lm at 350 mA of drive current. If the company can cost-effectively produce such a product it could enable advances in general lighting, backlighting, and specialty applications such as horticulture.

Large-screen TV backlights for example can benefit from direct backlighting using clusters of red, green, and blue (RGB) LEDs that improve the color gamut of the picture. But TV makers have gone away from the RGB scheme, in part because they need to combine two green LEDS with each red and blue LED to achieve consistent brightness. Likewise, RGB-based general-lighting fixtures can produce tunable color, but the available green LEDs don’t deliver the needed efficiency.


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LEDs May Have Reached “Tipping Point” with Electrical Contractors

23 Aug

A survey of 700 readers of Electrical Contractor magazine showed a majority of contractors believe LEDs are either now ready to replace incandescent and fluorescent lamps or will be ready by the Fall of 2012.

Electrical contractors may be reaching the point where specification and installation of LED lighting, where appropriate, is becoming the rule and not the exception.

Results of a survey of 700 readers of Electrical Contractor magazine indicate a majority of electrical contractors believe LED lamps are now ready or will be ready within a year to replace incandescent and fluorescent lamps.

The publisher of Electrical Contractor, John Maisel, said, “The more we educate [electrical contractors] on the technology and opportunities in the multibillion dollar LED market that’s growing more than 30 percent per year, the greater value they bring to their customers.” Electrical Contractor, which reaches over 85,000 electrical contractors in the US, is published by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) in Bethesda, MD.

Among those readers who responded to the survey, 33 percent of electrical contractors said LEDs are ready to replace incandescent lamps, compared with 23 percent saying LEDs are ready to replace CFLs and 19 percent claiming LEDs are ready to replace fluorescent lamps (see figure).

Market readiness for LED replacement

An additional 33 percent of electrical contractors believe LEDs will be ready to replace these traditional lamp sources within the next two years. The remaining respondents see LEDs becoming more viable later, or they “don’t know” when viability will occur. Of those who said LEDs were not ready or they didn’t know, 19 percent said that high cost was a factor, while 10 percent mentioned needed improvements in performance.

The survey was conducted by the firm Renaissance Research & Consulting (New York, NY) in the Fall of 2010. Participants included contractors working on residential projects, commercial/industrial/institutional (CII) projects and non-building projects (see figure).

Lighting work performed by construction type (Res, CII, NB)

All things to all people?

Lighting is an inherent part of the electrical contractor’s job. As such, it comes as little surprise that 97 percent of respondents indicated they work with indoor or outdoor fixtures (on a combined basis), while 95 percent perform work with lamps, 93 percent with ballasts and 85 percent with controls.

A substantial portion, between 45 and 60 percent of electrical contractors, perform all functions on the job including buying, specifying and installing lighting products. Ninety percent of contractors perform some lamp work, while about 60 percent work on all aspects, meaning they specify and install lamps.

Regarding lamp types, contractors mentioned fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps the most, while LEDs actually were mentioned the least. However, the report says “ECs are proportionately more involved in LED specification than with other lamp types.”

LEDs on building projects

Beyond this recent survey, Electrical Contractor featured a special supplement entitled The LED Revolution, with its July issue. With articles addressing initial cost and payback, dimming and required drivers, compatibility with controls and LED standards, the issue provides a useful overview to contractors and distributors.

Out of the readership survey came important tips for electrical contractors. For instance, contractors should specify LED luminaires with well-designed optics to ensure the light reaches the intended surfaces. Controls are considered the largest contributor to improved efficiency through sophisticated addressable ballasts along with daylight and motion sensors.


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