Two companies I've been watching in the LED technology space have come out with new products this week: one, a street lamp for roadway and outdoor area lighting, like you would see in your local community. The second is a prototype of a bulb intended to act as a replacement for the 60-watt incandescent products that we all think of when someone says the word, "lightbulb." Both of the bulbs are based on technology from LED leader Cree, which is based in Durham, N.C.
Here is the rundown on each of these options.
The new Dialight StreetSense Series LED Street Light (pictured to the right) contains new performance optimization and thermal management technologies. The luminaire acts as a replacement for the HID fixtures that probably line the streets of your neighborhood. They can output up to 75 lumens per watt, while maintaining 70 percent of those lumens over the 60,000 hour anticipated lifespan of the bulb. Because I know this is a big deal to most of us, the fixtures can be dimmed and they contain a photocontroller, which means they can respond from dusk to dawn according to the lighting conditions.
The other LED bulb that is being talked about this week is one that has a much larger potential impact. It uses Cree's TrueWhite technology, which is a big deal because that has been one of the biggest complaints about 60-watt incandescent replacements, that they don't cast the sort of light that we have become used to expecting. The Energy Star-rated prototype that Cree is showing off right now is being described as a "no-compromise" replacement that is dimmable (we all love our mood lighting dimmers, don't we?) The photo at the left demonstrates the difference, or lack thereof. Can you tell the difference?
As far as specs go, Cree says the prototype delivers more than 800 lumens while consuming less than 10 watts. Says the company's vice president of technology, Rob Glass:
"This is the first standard LED A-lamp that combines high output with a very high efficiency, in a small form factor, without the additional cost and complexity of active cooling or other design compromises."
You will notice that I used the word "prototype," so I don't actually have information about when this bulb will be available. Right now, it has been submitted to third-party testing facility to confirm the claims Cree is making about light distribution, lumen maintenance (how bright the bulb stays over time) and performance. I'll be sure to update you when this product hits the market more broadly.