LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

Summary: Lot of intelligent and energy efficient technology news out of Philadelphia last week, the location for the annual LIGHTFAIR International show. Since this continues to be one of the least intrusive ways that many companies -- consumers -- are reducing their energy consumption, here are a few quick highlights of new technologies that got some attention during the conference.

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TOPICS: Android
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Lot of intelligent and energy efficient technology news out of Philadelphia last week, the location for the annual LIGHTFAIR International show. Since this continues to be one of the least intrusive ways that many companies -- consumers -- are reducing their energy consumption, here are a few quick highlights of new technologies that got some attention during the conference.

It seems like I receive press releases about new "firsts" in the LED technology arena every week, let alone last week. But here are few of the notable developments timed around LIghtfair.

  • Royal Philips Electronics has introduced the Philips EnduraLED A21 17-watt bulb, which is intended to replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb. The bulb (pictured to the right) is supposed to reduce energy consumption by up to 80 percent while lasting about 25 times longer than your traditional product. The estimated savings over the lifetime of the bulb would be about $160, which is important to know because LED replacements continue to carry a higher price tag than what you and I are used to seeing. Although the price for this bulb, due to ship in the fourth quarter of 2011, isn't set, it is expected to be between $40 and $45 per bulb.
  • Another LED player, Lighting Science Group, has been showcasing the latest additions to its DEFINITY LED product line, which include floodlights and equivalents for 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent bulbs. This technology is approximately as energy-efficient as the Philips bulbs, and they are also dimmable, which is a big deal for those of us who appreciate mood lighting. You may not have heard of this company (yet), but it just got a big boost in the form of a partnership with Google for an Android-controlled LED bulb. In other words, it will be Internet-connected via Android devices.
  • Another company, Switch Lighting, has come out with what it calls the first 100 watt-equivalent LED bulb. What makes this possible is a "self-cooling environment" that allows the bulb to be brighter. The technology, which is an A19 lamp, is designed to produce 1700 lumens in neutral white (the same as you would get from halogen track lighting). I'm kind of wondering how Osram Sylvania feels about that "first" label, since it also is introducing a 100-watt replacement product (a 14-watt LED) that is dimmable and produces about 1500 lumens.

Topic: Android

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  • Meaningless comparisons

    Why is it that LED bulbs are being compared to incandescent bulbs, when the real and established alternative is compact fluorescent?

    Is looks deliberately misleading
    Economister
    • Not meaningless at all!

      @Economister Because that's what the majority of consumers grew up with. We all know about how much light a 60 watt incandescent bulb produces, same with 100 and 75 and 40 watt bulbs. That's our point of reference. I couldn't tell you off-hand how a 15 watt CFB compares to a 60 watt regular bulb.
      bigsibling
      • I do not know where you live, but....

        @bigsibling

        around here the majority of consumers use CFLs for most uses, which means they are familiar with them, but more importantly, the energy savings will be negative, because the equivalent CFLs currently seem to use less energy than the LCD variety. Hence the numbers in the blog are meaningless (or misleading if you prefer).
        Economister
      • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

        @Economister Your argument about where bigsibling lives versus where you life validates his point as much as it does yours. Where you live the majority use CFLs but not where I live and apparently not where he lives the numbers are not meaningless to us.
        non-biased
    • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

      @Economister The "real and established alternative" isnt much of an alternative when you think about the health impacts. LED's use less energy and do NOT contain mercury (great for households with pets, children, and elderly). CFL's need to go as they are more hazerdous to the environment than a regular incandecent, LED, or Halogen replacement.
      JT82
      • Missing the point

        @JT82

        The point is that consumers are currently using CFLs, so the claimed energy savings are bogus. If you want to discuss health and environmental impacts, fine, but that is NOT what the blog is about.
        Economister
    • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

      Lightfair is "... the world?s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference"...

      The article properly notes this, a fact which was not lost on my obviously superior reading comprehension.

      Hard to say what facts there are on commericial adoption of CFLs in the commercial marketplace, but LEDs make a lot more sense from a procurement perspective, since they last longer, and can be tossed in a land fill.

      The argument for stated energy savings to an enterprise are valid, , you silly angry troll.
      wzs5011
      • Architectural and commercial lighting

        @wzs5011 commercial lighting is different to domestic lighting in a number of ways (I know you know, but I'm saying it anyway)
        1- the lights are left on for much longer periods of time, so energy use makes a big difference and switching on and off makes less difference
        2- the main cost of replacing a bulb isn't the cost of the bulb, it's the cost of a maintenance person, scaffold, cones and warnng notices, etc. Longer life is really really important
        3- quality of light is important. In a house you just move to another seat to read a book - in the office you have a legal liability if someone's eyesight deteriorates because the lighting wasn't good where you told them to sit. Generally CFLs (all FLs) don't have as many options for high quality light
        4- questions about landfill are important
        5- there's a value in doing something for your brand ("we're green, we even pay more for LEDs instead of those mercury based lights or the energy wasting ones") which can be quantified and put into the business case
        HugoM
      • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

        @HugoM

        Actually, CFLs have been moving away from "white" light, as defined by proximity to sunlight on the spectrum and closer to Tungsten's "soft white" which is marketing BS for "from an engineering perspective we can't make tungsten appear natural." They are doing so despite studies linking "soft white" light to eye strain due to reduced contrast, because people are accustomed the skew induced by tungsten.
        tkejlboom
      • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

        @wzs5011

        I'd beg to differ. Most of the enterprises that I have been around are already using fluorescent lamps and have been doing so for years. Not the compact version but the 4 foot or 8 foot units with the latest ballasts and lamps to improve efficiency. The extended life of the LED lamps may be of interest here but the electrical efficiency is not going to make much of a difference.

        As for the environmental impact? There seems to be quite a bit of research going on into mercury free fluorescent lamps. Nothing commercial that I know of but some promising publications that suggest not that long before they can go commercial.
        DNSB
    • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

      @Economister Why do we still compare car engines to horses? DUH
      spin498
    • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

      @Economister

      Actually, CFLs are also an absurd basis for comparison. Wattage is a great metric for power consumption, but it's a stupid one for light emission. Frankly, you shouldn't purchase anything that isn't measuring output in lumens, but pretty much the entire market has abandoned objective measurements.

      It would also be nice if we could get away from 110 for lighting. The cost isn't in the LEDs, which many are probably accustomed to picking up for pennies at radio shack. The problem is the cost of the electronics to go from 110 AC to 1.5 DC.
      tkejlboom
      • Thanks

        @tkejlboom

        My point was (possibly not well articulated) that switching to LEDs will NOT give the savings indicated in the blog because most installations already use fluorescent of some type. That part of the blog is therefore meaningless or misleading. This fact is still lost on some of the less bright bulbs here.

        I do agree with your "measurement" comment, but industry does not like objective measures, because it makes if harder to mislead consumers. Regarding power supply voltages, the complexity in the wiring, especially in existing structures, would probably make this a non starter.
        Economister
      • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

        @tkejlboom
        Your lucky you only have to cut it down from 110V. Most of the world uses 220 to 240V for there home power supply. We get 230V from our power sockets here in New Zealand. So power transformers to cut down to lower voltages tend to be bigger in size here than the ones use to cut down from 110V.
        NZJester
    • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

      @Economister
      LED bulbs are more energy efficient than Compact fluorescent Bulbs. A 6 Watt LED bulb puts out about the same amount of light as the 12 Watt florescent Bulb and a 60 Watt incandescent bulb. LED bulbs tend to last longer than both florescent and incandescent bulbs also! So no matter how you look at it LED bulbs are superior!
      NZJester
  • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

    I get that this tech will eventually mature and become more cost competitive. As an occasional early adopter, I'll probably buy 2 or 3 of these bulbs for the first-hand experience. BUT, I still don't like how any of these bulbs are tested for lifespan.<br><br>Don't tell me this bulb is good for 25,000 hours if I can only turn it on and off 800 times. I'm sorry, but many of my bulbs are turned on and off 1 or 2 times per day. Others even more. With incandescent, I *never* even pause to think about turning one on or off. With CFLs, I've been told that if you'll need it again within 15 minutes, leave it on. I suspect that's too short, but once I start leaving bulbs on for 1 or 2 or 3 hours because I *might* need it again, the long-term savings go away.<br><br>Let's develop a rigorous standard test series to help us choose wisely. A closet light might be better incandescent, a porch light fluorescent, etc. based on usage patterns.<br><br>If my $40 LED bulb is dead in 2 years, I'm betting I won't be buying more!
    bmgoodman
    • Worst Person in the World

      <ul><i>If my $40 LED bulb is dead in 2 years, I'm betting I won't be buying more! </i></ul><p>You just don't care if every living thing on the planet dies.
      Robert Hahn
      • Huh?

        @Robert Hahn

        He also said "As an occasional early adopter...", which at least indicates that he is open to new and improved technologies.

        I do not know whether your post was just a poor attempt at humor, but it sure came right out of the left field, with no justification whatsoever.
        Economister
      • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

        @Robert Hahn We all got to die some time (Red)... whether you want to or not :-)
        rocketman67
      • RE: LED bulb replacements vie for spotlight at lighting show

        @Robert Hahn
        I also "early adopted" on LED bulbs and they died like flies. No wait! Flies live a few weeks and the LED bulbs didn't. How many living things are going to die if we fill our landfills with dead LED bulbs and mercury from CFLs?
        JimboNobody