02/01/2008

Moving LEDs into the Mainstream

LED-based outdoor lighting applications are emerging, but they're merely scratching the surface of the potential market

 

Early Evidence of Progress
One successful LED installation (the "LED City" program) made news in 2007. The City of Raleigh, NC, performed a retrofit of an existing parking structure using LED-based fixtures. The installation yielded a 40-percent energy savings relative to the 100W HPS luminaires previously installed. Pre- and post-installation surveys of facility users revealed further benefits. The respondents reported an almost fourfold improvement in the perceived quality of the lighting while the perceived safety and security of the facility doubled. Survey respondents even felt that the facility was cleaner as a result of the LEDs (even though no extra cleaning had been done).


COURTESY OF CREE INC. FIXTURES CONTAIN CREE LEDs WITH LED FIXTURES SUPPLIED BY LIGHTING SCIENCE GROUP CORP. (WWW.LSGC.COM)

By Mark McClear 

LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have made amazing progress in the past decade. High-power LEDs, like those found in many architectural applications, have surpassed the efficacy performance of nearly every conventional light source, and individual LED lamps are available with lumen output as high as 1,000 lumens. Small arrays of efficient, bright LEDs can now challenge HID applications of 400 watts and higher; over the last 6 to 8 years, the cost of LEDs in lumens per dollar has come down dramatically, enabling an ever-increasing range of commercial applications.

This progress is remarkable, yet significant hurdles exist before the broad-scale adoption of solid-state lighting (SSL) will be fully realized. Manufacturers are working to bridge the gap and, ultimately, to make SSL ubiquitous in outdoor and indoor general lighting applications.

LEDs differ from traditional lamp technologies in two ways. First, LEDs produce purely directional light as opposed to omni-directional light from traditional lamps. This affords many options for stylish, functional luminaires that conserve lumens and maximize energy efficiency. The second difference is in how LEDs deal with heat. Traditional lamps typically radiate significant amounts of heat in the UV and IR bands of the spectrum. LEDs, on the other hand, typically have 0 UV or IR emissions; the heat generated must be conducted away via heat sinking and other thermal strategies. 

There are many other important elements of LED technology as well, such as zero restrike, infinite dimming, color changing, cold-temperature performance (LEDs are actually brighter in sub-zero-degree environments), environmental benefits, etc. LEDs also offer very long service lifetimes - under normal operating conditions, LEDs can achieve an L70 Lumen Maintenance lifetime of 50,000 hours or more, which offers significant advantages in outdoor lighting (where maintenance avoidance can deliver sizeable cost advantages). All of these benefits can be realized with a fixture that was designed from the ground up as a solid-state lighting fixture.

Continued advancements in LED performance and rapid cost reductions are expected going forward. In the next 5 years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) predicts another 90-percent improvement in brightness and efficacy from LED technology; in fact, the DOE has recently increased the rate of improvement shown by its estimates. During the same period, historic norms indicate that the LED industry could improve the lumens-per-dollar equation by an additional 70 to 100 percent, making the economic case for LED adoption even more compelling.

The first LED-based outdoor lighting applications are emerging, but these installations are merely scratching the surface of the potential market. New standards on measurement, lifetime, and chromaticity are expected to be approved by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) and ANSI in the next few months, and the DOE recently published new Solid-State Lighting ENERGY STAR® criteria; both of these efforts are expected to be enabling for SSL. LED technology has achieved sufficient brightness, efficiency, and affordability for many outdoor and indoor applications - performance and economics are only going to improve over time. 

Mark McClear is director of business development at Durham, NC-based Cree Inc. (www.cree.com).

 


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Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


 
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