Category Archives: LEDs

Officials warn businesses near beach about lights during sea turtle nesting season

Officials warn businesses near beach about lights during sea turtle nesting season
By Angela Rozier
Updated 9:39 PM EDT May 20, 2015

It’s turtle nesting season and officials in Martin County are concerned.

They are so concerned they sent a letter to representatives at the Publix Supermarket at 900 North Ocean Blvd. on Hutchinson Island in Stuart letting them know the parking lot lights can be seen from the beach.

County officials released a survey pointing out just how far those lights can reach.

Robert Ernest, the chief operating officer with the Ecological Associates Inc. said that’s a problem primarily for the hatchlings because when they leave from the nest they are orienting to the brightest horizon.

“And typically on a dark beach that’s the light reflecting off the ocean so they know how to get to the ocean, and when you have lights that are landward of the nest that can confuse them and draw them in the wrong direction,” Ernest said.

The letter states Publix should lower, reposition or shield the lights so they can’t be visible on the beach.

WPBF 25 News reached out to Publix officials, who issued a statement that reads:

“We haven’t received any official notice of violation. We did install light blinders at this store location and are in the process of permitting for new lighting fixtures as the ones currently in use are rusted. We are also working with the Florida Oceanographic Institute for the best lighting approach.”

County officials say they will also be sending letters to a local condominium and resident also found out to be in violation.

Publix has 90 days to adjust the lights.

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Cree develops light-guide based LED fixtures for offices and garages

Cree develops light-guide based LED fixtures for offices and garages (UPDATED)
Published on: April 30, 2015
By Maury Wright
Editor in Chief, LEDs Magazine

WaveMax edge-lit optics deliver lighting in two directions and enable sleek LED-based luminaire designs for high-end office space and optimized parking-garage applications.

Cree has announced WaveMax technology — an optical light guide platform that enables LED-edge-lit solid-state lighting (SSL) products with stylish sleek looks. Moreover, the company has announced the LN Series suspended linear fixture for use in Class A office space, although Cree says the design will ultimately prove affordable anywhere suspended fluorescent fixtures are used. A new parking garage fixture will follow with a four-sided light guide that evenly distributes light below the fixture and around the perimeter of the beam pattern.
Discussing Cree’s LED-based lighting products, vice president of product strategy Gary Trott said, “We’ve always made light better.” But Trott described the WaveMax technology as using Diamond Facet Microlenses embedded in the light guide to control the beam, and said that technology solves the three key roadblocks to optimum lighting — control, uniformity, and efficiency. “We wanted to make lighting better than anyone thought possible,” said Trott about the new technology.
Cree, of course, is not the first company to deliver luminaires based on LED edge lighting and planar light guide technology. GE Lighting has a number of luminaires in its Lumination portfolio based on its Intrinsx light guide, and has announced high-profile projects using the technology. Likewise, Eaton’s Cooper Lighting has been proliferating luminaires based on its WaveStream light-guide platform.

Both Cooper and GE Lighting licensed the technology behind their light guide from Rambus. Cree, conversely, said that it developed the WaveMax technology in house. An unnamed optics manufacturer is actually making the light guides or lenses for Cree.

LN Series
As you can see in the nearby photo, the LN Series pendant is stunning. The product is designed to deliver 60% of its output upwards for indirect lighting reflected from the ceiling, and 40% of its light directly to the work surface. The light guides are mostly transparent when off, and Trott said, “It looks awesome on or off.”

Still, the real selling point according to Cree is performance. Trott said that indirect/direct fluorescent fixtures have never delivered efficiency combined with great looks and lighting. Realistically, florescent tubes were intended for use in reflectors. Still about indirect/direct light, Trott said, “When it comes to office or schools, there is no better way to light it.”
The LN Series is designed to deliver the best light distribution and to be affordable. Cree has not released prices. But Trott said it will be priced competitively to top fluorescent indirect/direct fixtures and lower than competitive LED-based products.
Cree will sell the LN Series only in 4-ft versions delivering 3400 lm. The products can be cascaded end to end with power passed through the joining mechanism. The company will offer a choice of 3500K or 4000K CCT and CRI of 90. Efficacy is up to 110 lm/W. The product will support 0-10V dimming as a standard feature or can be specified with Cree wireless SmartCast controls. Cree plans to ship the LN Series in July commercially.

IG Series

Further down the production pipe will come the IG Series parking-garage fixture that Cree says it will ship in August. The IG has a truly unique look for a product designed for a garage, with a square design formed by the light guides that extend directly downward. Again, the optics deliver light in two directions. The outer surfaces deliver the uniform, glare-free perimeter pattern and the inner surfaces deliver the uniform light under the fixture.

The IG Series follows what Cree calls an extremely successful LED-based fixture in the VG Series announced in 2013 for parking garages. Trott said the company wasn’t sure it could innovate further in the use of LEDs for garage lighting. But Trott also said in the case of the IG that “form really follows function on this in a lot of ways.”

Cree, however, is again not the first to use a light guide in a parking fixture. Cooper announced a WaveStream-based parking-garage fixture called the McGraw-Edison TopTier in late 2013. Cooper claimed uniform light and low glare among the benefits of the approach.
Still, the Cree design is quite compelling and looks more like a fixture you might see indoors on a ceiling. The only concession to the application is the sensor you can see inside the optics that form the perimeter, and the fact that the industrial design does little to hide the driver resting in the middle of the design.
Cree plans to offer the light-guide-based product in 4000- and 7500-lm versions that operate at 35W and 65W, respectively. Efficacy goes up to 115 lm/W with a drop to 80 CRI. The light will be offered at a choice of 4000K or 5700K CCT.

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Philips Hue Go Offers Smart Lighting Without The Cord

Philips Hue Go Offers Smart Lighting Without The Cord
Posted April 6th, 2015
by Darrell Etherington

Philips has a new addition to their Hue smart lighting system: The Hue Go, a portable light that packs three hours of use on a full charge before it needs to be plugged in again. The Hue Go has a single button that offers local control over light tone and dynamic effects, as well as a low power standby mode and auto dimming to maximize usage on the go. The Hue Go resembles some of Philips existing efforts to create companion accent lights separate from its connected bulbs, like the LivingColors Iris and Bloom, but with the unique feature of a built-in battery. It’s a semi-spherical gadget encased in translucent hard plastic, capable of outputting light of any color just like the primary Hue bulbs, as well as a range of white tones. The portability aspect offers freedom from fixed installation points, however.

In practice, the Hue Go is a useful utility light for any scenario where you need a moderate amount of omnidirectional lighting. It’s very handy for exploring deep closet corners, for instance, or for providing a bit of patio lighting that marries a nice ambiance with decent visibility. It also has the ability to act as a gradual wake-up light when plugged in on a bedside table, mimicking a gradual sunrise with alarm functions programmed through the Hue app. The Hue Go can output at up to 300 lumens when plugged in, but cuts it to 40 percent brightness when used unplugged to maximums battery, which gives you a pleasing but dim kind of ambient lighting. Overall, it’s plenty bright for most cases where you’d be using a portable lighting solution anyway, especially given that this isn’t a work light designed for the workshop, for instance. It’s also compatible with third-party Hue apps, and can be included in any scenes you program using your Hue app and existing Hue system. It’ll retail for $99.95 when it goes on sale at Apple Stores, Best Buy and Amazon in the U.S. by the end of May or the beginning of June, which is a good deal considering the cost of standalone sunrise simulation wake-up lights. A $100 ‘bowl of light’ may not be at the top of everyone’s needs list, but it could definitely prove a useful addition to existing Hue setups.

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Sun Qinghuan Poised to Be Billionaire on IPO of China’s MLS

Sun Qinghuan Poised to Be Billionaire on IPO of China’s MLS
by Sterling Wong
February 9, 2015
(Bloomberg) — Sun Qinghuan, chairman of MLS Co., China’s biggest LED manufacturer, is poised to become a billionaire with an initial public offering.MLS is planning to sell 44.5 million shares for 21.5 yuan ($3.44) on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, according to a filing on Feb. 9. Sun will own about 357 million shares after the IPO, giving him a net worth of about $1.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Sun, 42, joins a rising number of Chinese entrepreneurs who have become billionaires as investors drive up the values of newly traded companies. The light-bulb maker last year was ranked the world’s 10th-biggest for packaged LED, or light-emitting diode, according to market research firm IHS Technology.“It’s grown to become a big company,” said Alice Tao, a LED and lighting industry analyst at IHS in Shanghai. “In China, there are very few other LED companies that has that kind of size and scale to compete with global LED manufacturers like Samsung, Osram or Philips.”
The IPO was 65 times oversubscribed, according the company’s filing. The Shenzhen Composite Index, tracking the smaller of China’s two stock exchanges, rose 1.6 percent at the close, the first gain in a week.
An MLS representative who answered the company’s main phone line declined to comment ahead of the IPO.
MLS products are used in computer appliances, traffic lights and shopping malls, according to its website. Its product line-up and research and development innovation are among its strengths, Changjiang Securities said in a report earlier this month. The firm expects MLS shares to trade between 26 yuan to 33 yuan after their debut.

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Surface-emissive OLED panels mature slowly, remain spectacular (MAGAZINE)

Surface-emissive OLED panels mature slowly, remain spectacular (MAGAZINE)
Published on: Feb 13, 2014
By Maury Wright
Editor, LEDs Magazine and Illumination in Focus

Over the past year, manufacturers of OLED panels have improved color performance and lifetime, but as MAURY WRIGHT reports, high cost remains an issue that limits the technology to niche applications.

The surface-emission characteristic of OLED (organic LED) technology that produces inherently diffuse and glare-free light continues to entice the lighting industry with spectacular aesthetics. The allure will grow as manufacturers continue to improve the color rendering and longevity of the panels. It appears, however, that cost will remain a barrier to mainstream use so the question will become how much of a premium customers will pay for dramatic OLED lighting. The answer, unknown for now, will determine how deeply OLEDs penetrate the lighting industry. Still, OLEDs are delivering today in niche applications for which neither LEDs nor legacy sources would suffice.

We last covered OLED technology in depth in mid-2012 in an Illumination in Focus article. At that time, much of the discussion centered on how OLED efficacy was trailing the efficacy of inorganic-LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL) and on the high manufacturing cost of OLEDs. OLED panel makers have made progress on both fronts. But the bad news is that the mainstream LED industry is moving even faster. Even if the OLED industry could outperform the US Department of Energy (DOE) roadmap we discussed in the prior article, the gap relative to LED cost and efficacy could broaden by 2020.

Judges for the Lighting for Tomorrow 2013 competition selected the Modern Forms Vela chandelier from WAC Lighting as a winner in the OLED category.

Does that mean we should forget OLED technology as a light source? Proponents of the technology certainly don’t think so, nor do some lighting designers and specifiers. Acuity Brands is one of the companies that is ardently trying to commercialize OLED technology. Mike Lu, director of Acuity’s OLED Design Center, said that the company held a focus group with top lighting designers in New York City early in 2013, and the top desire was better color rendering performance and warmer CCTs. While designers and specifiers would surely like to have better efficacy and lower price, those weren’t the main barriers to usage — at least in niche applications.

Improving color
The focus group led Acuity to huddle with its panel manufacturing partner LG Chem. The panels that Acuity had been using in its OLED fixtures featured a CRI in the 80–82 range with a positive but low R9 value for saturated red performance. Those panels were available in 3500K or 4000K CCTs. LG Chem has since developed a new panel that delivers 3000K light at a CRI of 89, and R9 value of 30. That performance doesn’t match the very best LED-based products but would be considered premium-level performance. LG Chem achieved the improvement by adding another layer in the OLED stack so that red, green, and blue pixels are vertically aligned in the stack. The Blackjack Aradess decorative OLED table lamp uses eight OLED panels to deliver diffuse glare-free light. The Blackjack Aradess decorative OLED table lamp uses eight OLED panels to deliver diffuse glare-free light. When you refocus a comparison of OLED and LED technology on a product implementation with excellent color quality, the technologies aren’t so far apart in terms of efficacy. Lu said that Acuity had verified the color performance of the new panels in the lab and measured the efficacy at 56 lm/W. That is about the same efficacy that the prior panels had delivered in mid-2012, although LG Chem had since delivered about a 25% efficacy gain in the 80-CRI products.

Relative efficacy
Lu compared the 89-CRI OLED panels to remote phosphor LED modules from Xicato or SSL products based on Soraa’s gallium-nitride-on-gallium-nitride (GaN-on-GaN) LEDs, both of which have a broad spectral power distribution and excellent color performance. Lu said the LED products with top color performance have efficacy specs in the 40–60-lm/W range, pretty much in the same ballpark as what OLEDs deliver. Lu said, “OLEDs have an intrinsically broad power spectrum.”

Lu also said that LG Chem had made incremental improvements in lifetime. The latest panels have an L70 life of 18,000 hours so long as developers keep drive currents relatively low. Indeed, Acuity is keeping currents down and panel output in the 2500–3000-cd/m2 range to both eliminate any glare issue and maximize life, as we discussed in the prior OLED article referenced earlier. Of course price will remain an issue, and you can easily see the disparity relative to LEDs in some OLED products that are being offered commercially. Back in the spring of 2013 we covered the launch of new manufacturer Blackjack Lighting by well-known lighting designer Stephen Blackman. The company’s Aradess table lamp uses Philips Lighting OLED panels and was announced with a price of $5900. But the design is elegant and for the luxury market. And you couldn’t easily achieve it with LED sources.

Modern Forms’ Vela chandelier from WAC Lighting is a product that could not be easily realized with a light source other than OLEDs.

OLED product acceptance
We are also seeing signs of broader acceptance of OLED technology in the lighting community. For example, the Lighting for Tomorrow competition, which is managed by the American Lighting Association (ALA), the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), and Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL), included an OLED category in 2013. The category drew three entrants and the Vela chandelier from WAC Lighting’s Modern Forms brand was selected a winner.

The Providence VIP Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia features a lighting system that consists of 1680 OLED panels manufactured by Philips Lighting that provide a dramatic and dynamic experience to club-goers.

It’s worth noting that the judges for Lighting for Tomorrow, a panel that includes prominent lighting designers and experts, are not required to choose a winner in any category. The judges must feel that the product meets a broad set of predefined criteria including application efficiency, color rendering, and appearance. Moreover, the judging criteria include a “value and marketability” category. The suggested retail price for the Vela chandelier is $9900. Having participated in the judging process in the 2012 awards, we saw an LED-based chandelier priced in the $5000 range receive a Special Recognition award from the judging panel. So a near $10,000 OLED chandelier was certainly considered by the 2013 judges to offer value, at least at the high end of the residential market. Furthermore, Vela is one of those products that could not be easily realized with a light source other than OLEDs.

Acuity’s Modelo OLED products from the Winona brand enable free-form design with the panels mounted on a track that supplies control and power, and that could also enable a mix of LED products such as pendants installed on the same track. Acuity’s Modelo OLED products from the Winona brand enable free-form design with the panels mounted on a track that supplies control and power, and that could also enable a mix of LED products such as pendants installed on the same track. For a further example of what the market will bear, consider the case study we covered in late 2013. The Providence VIP Club, located in a high-end retail and office complex in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has installed 1680 Philips Lighting OLED panels. Neither Philips nor the local contractor SLT Asia discussed the cost in concrete terms, but club owner Ashwin Prakash saw it as a solid investment, saying, “It is an investment that few would make, but we believe in adopting new technologies in our clubs to enhance the VIP experience. Our guests are enamored by the lights.”

Acuity’s highest-profile OLED project to date was in the Innovation Center at the US Embassy in Helsinki, Finland that was announced in the spring of 2013. But the DOE was instrumental in guiding the selection of all of the lighting that went into that project including LED-based lighting, and the project was a proof of concept to some extent.

Mainstream acceptance
The question for many in the lighting industry will be at what price level mainstream consumers will adopt OLED lighting. Dietmar Thomas, a communications specialist at Philips, has gone on the record saying that OLEDs would find application in home lighting in 2015.
Acuity’s Lu prefers to discuss the price issue in consumer electronics terms, using flat-panel TVs as an analogy. Lu asked, “What kind of premium can OLED luminaires command?” He said that in the TV market, consumer electronics vendors believe that a significant number of buyers will pay 30–50% more for an OLED TV relative to an LED-backlit LCD TV. Of course OLED TVs haven’t hit that price level yet, so no one knows for sure. Still, Lu believes that OLED lighting will command a similar premium. And while OLEDs aren’t within that percentage range relative to LEDs at the light-source level, a system-level comparison will be different. In both technologies the light source is increasingly a diminishing component of the system cost. And when you compare like products in terms of color performance as mentioned previously, the gap narrows further.

Acuity, meanwhile, is working to convert its Kindred, Revel, Trilia, and Canvis OLED product lines to support the new LG Chem panels. By the time this article hits the street, you may well have seen an announcement from Acuity highlighting the superior color performance.
Jeannine Fisher, director of OLED business development at Acuity, said that the company is already shipping products based on the new panels to a lead customer. She also said a soon-to-be-revealed project on the East Coast will be the largest and most dramatic yet supported by Acuity. Fisher said that the company is also preparing to commercially roll out the Modelo and other OLED products announced at Lightfair 2013 with the new LG Chem panels. Fisher also summed up the price question from the company’s perspective, saying, “Relative to other OLED products, our products are very competitively priced.” The key factor is price relative to competitive technologies. But Fisher said OLEDs are competitive with LEDs today in “products that make a similar design statement.” Philips LivingSculpture modular OLED technology allows lighting designers to deliver customized lighting systems with 3D forms using a simple online configuration tool. Philips LivingSculpture modular OLED technology allows lighting designers to deliver customized lighting systems with 3D forms using a simple online configuration tool.

Value proposition
From the value proposition perspective, Philips sees things similarly. Kristin Knappstein, Philips global director of OLED business creation, said that products based on the company’s Lumiblade panels are delivering aesthetics and unique features that can’t be achieved any other way. “We are preferably targeting applications where OLEDs really contribute value and enable new designs or light effects,” said Knappstein. “We consider applications such as vertical or integrated lighting as attractive, as they are based on bringing this distributed light more to human scale, bringing it closer to people by integrating it into furniture and surfaces that surround them.” Still, Knappstein believes that panel makers must continue to drive efficacy and brightness. She added, “When it comes to OLED lighting, it is really about the right balance: It needs first a proper lumen output to really call it a light source, and then it is about delivering excellent light quality by means of rich, warm light without glare and which brings out the true colors.”

Today, Philips is delivering the GL350 panel in its performance line with a flux output of 200 lm from a 124.5-mm square panel. Knappstein said that the company will have a higher-performance product at the upcoming Light+Building tradeshow; we saw that product in the lab and it is very bright. Philips has a broad portfolio of products that are the result of its Lumiblade Creative Lab located in Aachen, Germany. Lighting manufacturers and designers can attend OLED lighting workshops at the lab and even use it as a design studio, working collaboratively with Philips’ OLED experts.

Philips LivingSculpture modular OLED technology allows lighting designers to deliver customized lighting systems with 3D forms using a simple online configuration tool.
The Providence VIP Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia features a lighting system that consists of 1680 OLED panels manufactured by Philips Lighting that provide a dramatic and dynamic experience to club-goers. You can view much of the Lumileds work at the interactive Lumiblade Experience website. The work includes products such as Mimosa that consists of five panels and mechanics that can move the four outer flowers, mimicking a flower opening and closing based on the proximity of a hand or other object to the fixture. That product may be extreme in terms of design, but there are more mainstream products such as the Moorea desk lamp with classic bankers’ lamp dimensions. Even that product has a unique ability to adjust the height and angle of the OLED panels using the power cord and a spring-loaded tensioner.

The floor-standing Acuity Lumen Being OLED lamp targets commercial spaces.
Philips also offers the modular LivingSculpture system that was designed initially by Christopher Bauder of WHITEvoid. Lighting designers can use an online configuration tool to develop ceiling- or wall-mounted systems with 3D contours by varying the length of the mounting rods that connect the panels to the modular base within which the driver is mounted.

Getting back to price
Still, broader acceptance of OLED technology will get back to price and therefore advancements in manufacturing technology. Back in 2012, Philips’ Thomas had predicted that by now the time required to manufacture a panel would have dropped to two minutes. In 2012, Thomas said it could take as long as 30 minutes to grow what can be as many as 20 to 30 layers that comprise the OLED stack on a glass substrate.
Philips will not quantify exactly where the manufacturing time stands today. The company has commissioned a new production line, although it’s off-limits to visiting journalists right now. We toured the older line. It looks something like an elongated racetrack with sequential chambers through which the glass panels pass on carriers, with each chamber designed to grow a specific OLED layer. Designed by Jason Bruges Studio, the Mimosa luminaire features moving parts with Philips OLED panels that mimic the opening and closing of flower petals.
One issue, however, is that some panel designs need multiple applications of the same layer at different places in the stack. In the older line, the panel must circuit the production line if the chamber that delivers the next required layer is behind the traffic flow in the sequential line. That means panels pass through chambers many times with no processing taking place.

Thomas said that the new line uses a dual track system to move panels on carriers through the sequence. A panel can move to a sidetrack and travel backwards for repetitive processing steps. That change would presumably make a significant improvement in production time. Despite all the challenges, what has become apparent in the last 18 months is that OLEDs can be used today to deliver both functional and striking lighting designs. The price remains high, but the premium is not as high as it first appears if you compare the cost of high-CRI LED-based systems or if the comparison is relative to unique form factors. Despite fledgling success in the market, it’s clear that OLED proponents believe deeply in the future of the technology.

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Soraa delivers 10-degree beam in LED-based PAR20 lamps

Soraa delivers 10-degree beam in LED-based PAR20 lamps
Published on: April 1, 2015
By Maury Wright
Editor in Chief, LEDs Magazine and Illumination in Focus

Soraa has announced that it has integrated its VP3 Vivid Color technology into a smaller LED PAR20 lamp form factor with an integrated 120V driver in the lamp. The solid-state lighting (SSL) product options include models with a beam as narrow as 10° and CCT choice of 2700K, 3000K, 4000K, and 5000K. The 10.8W LED PAR20 lamps can replace 75W and 90W halogen lamps and deliver superior color rendering along with superior illumination of white items treated with optical brightening agents.

LED PAR20 lamps can replace 75W and 90W halogen incumbents while delivering flexibility in beam pattern, CCT, and optical accessories.

The advantage of Soraa’s approach to LEDs has been broadly discussed especially relative to the illumination of both color and white items. The VP3 Vivid Color descriptor implies the violet LED and three-phosphor mix that enables the company’s products to deliver 95-CRI light with R9 performance of 95 as well – traits shared by the new LED PAR20 lamps.

Still, it may be the options in beam angle and center beam candle power (CBCP) that may allow the Soraa lamps to standout in the directional-lighting field. In recent reports, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has noted that LED lamps trail incumbent technology in narrow beam angles. But the new LED PAR20 lamps at 10° deliver CBCP of 8000–9000 cd based on CCT, for lamps in the 95-CRI Vivid line. That number goes to 11,000 cd for 80-CRI lamps in the Brilliant line.

The company offers the lamps over the range of 10°, 25°, 36°, and 60° beams. Moreover, it offers the optical accessories in the Snap product family for needs such as diffusers and filters. The Snap system uses magnets to attach the optical accessories quickly and securely.
“Powered by the world’s most efficient LED, the PAR20 provides unmatched color quality with our VP3 technology and superior optics with our Point Source Optics technology, while still delivering 85% energy-efficiency over standard halogen lamps,” said George Stringer, senior vice president of America sales and marketing at Soraa. “Neither too big nor small, the PAR20 is perfect in every way.”

Soraa says all of the LED PAR20 lamps are rated for use in enclosed fixtures indoors or outdoors. The products are rated for use in damp locations. Soraa specifies the products within a 3-step MacAdam ellipse in terms of color consistency. The company also promised a lower-power 50W-equivalent PAR20 lamp in the near future.
The only small negative with the lamp family is in the area of efficacy. Depending on CCT and CRI, efficacy ranges from 46–54 lm/W. But in general, LED-based products with warm CCTs and good CRI capabilities inevitably feature lower efficacy.

Indeed, the PAR20 shares the legacy with the Soraa PAR30 product that won the replacement lamps category in the inaugural LEDs Magazine Sapphire Awards. One of the judges noted that only efficacy separated the Soraa lamp from a perfect score, but also said the lamp design targeted the light quality required by demanding applications such as high-end retail over energy efficiency. But Soraa points out that the products still deliver the aforementioned 85% energy savings relative to incumbent technologies.

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Cleveland Cavaliers light NBA practice facility with GE Albeo LED high-bay fixtures (VIDEO)

Cleveland Cavaliers light NBA practice facility with GE Albeo LED high-bay fixtures (VIDEO)
Published on: April 2, 2015
By Maury Wright
Editor in Chief, LEDs Magazine and Illumination in Focus

The 17,000-ft2 practice floor is lit with more than 70 GE Lighting Albeo fixtures while the team has also installed GE Lumination EL Series luminaires in the locker room.

Cleveland Cavaliers Facility

While the Cleveland Cavaliers push toward the US National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs as the hottest team in the Association, the players spend their practice time working under new LED-based sports lighting from GE Lighting’s Albeo brand. The new lighting will save considerable energy while also offering the instant-on capabilities sought by the team. The retrofit of the player development center, called the Cleveland Clinic Courts, also included installation of GE Lighting Lumination EL Series fixtures in the locker room.
Cleveland Cavaliers light NBA practice facility with GE Albeo LED high-bay fixtures for sports lighting.
The team was led to the retrofit by the long warm-up time of the older metal-halide (MH) sports lighting. “I was walking across the court with our general manager not long ago when, lo and behold, we lost power,” said David Painter, senior manager of practice facilities for the team. “The only lights that came back up were the LEDs, and he looked at me and he said, ‘DP, we’ve got to get this done. It’s a no-brainer.’”
The main practice room in the 17,000-ft2 facility includes two full-size courts. So the team wanted granular control of the sports lighting, along with the instant-on capability in part because of the need to record practice sessions. “We needed instant-on ability from our new lights to get the team back in action as fast as possible,” said Painter. “We also shoot a lot of video and host media events here too, so it’s important our gymnasium looks its best and brightest at all times.”

The team turned to manufacturer representative Myriad Energy for help in selecting products for the retrofit project. The firm recommended products from Albeo for the project. The new sports lighting is rated for 100,000 hours of life with no maintenance.
It’s no surprise that LED lighting is acceptable for a professional sports team at this point as a number of stadiums and arenas now use LED-based lighting. Just recently we covered an LED sports lighting project at the Major League Baseball (MLB) Seattle Mariner’s Safeco Field. Moreover, the National Football League (NFL) Super Bowl was played under LED lighting this year.
The Cavaliers’ practice facility is well lit by the new sports lighting as is evident in the nearby photo and the video below. But the main benefits are the instant controllability, greatly reduced maintenance, and lower energy usage.
Painter said replacing burned-out MH lamps was a significant problem. “We have 50-ft ceilings that pitch back to 36 ft. We had to invent a pulley system just to change the old lights,” said Painter. “Now there’s no issue with ballasts or replacing bulbs, which may be the thing I’m most excited about, personally.”
The team also expects to save $14,000 per year in energy costs from the combination of lighting and HVAC systems. That number could increase as the team installs controls. The lighting is already dimmable so energy usage is minimized when the courts aren’t in use. But the team is in the process of installing controls that will allow more granular dimming for portions of the practice-court area.
The players, meanwhile, are enjoying better, and more stylish lighting in the locker room as well. The EL Series luminaires use GE’s Intrinsx optical light guide technology. The fixtures have planar optical blades that extend from the fixture body vertically toward the floor.
“Cleveland Clinic Courts is among the most technologically advanced team development facilities in pro sports — if not the best — and additions like these new lights will keep it that way,” said Painter. We will see in the coming months if the practice-facility lighting, and perhaps the team’s reacquisition of LeBron James, deliver the fans the long sought championship.


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LIFX adds a more affordable white bulb to its smart lighting lineup

LIFX adds a more affordable white bulb to its smart lighting lineup
Pulkit Chandna | Freelance contributor, TechHive
Apr 2, 2015












The battle for control of the emerging smart lighting market is heating up, with new products coming in thick and fast from companies big and small. Yesterday Dutch lighting behemoth Philips announced the Hue Go—a portable version of its now iconic Hue connected LED bulb—and Aussie smart-lighting startup LIFX Labs follows suit with a new product of its own.The company, which pioneered Wi-Fi-enabled color-changing LED bulbs in 2012, has finally gotten around to adding a white-light-only bulb to its portfolio. It’s called the LIFX White 800 and is the company’s cheapest offering yet at $40 each. Being Wi-Fi-enabled, like its color-changing predecessors, means it requires no hub.

The timing of the announcement is just a touch off, though. It comes just a day after Philips slashed the price of its own white-light-only offering, the Hue Lux, by a third to $20 a pop. Granted, the ZigBee-enabled Lux is useless without the Hue bridge, but getting one is cheaper now that Philips has also lowered the price of its two-bulb-and-a-hub starter kit from $100 to $80.

LIFX bulbs connect to your Wi-Fi network, so they don’t require a hub for control. But if you’re deploying a lot of them, they’re still more expensive than Philips Hue bulbs that do require a hub.












Put differently, the Hue Lux is the cheaper option if you need more than two bulbs, with the savings adding up as you scale up. That’s true even if you buy the White 800 in packs of five or ten. But is Hue Lux the better bulb? Not necessarily. A quick look at their respective specs suggests the White 800 has a slight advantage: At 890 lumens (equivalent to a 60W incandescent), it is a good 140 lumens brighter than the Lux. Further, the company claims the White 800 is the first bulb in the entry-level segment to feature a “choice between rich warm to cool white lights all in one bulb.” The official product page, however, makes no mention of the exact color temperatures. A spec sheet gets more specific, listing the bulb’s color-temperature as ranging from 2700- to 6500K.

Why this matters: Entry-level smart bulbs like the White 800 should please those who desperately want in on the home automation action, but find most other connected-home devices either too expensive or too intimidating for their liking. In fact, they should please anyone and everyone who just can’t wait for the smart-home party to get started in earnest. Confused? Let us explain. Over the last couple of years, we’ve often heard smart bulbs being described as a potential Trojan horse for the Internet of Things (IoT) phenomenon. Bulbs, the argument goes, trump most other home devices and appliances in this regard due to their almost unparalleled ubiquity and indispensability. And since we’re already in the middle of a global transition from incandescent bulbs to more efficient LED lighting, many will be tempted to go whole hog and get smart bulbs. But for that to happen on a large enough scale, smart bulbs must become more affordable.

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What Color Temperature are Wildlife-Friendly Amber LED Lamps?

What Color Temperature are Wildlife-Friendly Amber LED Lamps?
Posted by Lyndsey

Access Fixtures wildlife-friendly Amber LED lamps are measured in nanometers, not in a specific Kelvin temperature. Kelvin and nanometers, while both referring to colors, do not measure the same thing and are not convertible.
What’s the deal?
Kelvin temperature indicates the perceived color of a light source. Available color temperatures range from 1000K to 8000K. The higher the temperature, the bluer the light will appear.
Nanometers (nm) measure a specific wavelength of light. Kelvin temperatures consist of a nearly infinite number of wavelengths to produce a perceived color. So even if the Kelvin temperature appears blue, it’s actually a combination of wavelengths at different nanometers.
Wildlife-friendly LED lamps are a specific wavelength of 590 nm. Although a lower Kelvin temperature may appear amber, it’s not actually the amber found in Access Fixtures wildlife-friendly LED amber flood lights, LED amber wall packs, LED amber bollard lights and LED amber garage lighters. It’s critical to use wavelengths of 590 nm for wildlife-friendly lighting since this is the wavelength that is not visible to animals affected by light pollution. Humans can see wavelengths between 400 and 750 nanometers.The two color spectrums below include high pressure sodium and 660 nanometers. They are not the same even though the two measures display similar perceived colors. While the Kelvin temperature is made up of many different wavelengths of various nanometers, 660 nanometers is a specific color. This means that a high pressure sodium wall pack may harm wildlife, but an LED amber wall pack will not.

A spectrum showing a 250w high pressure sodium light. Source:

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LG Innotek and Daintree Launch the Standards-Based Wireless LED Driver

LG Innotek and Daintree Launch the Standards-Based Wireless LED Driver.
Jeff St. John
March 24, 2015
Networked LEDs are becoming more and more common in the commercial building space. But almost all of these LEDs are wirelessly connected through retrofits, using proprietary networks that can’t communicate with one another.

On Tuesday, South Korea’s LG Innotek announced that it’s breaking this pattern, with the launch of an LED driver that comes embedded with standard ZigBee wireless. Its partner, Silicon Valley startup Daintree Networks, has been working with LG on ZigBee-embedded LED light bulbs since last year. But this week marks the partners’ first foray into a wireless-embedded product for the troffers and retrofit kits that can replace standard overhead fluorescent lights with far more efficient and controllable LED equivalents.

“This is the first open-standard, ready-for-purchase solution for the mass market” in the LED driver space, according to Daintree CEO Danny Yu. LG Innotek’s new driver is using a defined standard — specifically, ZigBee Pro, which is being rolled into an umbrella standard known as ZigBee 3.0.

“The biggest advantage of using this driver is cost savings,” said Shin Cho, senior development engineer at LG Innotek. “Integrated drivers can eliminate the need for additional or extra wireless, or wiring.” That could make the company’s new wireless-integrated LED drivers attractive to the unnamed “major fixture manufacturers” interested in the new product, as well as smaller lighting fixture makers looking for a simpler route to wireless connectivity, he said.

Daintree and LG aren’t the only companies integrating LEDs and wireless controls in commercial ceilings, of course. Boston-based startup Digital Lumens has deployed its LEDs into 100 million square feet of commercial real estate, much of it warehouses. Redwood Systems (bought by CommScope) and Adura (bought by Acuity) have both installed their networked LED lighting systems into millions of square feet of commercial buildings as well.

LG Innotek’s new driver is built not with a Daintree chipset inside it, but with a standard ZigBee chipset, designed and built by LG based on the firmware designs that Daintree has made available to partners since 2012. That means that, theoretically at least, any other provider of an “enterprise-class, multi-function network control platform” adapted for ZigBee could make use of the drivers in lieu of Daintree’s ControlScope platform, Yu said.

For LG Innotek, this standardization has meant a much faster path to market, Cho noted.

“With Daintree, we didn’t need to modify anything — we just adopted that, and we went through the certification process easily,” he said. That, in turn, allowed LG Innotek to “minimize [the] resources dedicated to software development. We can spend more time focusing on developing and improving the hardware.”

The overall benefits equated to cutting product development time in half, and reducing total bill of materials cost by 10 percent to 20 percent, Cho estimated.

Of course, there are reasons why other vendors have made tweaks to standard ZigBee in their lighting networks. The low-power wireless technology can sometimes struggle to scale up to the hundreds of endpoints that it needs to support in lighting applications. “There is no perfect standard,” Yu said about this issue. “We are aware of the potential limitations of the ZigBee standard — but we are there to solve those problems.”

There are also reasons to architect a wireless lighting control system in ways that require a non-standard solution. San Francisco-based startup Enlighted, for example, has built distributed intelligence into its smart lighting nodes, giving them the ability to follow schedules and automated response patterns in ways that systems reliant on constant network connectivity might not be able to match.

Proprietary networks could gain ground simply through the weight of their incumbency in the market. Big lighting vendors like Cree and Philips have built their own proprietary wireless mesh-embedded LED control platforms.

Meanwhile, other contenders for low-power wireless standards in networked lighting are emerging, such as the Thread standard, an IPv6 networking protocol built on the same IEEE 802.15.4 standard that underlies ZigBee, launched by Google’s Nest Labs and Samsung last year.

But Daintree and LG Innotek are betting that their standards-based approach, combined with the current market penetration of ZigBee, will offer lighting system manufacturers a more compelling path toward future interoperability. That doesn’t just apply to the lighting environment, but to broader building networks, Yu noted. Like most of the networked lighting companies out there, Daintree and its partners are hoping to expand their in-ceiling wireless nodes to connect thermostats and sensors, and serve as the glue for broader energy management systems.

“Some of our products, like networked sensors, occupancy sensors and networked cameras, can be connected to this kind of system as well,” Cho said. “Our first approach is to develop and launch available product, which has cost-effectiveness” — and LEDs, which offer much greater efficiency, lifespan and light-by-light control features than the fluorescent lights they replace, have that characteristic, he said.

“After that, we will try to expand our types of products, like sensors and cameras, and [will also be] adding more features.”


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