latest from the
LED Technology in Tensor Desk Lamps; Plus the Incandescent to LED Bulb Chart.
Previously, we sat down with Michael Islas, one of our top engineers here at Evolution Lighting. He shared plenty of LED insights that you may find useful in Part I and Part II. Michael addresses our remaining questions below –
Evolution: How else do integrated LEDs benefit our customers?
Michael Islas: Integrated systems do have longer lifetimes, and with integrated, you can really tailor the LEDs and their location to your application. In some of these task items for example, you have these long heads which means you’ll have a long string of LEDs giving you a wider of illumination, versus if you had a bulb in there and you’re trying to focus it. You have configurations to your advantage. So you can place LEDs as well as get rid of a lot of the inefficiencies of the bulb optics and housing, meaning there’s more space for the driver. The driver is critical because it’s the brains of the whole system. It controls the dimming and filters out any noise inside the bulb. All the features are controlled through the driver. By confining that driver to a tiny space foils that and limits the lifetime of the light and the features you can have. By integrating the system throughout the whole fixture, it gives you a lot more space for more features without a lot of the drawbacks.
Evolution: All solid points for our customers, thank you. Changing gears to a broader picture -what kind of government regulations there are in the lighting industry?
M.I.: There are a ton of government regulations. The DOE (Department of Energy) mandates regulations, and there are regulations for everything. Regulations around safety, for the noise that the product generates, and also material regulations to make sure that the materials we’re using, for example, don’t include lead. Regulations for efficiency standards, as well as performance standards, also exist. DOE has minimum standards as well as Energy Star standards. If you’ve got an Energy Star compliant product, that product is exhibiting a higher level of performance. In California for example, at the state level, states also introduce regulations for lighting, whether it’s in construction or in retail. California is the most stringent market in the US as far as performance standards. [California] has a number of standards that govern the efficiency, they have to be very efficient products, but they also have to have good CRI (Color Rendering Index), because in the past, what happened is the market flooded with a lot of cheap product trying to get the cost down to be competitive with incandescent. That resulted in products that were either very poor CRI, very poor efficiency, and it really gave consumers a bad taste for LED. The government had to step in to say that LED is a better technology, even though it didn’t seem that way to consumers because they’re getting an inferior product because people aren’t channeling the technology correctly. They said that you have to meet, around 55 or 65 lumens per watt, you have to have a minimum of 80 CRI, you have to not have flicker [i.e. when light flutters unsteadily], etc. All these different standards are getting introduced over the last decade because a lot of people were not appropriately using LED technology.
Evolution: So it sounds like California is a major part of the regulation process right?
M.I.: California leads the charge as far as performance, they typically implement standards several years before the rest of the country adopts them. They were also first to start trying 90 CRI as a minimum requirement, as well first to introduce very tough flicker and dimming standards because dimming with LEDs isn’t always as easy as it was with incandescent. California has always been ahead of the pack as far as being the first to introduce tough performance requirements and the rest of the country follows suit 3 to 5 years later, so to speak. They have a lot more regulations on their lighting than anywhere else.
What does all of this tell us? It tells us that LED isn’t just a half-step in lighting –it’s here to stay and to be evolved upon, and Evolution Lighting hopes to do its part in that process. Please see Part I and Part II…
To provide a clear buying guide for LED bulbs, we’ve created a handy table that details the traditional incandescent bulb wattage and its LED equivalent.