13-11-2018 | | By Nnamdi Anyadike
Developments in light emitting diode (LED) lighting, buoyed by the phase out of halogen lamp products in the EU from September 1, are continuing apace. Although replacing halogen with energy saving light emitting diodes (LED) is not a new development, figures released by the US based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) suggest that LEDs still only make up 10% of lighting systems globally. Nonetheless, over the next decade LED is predicted to become the predominant source of lighting. A report from Infinium Global Research on LED market growth forecasts a CAGR of 15.7% by 2024.
In line with this growth the market is now being flooded with a wide array of LED products for commercial and industrial applications, government projects, and upcoming smart buildings. In August, the Nasdaq listed Cree, Inc. launched an extension of its XLamp XP-G3 LED. The new XP-G3 S Line is claimed to further improve the standard XP-G3 with better reliability through switching and dimming cycles, improved resistance to sulphur exposure and higher light output and efficacy.
Then in October the German Stego Elektrotechnik GmbH unveiled its new Varioline LED control cabinet lighting. It is available in two versions with sizes from 400 to 700 mm and 11W or 16W power consumption. All sizes of control cabinets, even the largest, can be illuminated through the 120° beam angle placement. The mid-power LEDs provide translucent, glare-free, rotatable lighting. The light sources are designed to have a long service life of 60,000 hours, which Stego says makes the Varioline, “practically maintenance-free.” Depending on the application, on-off switches, motion detectors or a connection for an external door contact switch are also available.
The Chinese company CESPEX Lighting Co., LTD located in DongGuan city, Guangdong province also recently unveiled a range of new LED products for applications such as industrial lighting, common outdoor lighting for buildings, street lighting, hazardous location lighting, garden lighting and household lighting etc. Apart from its energy saving LED lighting products, the company also help its customers design the best lighting solutions for any given application.
Until recently, GE was the main manufacturer of energy saving light bulbs. However, it is in the process of divesting its booming LED business, grouped under its Current lighting division, to American Industrial Partners (AIP) for an undisclosed amount. Last year, GE’s Current lighting unit had about $1 billion in sales. This month, Current launched a new LED replacement designed to replace its 1000W high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps. The product fits existing HID lamp fixtures and features 60 percent less electricity consumption than the HID lamp it replaces.
According to the Wall Street Journal the AIP deal is expected to close in early 2019 and under a licensing agreement AIP will continue using the GE brand. In a statement Alan Boose, Senior Product Manager for LED Lamps at Current said, “This 1000W HID replacement lamp fills an important void in the market for our industrial, warehouse and outdoor lighting customers.” A majority of US industrial facilities still rely on HID lighting and GE believes that the 1000W LED replacement could potentially cut lighting electricity consumption and save millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, Osram LEDs are to provide light throughout Saint Peter’s basilica in Rome this Christmas. This follows the updating by Osram of the lighting of the Sistine Chapel in 2014 and the Raphael rooms for which it won worldwide recognition. Capable of holding a congregation of 20,000, Saint Peter’s is the largest church in the world. It is around 190m long and the cupola is about 136m high to the cross at its peak.
The lighting will be adjustable to suit different occasions, and will “accentuate the properties of the materials used and the building itself, highlighting the plasticity of the structure, its marbles and its architecture”, said Osram. The Technical Services of the Governorate of the Vatican City State, the office of the Fabric of St. Peter’s and art experts from the Vatican Museums have all assisted with the planning of the forthcoming display, which will save the church 85% of its power consumption.
Energy efficiency is one of the major draws for LED lighting, especially at a time when there is an increased concern about the environmental impact of home appliances. However, it is not the only one. From the point of view of design aesthetics, LEDs can be fashioned into just about any shape and be made to generate light in any colour. This is a major advance on the past when coloured light could only be created by using coloured glass covering an internal plain light filament.
Outdoor lighting usually requires greater brightness and with LED, it is possible to create very bright outdoor lighting, including floodlighting and security lighting. The decorative options are also greater. Low maintenance is a plus as some LED installations can last for decades of normal use before bulbs need to be changed. Another significant draw is that changing to LED doesn’t require making major changes to light fixtures and circuitry as existing screw or bayonet light sockets can be used.
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