Oct 102012
 

LED Dimmable Reliable LEDs: Fact or Fiction?
50 years ago yesterday, Nick Holonyak Jr. demonstrated the first LED to General Electric suits. Back then, while the only existing LED emitted crimson infrared light, Holonyak predicted his invention would replace standard household incandescent light bulbs. Today LED manufacturers haven’t stopped being idealistic.

Since LEDs have only been around for half a century, the 20, 25, 30 year expiration dates on the brand new technology might be difficult to believe. Honestly, LEDs have barely been around long enough to find a niche in the market, let alone undergo 20, 25, 30 years of definitive testing. The claims and the benefits of LEDs are impressive, but how can we make sure they’re not a farce?

Enter the U.S. Department of Energy and their new Lighting Facts program, created to help you navigate the teeming sea of new lighting technology. The program addressed this issue of LED luminaire depreciation in depth, to help people like you and me know what we’re getting into.

How do manufacturers come up with these numbers?

Instead of traditional testing, where a large sample of lamps are operated until 50% burn out, developers must determine an LED’s rated life a different way. Since the LED doesn’t burn out, but dims gradually, the rated life comes from the estimated lumen depreciation, not accounting for other causes of decline.

What causes LED failure?

Other factors besides age that might increase the rate of gradual dimming include:

  • Exposure to extreme temperatures
  • Contact with moisture and humidity
  • Voltage and current fluctuations
  • Driver or other electrical component failure
  • Damage to material encapsulating the LEDs
  • Damage to any wire bonds connecting the LED to the fixture
  • Degradation of phosphors

Since very few of us live in sterile, mellow, laboratory-like houses, the entire light bulb’s rated life will not live up to the life span of its LED. Continue reading »

 Posted by on October 10, 2012 at 11:13 am
Oct 092012
 

LIFX Control 281x300 A New Kind of LED: Reinvented With Smartphones in Mind

Photo via Kickstarter.com


Remember when clap-on, clap-off lights came out? It was the coolest thing to control the lights without leaving your seat. Well, what if you could control your lights to turn on and off, dim, change colors, and even respond to the beat of your iTunes library, all from the comfort of your favorite easy chair? That would take a lot of clapping.

Phil Bosua, creator of the LIFX smartbulb has decided to spare you the obligation (but not the desire) to thunderously applaud, allowing you to control his revolutionary lamp with your smartphone.

“It’s not like we get up to change the TV channel anymore,” said Bosua, “So why do that with our lights?”

The LIFX smartbulb is a self-contained LED light bulb, so all you need to do to utilize its numerous abilities is screw it into your light socket, and download the free app from iTunes or Google Play.

Installing the LIFX A New Kind of LED: Reinvented With Smartphones in Mind

Photo via Kickstarter.com

Bosua didn’t design this light with merely lethargy in mind – its technological advancements also have the potential to improve your wellbeing. Here are a few things you can do with the LIFX: Continue reading »

 Posted by on October 9, 2012 at 11:02 am
Sep 282012
 

Since the advent of the incandescent (and even before), quality of light has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Regrettably, that quality has mostly been unfortunate. When incandescent lights were the only choice, the early 20th century population complained about the glare and the possible dangers of electricity.

Case in point: on an episode of Downton Abbey (Masterpiece’s smash hit about an elite family living on an estate in the early 1900’s), the prim and hilarious Dowager Countess laments the new electric lamps:

“Such a glare! I couldn’t have electricity in the house – I wouldn’t sleep a wink. All those vapors seeping about. Feels as if  I were on stage at the Gaiety.”     

Downton Abbey 1024x576 The Quest for Quality Light

The Countess shielding herself from the electric lights. Courtesy of Downton Abbey.

Not only were people of the time dissatisfied with the brightness of the lights, they also were afraid electricity was going to leap out of the walls and plug points and infect them!

Even when fluorescent and mercury vapor lights came along in the 1930s, their blue-green hues and poor color rendering indexes made them sorry alternatives. The people were left to compare the poor quality of gas-discharge lamps vs. the poor quality of phosphor-generated lights vs. the incandescent lights they had learned to live with.

Finally, according to the LIGHTimes Online, quality of light may be gaining a positive spin thanks to LEDs. Yes, like many of the lights before them, LEDs have provided their share of poor quality with cheaply manufactured lamps that claimed way more than they actually could deliver. But now, all the major LED manufacturers have incorporated quality of light into their daily vocabulary. Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm
Sep 112012
 

First, there was Romeo and Juliet. Then, there was Jack and Rose. Now, there’s the LED and the dimmer, and unlike the tragic couples preceding them, these two actually have a happy ending…

LED + Dimmer LEDs & Dimmers: From Star Crossed To Power Couple

It all started not too long ago.

First there was the irresistible dimmer switch, ready to help people save some money on their energy bills and make houses look nice. It was a simpler, easier time – every incandescent and halogen light bulb in the land quickly succumbed to the dimmer’s charms, and life was pleasant.

Then, along came a beautiful, exotic, energy-saving LED light bulb, and our usually smooth, collected dimmer just couldn’t handle it. The dimmer and the LED tried to make it work together, but they drove each other crazy. Unlike the elementary filament lamps, the LED’s outlandish yet attractive electronic construction baffled the dimmer so it couldn’t function properly, and the dimmer’s ill-informed advances cause the LED only pain and suffering (aka malfunction).

Strange, destructive things began to happen. Sometimes the LED would turn off before the dimmer reached its lowest setting (a syndrome we now know as “drop-out”). Other times, the LED wouldn’t turn on until the dimmer’s slider moved up (a syndrome we now know as “pop-on”). If that wasn’t bad enough, the toxic relationship reached the point where the LED would flicker, change colors (usually from warm white to cool white), and just refuse to light up. The dimmer couldn’t protect the LED from possibly damaging current spikes, and the stress of the whole situation even reduced the LED’s rated life!

Continue reading »

 Posted by on September 11, 2012 at 11:33 am
Aug 062012
 

iStock 000017978444XSmall 300x198 Good Night Moon, Good Night Stars, Good Night SpacemanNew research shows a fresh lighting scheme could help astronauts sleep better, and oh boy, do they need it.

Astronauts are allotted 8.5 hours for sleep out of every 24, but they actually average about 6 hours a night. Their leisure time is prone to occasional disruptions (emergency or docking procedures), plus there’s a new sunrise every 90 minutes, and of course that whole weightlessness thing. On month and even year-long missions (like the speculated 3 year voyage to Mars), it’s pretty darn easy to get frazzled.

When NASA announced they were planning to switch the space station’s outdated fluorescents to LEDs, Dr. George Brainard, a professor of neurology from Thomas Jefferson University, had a few ideas. Not only would the LEDs be more efficient and longer lasing than fluorescents, they could be beneficial for astronaut health. Continue reading »

Aug 012012
 

The London Olympics are certainly on the tip of nearly everyone’s tongue (and Twitter account) at the moment, but did you know there used to be many different kinds of Olympic competitions? From 1912 to 1952, the Olympics featured art competitions in fields like literature, painting, sculpting, music, and architecture. Check out this little goody from the 1948 London Olympics:

Swimming Pool The 2012 LED Olympics

Courtesy of FrenchArt-Deco.com

This piece, entitled “Swimming Pool” by French artist Albert Decaris won gold in the Engravings and Etchings competition.

In 1949, the International Olympic Committee decided to stop all art competitions, reasoning that it was illogical to let professional artists compete, while only amateur athletes were eligible. Instead, cultural festivals replaced the art competitions, and still do to this day. There’s still a chance for the best of the best artists and entertainers to showcase their stuff on an international stage, and for lighting designers, this is certainly a world class exhibition.  Continue reading »

Jul 172012
 

Ah…the possibilities. In our July lighting roundup, we mentioned The Clean Revolution campaign, launched at the 2012 Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil. The campaign is advocating a massive scale-up of clean energy and infrastructure, along with smart technologies and design. In the next 3 years, The Clean Revolution plans to raise awareness about the success of low-carbon transformations.

The great minds at The Clean Revolution recently created this informative infographic about how much energy we can save with LEDs. We think it’s worth sharing.

1991 What LEDs Can Do
To learn more, visit thecleanrevolution.org.
Jun 202012
 

LED 300x269 The Saga of the LEDLEDs are everywhere. Over past years they’ve crept into our cell phone screens, the headlights on our cars, the display boards in our favorite sports stadiums, and even into our household light sockets.  With their minimal energy consumption and extra-long rated lives, these babies are on the rise. But in this heyday of LED innovation, have you ever wondered how they came about?

Disclaimer: the history of LEDs is crazy.

(But what would you expect for a light source that we use to light our streets at night AND zap the tattoos off our arms?)

In the beginning was Henry J. Round, a British experimenter at Marconi Labs. In 1907 he was unsuspectingly at work on a cat’s whisker detector for radio made with carborundum (SiC) when suddenly he witnessed a yellowish light—and lo! it was electroluminescence. With increased voltage the light turned brighter yellow, then green, orange, and finally blue. Round was so stoked he wrote a letter to Electrical World about it, and then went back to his radio. Continue reading »

May 182012
 

We’ve been in business since 1993, so we’ve heard just about every question in the book when it comes to light sources. “How much longer does an LED light last than a fluorescent, on average?” “Which light sources are dimmable?” “What exactly is xenon lighting?”

We created this infographic to address those questions and more – all of the FAQ’s that we hear related to choosing a light source. You’ll find an overview of how each one works, a color temperature comparison scale, pros & cons, estimated lifetime, and a few more general tips. Let us know what you think!

compare light sources Your Infographic For Deciding On A Light Source

Want to embed this infographic on your own site or blog? We’d love that! Copy & paste the embed code below:

<img src=”http://images.pegasuslighting.com/infographics/compare-light-sources.png” width=”788″ height=”2072″>
<br><br><strong>
Choosing A Light Source</strong> created by <a href=”http://www.pegasuslighting.com”>Pegasus Lighting</a>.

Feb 292012
 
led lilifecycle1 300x215 New Life Cycle Comparisons of LED, CFL, Incandescent

Click to enlarge

The Department of Energy just published a new report comparing the life-cycle of LED, compact fluorescent, and incandescent lamps.

According to the report, CFLs and LED lamps are very comparable in terms of average energy consumption. They both use about one-fourth of the energy that incandescent lamps do.

However, the energy used to manufacture an LED lamp is expected to fall significantly in the next several years (see the purple pie charts).

What do you think … Is this what you would’ve expected to see? I was surprised to find that LED and CFL were neck and neck; I would’ve expected LED to win out in low energy consumption.

 Posted by on February 29, 2012 at 11:53 am

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