Energy Efficiency Standard Changes for Commercial Lighting

Come July 14, 2012, the standards for energy-efficiency in commercial lighting will change.  The Department of Energy has ruled that certain general-service fluorescent lights and incandescent (and halogen) reflector lights will be banned from manufacture in the U.S. after the new standards are put in place.  This will essentially eliminate lights with the lowest efficiency and cost from the market.  It might be important to keep these changes in mind as they will affect available options in the near future.

General-service fluorescent lights that will be prohibited:

  • All 2-ft. full-wattage and energy-saving U-shaped T12 lamps
  • All 75W F96T12 and 110W F96T12HO lamps
  • All 4-ft. T8 basic-grade 700/SP series lamps rated at 2,800 lumens
  • Most 4-ft. linear full-wattage and energy-saving T12 lamps
  • Most 60W F96T12/ES and 95W F96T12/ES/HO lamps
  • Some 8-ft. T8 Slimline single-pin 700/SP series and 8-ft. T8 HO RDC-base lamps

Incandescent reflector lights that will be prohibited:

  • Many R, PAR, BR, ER, BPAR and similar bulb shapes
  • 130V products

As a side note, fluorescent magnetic T12 ballasts are also set to be prohibited from manufacture after June 30, 2010.  This regulation was set in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Times Square Ball Converted to LEDs

People celebrated the last ten seconds of 2009 across the country much like any other New Year’s Eve: watching the ball drop in Times Square. While the ball may have looked the same for those gathering in New York and the millions tuning in, its makeup represented a monumental shift toward sustainability for 2010. Philips Electronics designed the ball to save 78% more energy by replacing the incandescent and halogen bulbs with LED light bulbs for the 2010 numerals. The LED flood lights Philips added used just nine watts compared to the 40 watts the incandescent and halogen bulbs used in the past. Philips says ten percent of its lighting sales now come from LED lights.

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LED Traffic Lights Can’t Melt Snow

LED Traffic Light

Put this one in the “didn’t see that coming” bin. Virtually everywhere you drive these days chances are you will see one or more LED traffic lights at important intersections. They’re the ones that look like a pattern of bright dots.

Cities around the country have installed these new traffic lights for several very good reasons. They are very energy-efficient using about 90% less energy than their incandescent counterparts and, more importantly, they last tens of thousands of hours, thus saving municipalities a bundle in maintenance costs.

Wisconsin, for example, which has put LED traffic lights at hundreds of intersections, saves about $750,000 per year in energy costs. LEDs installed seven years ago are still burning, while most incandescent bulbs have to be replaced every 12 to 18 months.
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Cavity Design Increases OLED Light Output

A couple of months ago we posted an article to the Pegasus Associates Lighting website that listed the 10 things to know about LED lighting. Number nine on our list of 10 things to know was OLED.

9. OLED An OLED is an organic light emitting diode.  It is an LED that also contains carbon.  OLEDs are generally manufactured as flexible lightweight sheets.  Today, OLEDs operate at significantly lower efficiency than inorganic (crystalline) LEDs.  OLEDs typically generate less light per area than inorganic, solid state LEDs, which are usually designed for use as point-light sources., LED Lighting: 10 Things to Know

Today I learned that scientists from the independent Stanford Research Institute (SRI) found an innovative design to increase light output and energy efficiency of OLEDs. The answer is cavities. The device that they produced is called, watch out for another acronym, COLED. Yes, the C stands for cavity.
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LEDs Might Lead a Lighting Revolution in Five Years

In five years we may just see a revolution in residential and office lighting led by LEDs manufactured with gallium nitride, according to Professor Colin Humphreys of Cambridge University. Gallium nitride LED lighting produces a brilliant light and could cut electricity consumption by approximately 75% in developed countries. This reduction would have the added benefit of creating substantial cuts in carbon dioxide emissions from power stations and help to preserve our fossil fuel reserves.

Gallium nitride, or GaN, is a semiconductor material that is considered by many to be the next important semiconductor after silicon.  It is a brilliant light emitter able to operate at high temperatures. GaN is used to create devices with small physical volume that produce high output power.
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