This week: Audi's laser headlight booster, using NFC to ease home lighting control setup, and Philips's InstantFit LED T8.
InstantFit LED T8 from Philips
These new tubes replace fluorescent T8s in the most natural possible way: They twist into the same sockets and use the same electronic instant-start ballasts, with no rewiring. Philips claims that an average-sized supermarket could replace 2,000 existing fluorescent bulbs in four days, vs. the four weeks it would take if they had to replace fixtures or electronics. The company says there are 12 billion T8 sockets in the world, and that replacing them with the InstantFit would save enough energy to obviate the need for 210 new midsized power plants and result in $57 billion in energy-cost savings.
The InstantFit tubes come in four color temperatures: 3,000K, 3,500K, 4,000K, and 5,000K. They use 14.5 Watts and save "up to 50%" of the energy that fluorescents would require, according to the company. Their lifetime is specified as 40,000 hours, and a 4-year warranty is offered. The tubes produce 1,500 to 1,650 lumens depending on CCT. Efficacy is 113 lm/W at 5,000K and 103 lm/W at 3,000K. CRI is 80 and beam angle is 160°.
Audi Quattro Sport Laserlight
Following BMW's reveal of its laser-diode headlights, at CES in Las Vegas, Audi showed its Quattro Sport concept car with similar laser-enhanced high beams. Audi claims that the lasers double the reach of the high beams, to 500 meters. Here is a video from The Washington Post. BMW reacted on its blog as follows: "Sorry we didn't present our #laserlight concept from 2011 at the #CES2014. We're too busy with series production." The BMW i8 with laser-enhanced headlights will go on sale in March. Audi, for its part, didn't give a production date but said a laser-equipped car will race at Le Mans this summer.
NXP & EnOcean use NFC
We mentioned NXP in discussing dim-to-warm technology last fall. At CES2014 the company showed the integration with its light controller technology, with an unpowered switch that works with energy-harvesting technology from EnOcean. The energy harvested from a button-press is sufficient to activate the NXP control and send a command wirelessly to one or more lamps, to turn them on or off or dim or brighten them by steps.
The clever part of the demonstration is the inclusion of NFC (Near Field Communication) wireless tech to simplify the process of introducing such a switch into the home network. The video below shows how this works: Tap the wireless switch on an NFC-equipped Android device running NXP's app, and the app captures the necessary codes and completes the handshaking.
— Keith Dawson , Editor-in-Chief, All LED Lighting