This week: Cree's under-$100 LED troffers, some trends to watch in commercial lighting, and San Diego's Internet-connected street lights.
San Diego's lights getting smart
The city is replacing 3,000 street lights with fixtures in GE's LightGrid system. The fixtures have GPS built in, so they show up in the right place on a web-based central management system. City workers can monitor the lights pole by pole for energy use, and they can override a scripted dimming schedule for individual poles. GE introduced LightGrid at Lightfair last spring.
Samsung has higher-efficacy COB LED packages
Samsung said its LC series of chip-on-board LED packages, introduced at Lightfair last year, has had a roughly 10% bump in efficacy. The LC now offers an efficacy of 130 lm/W at 3,000K CCT, and 143 lm/W at 5,000K. The CRI is more than 80, and Samsung promised a 90 CRI version in the first half of 2014.
LEDs Magazine said the increase in efficacy puts Samsung COB LEDs in the same ballpark as similar ports announced last fall from Philips Lumileds, Cree, and Luminus Devices.
Cree's sub-$100, 90-CRI LED troffer
The North Carolina company announced the ZR series of LED troffers at prices the industry hadn't seen before: configurations starting at $99. Cree claims a two-year payback for the ZR troffers based on 12 hours of use per day and an average energy cost of 11 cents per kWh.
The company calls the ZR "contractor-grade," as distinct from its earlier troffers aimed at architectural specifiers. The ZRs offer 0-10 V dimming to 5% and 90+ CRI as standard features, and they fall under Cree's 10-year warranty. They have an efficacy of 90 lm/W and a projected lifetime of 75,000 hours.
Commercial lighting trends to keep in view
Heather Clancy writes on GreenBiz.com about a number of developments we've been discussing in this community, as well as one outside our normal range, relating to the revolution in lighting happening in commercial buildings.
First off is smarter lighting, controls, and the Internet of Things, with which we have been engaged for a year now. Clancy's second trend is viable LED-based options to replace fluorescent tubes in billions of lamp sockets worldwide. The third development is solar-powered street lights. We have looked at those, along with solar-powered LEDs for use off the grid in the Third World. Another trend covered is lighting that is adjusted to affect mood, health, and well-being.
The topic Clancy covers that we have not discussed very much here is smart glass to improve the efficiency and usefulness of daylighting. The focus is on a dynamic glass company called View. Its glass regulates the amount of heat and glare allowed into a building while letting in sunlight. View claims energy savings of 20% in early installations between lighting, heating, and air conditioning. Another player in this space, Sage Electrochromics, has just brought online a manufacturing plant in Minnesota capable of producing more smart glass annually than is projected to be installed in the next four years.
— Keith Dawson , Editor-in-Chief, All LED Lighting