This week: a proposed lumen maintenance standard for remote-phosphor SSL, an OS X menu bar app to control Hue, and a call for LEDucation papers.
LEDucation call for papers
Next spring's LEDucation in New York City will be the conference's eighth running. It will be expanding to two days and for the first time is soliciting proposals for presentations and panel discussions. If you would like to travel to New York in the spring (March 18-19, 2014, to be exact) and impress the audience (end-users of lighting products) with your knowledge in the field, go here to apply. The deadline is 5:00 p.m. ET on October 15.
GE Lighting, Walmart team on efficient halogen lamps
The "ban" on incandescent bulbs embodied in 2007's Energy Independence and Security Act is not a ban at all: It merely sets minimum efficiency levels for some common forms of lighting. If an incandescent bulb can be made to meet or exceed those efficiency levels, it's perfectly fine to manufacture and sell it in the US. GE Lighting has been selling such a lamp, the halogen-based Energy-Efficient Soft White light bulb, for some time. It is 28 percent more efficient than an old-style incandescent. Now the company has announced a deal with Walmart under which GE's halogen will be carried in all 3,400 of Walmart's stores, beginning next summer. GE has also announced a $30 million investment in three existing factories, in Illinois and Ohio, to cover the expected addition of 150 new manufacturing jobs.
GE's halogens face an uphill battle and a dubious future. They just barely meet the initial mandate of EISA. A second phase of the mandate is due to kick in in 2020, when bulbs will have to be 60 to 70 percent more efficient than the pre-existing lighting, and at that point I expect that GE will give up on incandescents, along with everyone else. At around $5 retail, GE's halogens are a half to one third the price of LEDs of equivalent output, but the latter use three to four times less energy. LEDs will last perhaps 10 to 20 times as long as the halogens' 2,000 hours.
Measuring lumen maintenance for remote-phosphor SSL
The standard used for assessing SSL lumen maintenance, the Illumination Engineering Society's LM-80, is limited to white phosphor-converted LEDs. It excludes RGB LEDs of the sort used in color-tunable lighting products, and it excludes remote-phosphor lighting designs. Now Intematix, a maker of phosphors, has announced (press release here) that it has performed the equivalent of LM-80 testing on a sample set of remote-phosphor SSL modules using its phosphors. The company claims that independent testing laboratory TUV SUD has demonstrated 100 percent lumen maintenance at 6,000 hours for these modules. (Energy Star and DesignLights Consortium standards require lumen maintenance of 94.1 percent after 6,000 hours.) An Intematix spokesman told LEDs Magazine of a new standards effort moving through the IES to bring remote-phosphor testing into harmony with that for white LEDs. He didn't mention the name or designation for this new standard but said it should be ready by year's end.
OS X menu-bar app controls Hue lighting
An independent developer has taken advantage of the published Philips Hue API and produced an app to control Hue from the Apple OS X menu bar. The idea seems simple enough: wrap the Hue functionality in a simple, attractive, and always-available desktop application. Here's a Web preview of the app available from Apple's Mac App Store for $2.99. It's brand new and the 1.0 version is getting panned in the reviews. At the time of writing, 14 people have reviewed it and given it a rating average of 2 stars out of 5. Personally, I'd wait for version 1.1, or perhaps 2.0.
— Keith Dawson , Editor-in-Chief, All LED Lighting