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Leapfrog Lighting’s industry-standard Energy Star certified PAR LED bulbs are now higher-efficiency at a lower cost. The Leapfrog Lighting PAR bulbs have always been known for consistency bulb-to-bulb and stringent color qualities.
“This isn’t about revolutionary change,” explained Stephen Naor, CEO of Leapfrog Lighting. “Our PAR line was already among the best for what we call Total Light Quality. We’re improving what was already a top performing lamp. We are evolving all quality characteristics, with incremental gains in all areas of quality, including coverage, glare, fall off, and color temperature control. The big news is the increased efficiency and lower price.”
With18 models available for each bulb style and with a choice of CRIs of 81 or 95 —even the most demanding business or display application can be implemented. Leapfrog Lighting’s PAR bulbs are popular with art galleries, museums and high-end retail stores where environment and product display is critical. CRI is a quantitative measure of a bulbs ability to reproduce colors faithfully.
The bulbs are generally suited for any application where color consistency and display quality is critical, but is also often chosen for pleasing office environments, general household lighting or for any suitable fixture where consistent quality is desirable. “Without doubt, the PAR line are among the most efficient bulbs on the market,” explained Mr. Naor. “But our PAR line is designed for anyone who wants that efficiency without compromising color, consistency, light quality.”
Minimum expected lifetime is 40,000 hours. All bulbs are dimmable, and flicker free down to 10% light output. The Energy Star certification applies to the 3000K versions of the bulbs in all of PAR 20, 30 and 38. These 3000K bulbs are available with various CRIs (from 80 to 82) and beam angles (from 24 degrees to 60 degrees)—18 models available. All bulbs, are CUL certified.
The bulbs are distributed through some select distributors, and direct to customers and trades.
This month, Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for the invention of “efficient blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”.
Why is the creation of the blue LED a significant achievement worth the Nobel Prize? Essentially, these three scientists figured out how to grow gallium nitride, which enables blue LEDs to be produced. When you add red and green LEDs to blue LEDs, or when a blue LED is coated with a phosphor, you create white light. White light made the LED light bulb possible and is the very reason that energy efficient lighting exists today. As the Nobel Committee stated, “Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th Century; the 21st Century will be lit by LED lamps”.
California continues to play a leadership role in energy conservation in North America. As of July 1, strict new energy standards came into force in the form of changes to the state’s building code, Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards. The goal is to improve energy efficiency in all residential and commercial buildings by 25 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, relative to energy standards set in 2008. According to California Energy Commission estimates, the changes to non-residential standards, which also include HVAC and water heating, will save 372 GWh/year.
By now, it may be safe to say that most people who think about lighting in some professional capacity, whether as a store owner, lighting designer, architect, contractor or something else, have been exposed to the general idea that LED lighting is more energy efficient and more cost effective than most alternative types of lighting. Large retailers like IKEA have made the news by announcing they are converting all their stores to LED lighting by 2016 and becoming the first US home furnishing retailer to sell only LED bulbs and lamps*. High-profile cultural institutions like the Louvre Museum in Paris have made the switch to LED. Municipal governments all over North America have been converting their street lighting to LED in order to take advantage of cost-cutting benefits.
Greetings from Guangzhou, China! I’ve just finished another day walking some of the over 2 million square feet of this year’s Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition held at Guangzhou’s China Import and Export Fair Complex (June 9-12, 2014). This exhibition is considered one of the largest lighting shows in Asia attracting over 2,500 exhibitors and, last year, over 116,000 visitors! It is held concurrently with the Electrical Building Technology exhibition and Building Solar China exhibition.
The lighting products on display by the exhibitors include fixtures, products, electronic components and accessories, as well as solutions from across the supply chain of LED lighting development and non-LED technologies.
Research by the United States Department of Energy (Solid State Lighting: Early Lessons Learned) shows that concerns are being voiced among some sectors of the lighting market regarding LED lamp service and replacement. Even though the LEDs themselves have extremely long lifespans, there are times when other components of the package fail, requiring service or change-out of the lamp.
A tabloid headline is meant to grab readers’ attention, and this one does just that: “The great LED lightbulb rip-off: One in four expensive ‘long-life’ bulbs doesn’t last anything like as long as the makers claim.”
This is from a recent article in the British tabloid The Daily Mail’s online edition. It gleefully goes on to show that many LED bulbs tested by a user watchdog group did not even reach the EU’s minimum standard of 6,000 hours, despite claims on the packaging of 15,000 hours and even 25,000 hours of life.
In our last blog post, How to decide which type of LED T8 retrofit tube is right for you, we discussed the relative benefits and drawbacks of the two types of T8 LED tubes available today: direct line voltage tubes, which operate without ballast, and plug-and-play tubes, which operate on the existing ballast. What we did not cover in that discussion was the serious issue of public health.
T8 LED lamps are PCB and mercury free, and, according to one report on upgrading lighting for schools, they contribute to a more comfortable environment for students which is more conducive to learning. Unlike fluorescent counterparts, T8 LEDs are usually pleasant in colour and provide better directional light. Since many offices and schools still light with fluorescent, the health issue is fast becoming top-of-mind.
As mentioned in last week’s blog, Has the time arrived for LED tube replacements?, there are two different types of T8 LED tubes available on the market today: those that must run directly off the line voltage and those that can run off the fixture’s pre-existing ballast.
So which one is right for you?
In May 2013, we investigated the market for T8 tube retrofits in our blog Do retrofit T8 linear LED tubes live up to their reputation?, which focused on the widely popular 4’ tubes. We noted at the time of our analysis that pricing was largely uncompetitive at $25-$70/tube (compared to a low-end price of ~$3 for fluorescent); safety and liability concerns abounded with the requirement to remove or bypass the existing ballast (virtually all LED tubes at that time ran directly off the line voltage); and the technology was largely unrefined (high heat; poor driver lifetime and CCT retention; inferior lumen output and CRI).