LED Applications – Celebrating the Royal Birth in LEDs

London and the world celebrated the birth of the latest heir to the British throne, Prince George Alexander Louis, in style with LEDs.  A number of landmarks in London turned blue to celebrate the occasion and even a few outside of the UK turned blue in honor of the future king.  For a video, go to this BBC story.

The 600 foot tall BT Tower used more than 500K LEDs for the announcement:

royal baby BT Tower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The famous London Eye ferris wheel turned red, white and blue:

Royalblu_381

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fountain at Trafalgar Square marked the occasion in blue:

Trafalgar square

 

 

 

 

 

Even the London Bridge turned blue:

London Bridge in Blue

 

 

 

 

 

Not to be outdone, North America celebrated too with Niagra Falls turning blue:

Niagra Falls Blue

 

 

 

 

 

Toronto’s CN Tower:

Toronto CN Tower

 

 

 

 

 

Christchurch Airport in New Zealand turned blue too.

Christchurch Airport NZ

 

 

 

 

 

For Further Reading and Viewing

The BBC, Royal baby: London landmarks turn blue for birth, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23416932 (video)

The Daily Mail, The world turns a Royal shade of blue, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2374793/Kate-Middleton-gives-birth-Royal-baby-boy-landmarks-globe-illuminated.html

Lightfair 2013 – Observations about LEDs from Philadelphia

The LFI Innovation Award went to Philips BoldPlay  for Most Innovative Product of the Year

The Lightfair International trade show and conference was recently held in Philadelphia.  According to the organizers, LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) is the world’s largest annual commercial and architectural lighting trade show and conference.  Sponsored by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), the 2012 show had more than 24,000 registered attendees from 73 countries. It is clearly a big deal in the lighting industry.

Here’s a round-up of some analysis of LEDs at the show and a quick look at industry awards from LFI.

The engineers from Groom Energy made their annual trek to Lightfair and included an analysis of their trek in their blog.  This year, they noticed a difference in the quality of light from LEDs on display.  The light the LEDs on display put off was the more familiar, warmer light similar to the light put out by an incandescent. LEDs also got smarter with lighting controls evolved from being add-ons to being embedded. Jon Guerster, the author of the blog, speculates that California’s Title 24 that requires lighting controls may be a driver for all of the new smart lighting controls.  Finally, the Groom Energy team found that LED fixtures no longer looked distinct like LED fixtures, but sported the familiar look of incandescent, HID and fluorescent fixtures from the past. Now, you can’t tell that there are LEDs inside.

The LED analyst team from IMS Research traveled from London to Philadelphia and posted an analysis about the show on their LED blog.  IMS Analyst Jamie Fox noted that the show no longer featured that “Wow” moment.  He said this is due to the relative maturity of LED lighting.  The maturity and evolution of the LED market also led to two key observations from IMS.

According to Fox, there’s no clear winning sector in the American LEDs general lighting market.  Fox and his colleagues were told by LED manufacturers that residential, retail, outdoor, hospitality and others all have a “significant” part of the pie but none of them dominates. This was supported by IMS observations of the product mix on the show floor.  As for LED manufacturers, Fox noted that the “big three” — Nichia, Cree and Lumileds — are leaders in the American LED market and while global LED players like Samsung, Seoul Semiconductor, Osram and others play a role in the US, the “big three” are consistently mentioned as clear leaders in the market.

Finally, Fox noted that industry price decreases versus quality was an issue for many at the show.  According to Fox, “there is a significant worry though, both from my own observations of product, and from show floor conversations, that it is becoming too much of a lowest price fight at the moment, and not enough advancement on quality.”  Fox says low price may not ensure that a customer will be happy with the light quality from an LED bulb that doesn’t compare well to an incandescent bulb.

The LFI Innovation Awards program honored lighting vendors for innovation and design. Here are a few of the top winners:

  • PHILIPS (BoldPlay): Most Innovative Product of the Year—the program’s highest award, recognizing the most innovative new product
  • COOLEDGE LIGHTING (Light Sheet): Design Excellence Award—recognizing outstanding achievement in design
  • DOW CORNING CORPORATION (Dow Corning® Brand Moldable Silicones): Technical Innovation Award—recognizing the most forward-thinking advancement in lighting technology
  • PHILIPS (hue personal wireless lighting): Judges’ Citation Award—special recognition of an innovative product at the judges’ discretion

For Further Reading

Groom Energy, LightFair 2013: LED Lighting Is Warm, Smart and Looks Like What You Know, http://blog.groomenergy.com/2013/04/lightfair-2013-led-lighting-is-warm-smart-and-looks-like-what-you-know/

IMS RESEARCH, LED Blog, LEDs Continue to Evolve At LIGHTFAIR, http://www.ledmarketresearch.com/blog/leds_continue_to_evolve_at_lightfair

Industrial LED Lighting Gains Momentum

 

LED lighting in an industrial location (source, Greenbiz.com, http://bit.ly/YZFMbE)

IDC Energy Insights reports that the industrial market for LEDs is picking up momentum as companies looking to build new “smart” facilities or retrofit old ones choose energy efficient LED lighting.  Adoption of LEDs for industrial lighting is good news for the commercial sapphire market and others in the LED supply chain. More LED lighting means more demand for sapphire.

First, let’s start with some background.  Warehouses are particularly fertile ground for LED lighting since instant-on LED lights provide virtually no cycle time compared to traditional industrial lighting sources like HID (high-intensity discharge lamps) along with lower lifetime costs (including maintenance), higher efficacy and local utility incentives among others.

For those who watched the recent Super Bowl in New Orleans, the HID lights may be familiar.   After the electricity loss during the second half, the lengthy delay in the game – more than 20 minutes — was partially due to the cycle time of the HID lighting for the interior of the stadium.  In a warehouse situation, HID cycle time becomes a big issue as no one wants to wait for the lights to cycle and as a result, many warehouses just keep the lights on, running up energy costs.

IDC Energy Insights research analyst Casey Talon commented in her clean energy blog that LED lighting and “smart building” will be the disruptive technology for energy efficiency over the next three years.

Talon highlighted two big announcements in early January 2013 that demonstrate the momentum of smart building with LED lighting.  First, lighting leader Acuity Brands acquired Adura Technologies.  Adura’s Zigbee wireless mesh architecture enables individual fixture controls for cost and energy savings.  Secondly, Digital Lumens, a leader in the industrial lighting solutions market, announced new growth numbers and funding, that demonstrates the viability of the emerging smart building technology segment.  The company secured a new round of $10 million in financing and reported a footprint of 500 ‘large-scale’ installations representing 150% growth.

She notes in the blog that “fundamentally this news demonstrates that end users are increasingly aware of the benefits of energy efficiency to both their bottom lines and corporate goals.  The activity in these markets illustrates a growing acceptance of upfront costs to achieve longer term benefits.”

LED lighting combined with lighting control and management software offers the ability to track and manage the benefits of LED lighting.  Wireless controls and analytics help building managers understand when to have lighting on or off when employees are present, measure “free” ambient light from outside to cut down reliance on lighting, and know when and where to adjust brightness in areas when high precision work is needed.

Using analytics already is paying off.  According to one case study from Digital Lumens, Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America, a worldwide leader in helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul for Sikorsky, Eurocopter, AgustaWestland and Boeing helicopters, saved more than 72% on their annual energy costs with a Digital Lumens retrofit.

According to Talon, “If these early announcements are a signal, then 2013 may mark a tipping point in the smart buildings marketplace as customer awareness and investment begin to converge for broader adoption of intelligent energy management solutions.”

Further Reading

IDC Energy Insights, Illuminating the Smart Building, https://idc-insights-community.com/energy/clean-energy/illuminatingthesmartbuilding

Greenbiz.com, LED lighting gaining traction in commercial retrofits, http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2013/02/05/led-lighting-gaining-traction-commercial-retrofits

Marriott HQ Greens Up with LED Make-Over from GE Lighting

Marriott’s new LED signage at their HQ in Bethesda, MD

Companies of all kinds and sizes are getting greener – to help the planet and to save money.  GE Lighting, founded by the father of the incandescent bulb, Thomas Edison, recently helped convert Marriott International headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland to LED lighting from top to bottom and inside out.  The famous lodging company had three goals for the project: enrich lighting quality, heighten employee security and improve energy efficiency. The retrofit project covered both the interior of the building and exterior. When the corporate campus-wide lighting is complete, Marriott anticipates that they will use 860,000 fewer kilowatt hours (kWhs) of electricity and save more than $120,000 in combined energy and maintenance costs a year.  You can view a video case study of the project here.

Marriott is not alone in retrofitting their corporate campus for the aesthetic, security and energy saving benefits. According to market research firm Strategies Unlimited, the commercial and industrial LED lighting segment was the largest LED in lighting segment in 2011.  Strategies Unlimited forecast revenues to grow to $1.2 billion in 2016, following a CAGR of 13%.

GE Lighting began the Marriott project with a comprehensive audit of Marriott’s existing lighting systems including photometric analysis with 3D renderings of the new system and forecast Marriott’s energy and maintenance savings.

Project Highlights:

LED lighting at Marriott’s outdoor parking and parking deck areas

Parking areas: LEDs now illuminate Marriott’s outdoor lots using 230 Evolve LED Area Lights, while a combination of LED garage light fixtures, LED flood lights and T8 fluorescents provide light for the parking decks and walkways. Marriott estimates the savings to be 280-watts per outdoor lighting fixture reducing energy use by 580,000 kWhs a year, equating to $70,000 in utility cost savings. In addition, new dimming technology will help control and reduce light output to 40 percent while the parking deck is vacant and adjusts to 100 percent when motion is detected saving $11,000 in energy (88,000-kWh reduction) each year.

LED lighting in the foyer at Marriott’s HQ

Interior:  Marriott’s eight-floor, 900,000-square-foot headquarters is now a showplace for LED lighting.  GE replaced 1,000 65-watt bulbs with 7-watt LED lamps in all hallways. The 58-watt difference delivers nearly $18,000 savings (150,000-kWh savings) in electricity expense over 261 working days.  In the multi-story foyer, special scaffolding is required to reach fixtures. In the past, Marriott would change the lights just about one to two years on average at a cost close to $3,000.  GE replaced 12 90-watt bulbs with 20-watt LED lamps. Rated for 50,000 hours of life, GE’s LEDs could keep the scaffolding away for up to seven years.  Management found the halogen and CFL lighting in Marriott’s auditorium inadequate for Marriott’s advanced dimming system. While the halogen lights could be darkened, the CFLs could not. GE installed dimmable LED lamps producing a fully dimmable system with higher light levels and more light uniformity as well as $2,300 in energy savings.  The building’s lower level that includes a daycare and cafeteria got special LED light panels (troffers).  These 2’x2’ fixtures produce a perfectly even glow and while off appear completely free of a light source to blend in with the ceiling, enhancing the aesthetic of Marriott’s employee space.

Finally, the project will retrofit the ‘Marriott’ sign at the Bethesda headquarters entrance with Tetra® PowerStrip LED lighting, improving maintenance cycles from two to three times per year to once every five to 10 years.

For Further Reading:

GE Lighting Solutions, GE LED lighting brings new radiance, energy savings to Marriott headquarters, http://www.gelightingsolutions.com/lighting-news-releases/ge-led-lighting-brings-new-radiance-energy-savings-to-marriott-headquarters

Marriott – GE Lighting Solutions Case Study Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucdxI_Y41-8