John Bachner, Director of Communications for the National Lighting Bureau, coordinated a panel discussion between four industry leaders and your humble editor. Listed below are the panel participants:
Application Engineering Manager
|Jeff Quinlin (ABL)
Acuity Brands Lighting
Director of Marketing Communications
Philips Lumileds Lighting Company
|Steve Briggs (GE Lumination)
GM, LED Global Product Management
Ed: CFLs have been around for more than 30 years and still have only about a market share that's around 5%. Do you expect LEDs to have a faster penetration?
Steve Briggs (GE): LED’s should have a much shorter adoption rate. When CFLs were introduced commercially in late 80’s, they were large in size, high in cost, and did not perform very well. The industry saw improvements in the 1990’s. By 2001 and 2002, several forces aligned when CFL performance improved dramatically while costs dropped to less than $5. Combine the technology gain and cost improvement with the California energy crisis and the industry began to realize economies of scale. The same drivers are in place for LED. Still, cost and performance will have to improve, but I expect widespread LED adoption in less than 10 years.
Recently society is making a difference. There has been an explosion of media coverage and consumer awareness. Oprah did a TV show promoting CFL adoption and GE saw huge spike in CFL sales.
Jeff Quinlan (ABL): The DOE multi year program plan that gets updated every year has an excellent graph on pg 64 showing the rate of change in cost per thousands lumens. Based on these projections we should expect that LEDs will reach cost parity with CFLs within the next 5 years. This exponential drop in cost has significantly outpaced CFLs and should speed its adoption.
Ed: Isn’t the fact that LED is a directional source part of the problem with developing a residential LED replacement for incandescent?
Jeff Quinlin (ABL): While it is true that some residential incandescent lamps radiate light in both hemispheres, there are a wide range of applications like traditional downlights, where the lighting is intended for only the lower hemisphere. In these applications LED fixtures can be far more efficacious than traditional sources.
Steve Landau (Philips): Consumers won’t simply replace incandescent bulbs with LED. There will be a solution or a shaped device. Philips has introduced a MasterLED which is an Edison base retrofit lamp. There will be more products which will include multiple LEDs with built in drivers and mechanical base and a shaped lens. Consumers will buy a complete system. Some will have a screw-in base and will replace incandescent, others will not.
Steve Briggs (GE): LED lamps will be available in many different sizes and shapes. LEDS are a point light source so they are a natural fit for direct source applications. Incandescent is a diffuse light source. GE makes a VIO, which is a violet based white LED. This is a ‘chips on board’ technology which better replicates a diffuse light source which luminaire manufacturers can use to build traditional lighting fixtures.
Ed: I hear LPW (lumens per watt) numbers anywhere from 60 LPW in field to 140 LPW in the lab.
David Chu (Sylvania): 140 is single lamp on a chip in a lab. The final system is 60-70 LPW. Our current module has 66 LPW, soon it will be over 70 LPW. This is before the thermal losses.
Steve Landau (Philips): LPW of LED will vary by application, and environment. Data sheet numbers are not what you will see in the actual application. DOE is paying real attention to this and will hopefully develop better systems of comparisons. Resulting LPW in field applications are a factor of several issues including the driver, optics, ambient temperature, and thermal management. The highest LPW ratings are with the higher Kelvin.
Jeff Quinlan(ABL): 140 LPW is the best case “instant on” performance. And, there is a considerable range in performance between manufacturers and across bins from any LED family. This variation and the misunderstanding of its impact is probably the principle driving factor in the variation between the promoted performance and actual end product performance. The DOE Caliper Report shows that the majority of products do not come close to meeting let alone exceeding 60 LPW.
Steve Landau, (Philips): Huge variances in the performance in single types of LED. Lighting designers have to take great care to pick the correct performance levels. This is one of the biggest issues facing the industry now.
Ed: Has there been an issue with very low quality LEDs coming into the market?
Daniel Chu (Sylvania): Yes, the public needs to know that not all LEDs are the same. Recently, I have seen some of those poor quality LEDs. The industry needs to do a better job educating the end user. Companies with better reputations seem to do a better job with quality and liability. The first tier suppliers can consistently meet customer expectations. This is why the DOE created the Caliper program to ensure that companies are meeting what they post on their website. An example is ASSSIST program, by LRC, which did extensive testing on luminaires from the market and really saw a big mismatch from manufacturers.
Jeff Quinlan (ABL): We have heard of this as well, we have not seen any explicitly. But you can’t say they come from any particular country.
Ed: Are any LED’s made in the US?
Steve Landau (Philips): Yes, we manufacturer LEDs in the US. All epitaxial process wafering is conducted in San Jose, CA. They get packaged in various ways, but the chip itself is made in San Jose. These chips get packaged around the world.
Steve Landau (Philips): Yes, chips and LEDs technically are not synonymous, although many people will interchange those two words. Some will refer to the LED as the chip, the board, optic, and the heat sink. We would sell a complete package and call than an LED, others would sell the chip itself and call it an LED.
John Bachner (NLB): What kind of warranties to LED products have?
Steve Briggs (GE): The warranty comes from the OEMs which have the complete product and system warranty.
Daniel Chu (OSI) We typically see three to five years in the industry. The typical number for general lighting is two to three years. Sylvania has a five year warranty on signage products.
Steve Landau (Philips) The luminaire manufacturer will create the warranty based on expected conditions of use. This is very important as different applications will have different warranties.
Ed: Are the warranties based on traditional lighting methods, such as the light quits working or are they based on Lumen maintenance?
Steve Landau (Philips): I have not seen warranties based on lumen maintenance and there is a good reason for this. The actual performance of the LED will depend on the system design and how it is manufactured. For example, two different luminaire manufacturers may start with identical Luxeon LEDs and each builds an under cabinet luminaire with extremely different results. We are in no position to evaluate each and every luminaire and in this case, are dealing with a component, not a finished solution. Whereas an incandescent lamp is a complete package.
There are many variables that can affect performance. This is why the Energy Star DOE program is so important. The Caliper data reveals key issue in that a number of manufacturers are simply taking data on LED as if it applies to the luminaire and this is not the case.
Ed: On my way from San Francisco to UC Davis, I passed over a bridge; when I looked up I saw beautiful LED light fixtures. Looking down on the asphalt, I saw very little light. Quickly I looked at the west bound bridge which was lit with HPS and I saw light everywhere. My initial conclusion was that LED did not have the same light output as the HPS. When I talked to my friends at the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC), they described the phenomena. The LED site had directional lighting allowing the fixture to evenly distribute that light. The reason I thought the HPS was more effective was because of the large ‘puddles’ of light or hotspots.
Daniel Chu (Sylvania) Generically speaking, LED is a directional light source. You can put it where you want it. Being a directional source allows for a more efficient luminaire. LED luminaires can have those puddles as well. The beauty of LEDs is that the can be directed however the designer or the end user want. People talk about wasted light going up toward the sky. Because LED is directional, there is very little wasted light. LED can guide more light toward the ground. Now, there is a concern about light bouncing off of the road, but there is less wasted light from the actual fixture—which makes it more Dark Sky friendly.
Jeff Quinlan (ABL): There is discussion about perceived brightness and how puddles of light can affect the perception of performance. In roadway there is a shift from illuminance based measurements to luminance based measurements. In these applications the bridge itself may not appear brighter, but the visual task, of object detection, may be accomplished more effectively. Color temperature can also effect perception of light as we are seeing with the Photopic vs Scotopic research.
This phenomenon has also manifested itself in parking lot lighting. Over the past ten to fifteen years, lighting beyond the IES recommendations has been used to emphasize elements of architecture. A retailer may light to twice the IES recommended minimums to draw attention to their establishment or to promote security. Recently, there has been a trend away from overlighting and closer to the recommended IES levels.
Steve Brigss (GE): I agree with Jeff. One can have an LED luminaire that has even photometric results, or poorly designed LED that will also gives the hotspots. With good LED design, the puddles of light can be avoided, which usually is not the case with HID.
Steve Landau (Philips): There are opportunities in design that can be taken advantage of or not taken advantage of. One can utilize the technology to its full capability or one can build bad lights. You can start with ingredients that have the potential to have a good outcome, and still have a poorly designed system. LED gives you the ability to design a superior solution. LED’s can create a solution using less light if it is more uniform and still achieve the standards.
John Bachner (NLB): The industry will need a massive reeducation program. If it is up to the electrical contractor to specify LEDS, they will have to know a lot more. The entire industry will need more knowledge.
Steve Landau (Philips): There really is a paradigm shift, new technology, new terms, new designs. Won’t operate like the technologies which we are familiar with. It is a short term problem for next five to six years. With programs like Energy Star, the market will be able to make purchase decisions on better more consistent information. Right now, however, it is vey difficult. Energy Star will help.
Ed: LEDs do not contain any mercury and are considered environmental friendly, yet isn’t the manufacturing process of LED extremely violent?
Steve Landau (Philips): No. There are certain chemicals used, but it is not a violent process. There is a lot of care that goes into the manufacturing and collecting of the waste materials. Here in California there are many regulations to make sure there is minimal environmental impact.
Daniel Chu: The process is well controlled. Also, there is no danger to the environment for the final product.
Ed: The market channels are all over the place. Is this a problem?
Steve Briggs (GE): The traditional channels are blurring. LED chip makers are integrating forward. Luminaire manufacturers are integrating backward. Many others will fill in the various parts of the supply chain.
Jeff Quinlin (ABL): No one would argue that customer value chain and supply value chain have become more complex over the last few years.
Daniel Chu (Sylvania): Sylvania is the only one that is still maintaining the channel relationships with OEMs and customers. We do not offer final solutions. We work with luminaire manufacturers and this is a viable solution for us. It is getting blurry, but we are still sticking with the traditional model.
Ed: What do you see as commercially viable current applications today?
Daniel Chu (Sylvania) Signage is very important. LED has converted the neon business. Cove and accent lighting are successful for LED because of the long length structure where LED can distribute the light and the heat faster and better. Hospitality and refrigeration are two other current applications.
Steve Briggs (GE): Mobile applications such as laptops and mobile phones are the biggest. Other clear commercially viable products today are signs, refrigeration and outdoor lighting.
Steve Landau (Philips): I echo what the others have said and would add Architectural lighting, as well as some task lighting.
Jeff Quinlin (ABL): The two biggest markets we see today are exit signs and ‘Architainment’ space.
Ed: What about future applications? Where will LEDs be commonplace in 2010?
Daniel Chu (Sylvania): We expect growth in applications into many areas, especially office lighting.
Steve Briggs (GE): I see a lot of room for growth for outdoor applications, replacing regular incandescent and halogen lamps. In two years $30-$40 price is real for replacement lamps and there will be a true lumen for lumen and CRI for CRI replacement.
Daniel Chu (Sylvania): Even $30 to $40 still won’t do it because the return on investment won’t be there. It has to make business sense to penetrate. It depends on the application and the features that the LED can add. And it depends on the economy.
Steve Landau (Philips): In the commercial market in next couple of years, we’ll see more adoption in new office space. There will also certainly be retrofit applications. However, the incremental benefits in retrofit are not always significant. However, in a new construction situation, it would have different dynamic. We would expect a two to four year payback model.
Jeff Quinlan (ABL). Look for applications where maintenance is challenging as life cycle costs continue to be a key part of driving value for the customer.
Ed: Any ‘truly white’ LEDs on the horizon?
Steve Landau (Philips): have not seen anything about a truly white LED on the horizon.
Jeff Quinlan (ABL): At the DOE conference there was discussion about R&D on a truly white, no phosphor, LED.
ABOUT THE PANEL
Daniel Chu received MS and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Northwestern University. He is currently the Application Engineering Manager in LED Systems Business Unit at OSRAM SYLVANIA Inc, responsible for application development and marketing/channel support in LED general illumination market. Prior to OSI, he was the program director of LED backlight at Luminus Devices for LCD display, and the deputy director of Opto-Electronic System Labs at Industrial Technology Research Institute, Taiwan. He has worked on LED, laser diode, lighting, display, and fiber optics. He is a member of the Illumination Engineering Society.
Jeff Quinlan has a BS in Architectural Engineering and an MS in Civil Engineering both with emphasis in Illumination from the University of Colorado. He has worked at Lithonia Lighting since 1994. During this period his roles have included Illumination Engineer, Manager of Product Design, Product Development Manager, Director of Advance Product Design and most recently Director Innovation. He has worked on a wide range of products from roadway to floodlights to industrial highbays to office lights. He has been a member of the Illumination Engineering Society since 1989.
Steve Landau is the Director of Marketing Communications for Philips Lumileds in San Jose, California. He is responsible for global communications and is a frequent author of articles about power LEDs and solid-state lighting topics. A native of Silicon Valley, he has managed business development and marketing for a number of high-tech companies in the lighting, automotive, medical, software and database industries.
Steve Briggs earned a B.S.B.A. in Operations Mgmt from Bowling Green State University and a MBA in Marketing from Cleveland State University. He joined GE in 1989 and spent five years in Lighting Sourcing/Operations. He transitioned from Sourcing to the commercial side of Lighting and spent seven years in various Sales, Marketing, and Product Mgmt leadership positions. He also spent three years in GE Advanced Materials as Global Product Manager, Fiber Optics. In 2006, Steve was named GM - Sales Development and was responsible for Enterprise Selling in Vertical Markets. Early in 2008, Steve moved to GE Lumination where is currently GM, LED Global Product Management.