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available as simple stand alone units or as
networkable devices that will send lamp
operational data to a central unit so that
performance and problems can be continu-
ously monitored.
The final bonus and perhaps the most sig-
nificant one is that the system is simple and
uses established low cost 2.4 GHz micro-
wave technology ensuring the system cost
is, understood to be comparable to good
quality metal halide lamps and electronic
ballasts. The power supply technology is
provided in partnership with the Swedish
company Dipolar, who were also involved
with the Fusion lighting plasma source and
have over 25 years experience in the devel-
opment of microwave power supplies.Above The Luxim LIFI light engine (below) has been successfully incorporated into a number of luminaires for
the entertainment industry including the Nemo Seachanger projector, winner of a Lightfair innovation award In other words plasma lighting is likely to
be much more cost effective and usableBottom left Eden Park’s panel utilises fluorescent lamp technology where UV is used to excite a phosphor to
for high power general lighting applicationsgenerate light
than LEDs.Bottom right Ceravision’s lamp provides a claimed system efficiency of over 100 lumens per watt with a usable
While Luxim and Ceravision have beensystem life of up to 40,000 hours and low lumen depreciation during life
working on high power point light sources,
Eden Park have developed what they term
a microplasma panel as an alternative
technology to O LEDs for use in flat panel
lighting
The Eden Park panel utilises fluorescent
lamp technology where UV is used to excite
a phosphor to generate visible light. The
electrodes are external to the microplasma
cavities where the UV is generated ensur-
ing that the panel working life will be much
longer than fluorescent lamps – it is cur-
rently projected to be over 50,000 hours.
The panels are very thin – only 3mm - con-
tain no mercury and at the current state
of development provide over 30 lumens
per watt, which is projected to rise to 100
lumens per watt in the near future. The
power supply is very similar to an electronic
fluorescent ballast.
An ideal application for this technology in-
cludes illuminated surfaces where the long
lamp life, low heat and high efficiency will
be important features. The use of OLEDs for
this application has been proposed but the
low efficiency and high cost would seem to
make microplasma panels a more likely bet.
The technology has been developed over
the past ten years at the University of
Illinois by Professor Gary Eden and his col-
league Dr Sung Jin Park.
Lightfair 2009 was the first introduction of
the panels and the plan is to launch a series
of standard panels up to 400mm x 400mm in
size at Light and Building next April.
So while LEDs are now moving into the
mainstream lighting market with driver
incorporated GLS and CFL replacement
lamps. Plasma lighting may become the© David Morgan Associates 2009 David Morgan runs David Morgan Associates, a London-
new big idea in energy efficient high qualitybased international design consultancy specialising in luminaire design and development.
lighting.Email: david@dmadesign.co.uk Web: www.dmadesign.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)20 8340 4009
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