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Viewpoint


Light Life Cycles


Roger Sexton, Vice President of Specifier Services at Xicato, discusses the unique balancing act between providing sustainability and ensuring quality.


There’s tension in the lighting industry that designers face regularly: balancing demands for energy efficiency, sustainability, lighting effect and lighting quality. Over the last two decades we’ve seen the advent of alternative lamp solutions, including compact versions of fluorescent and HID lamps. They’ve come with efficiency and lifetime improvements compared to some conventional lamp technologies. Yet to date, implementation has always entailed some level of compromise, most often seen as a trade-off between energy savings and overall light quality, taking into account colour rendering and colour point consistency.


Even the initial foray of LED solutions left the market skeptical of claims that this new technology would resolve these trade-offs. Fortunately, fresh on the heels of Light+Building in Frankfurt and Lightfair


International in Las Vegas, it’s clear that significant headway has been made by the industry with respect to the colour quality of LED solutions.


“While


we have fundamental understanding of lumen maintenance and mortality, little has been published by manufacturers with respect to colour maintenance over time, which is often the most critical of characteristics.”


Those companies that have embraced tuned phosphor systems and married them with LEDs and sound thermal designs are enabling consistent, halogen equivalent or better quality of light. Now, LED light source


manufacturers must


turn their attention to determine the useful life of


the light sources.


While we have fundamental understanding of lumen maintenance and mortality, little has been published by manufacturers with respect to colour maintenance over time, which is often the most critical of characteristics. For without colour maintenance over 30 to 50 thousand hours or more, the value and adoption rate of LED solutions can


be questioned. The lighting community should begin asking for this information. Today, most data is based on ENERGY


STAR in the U.S. which calls for a shift of 7 SDCM or less over 6,000 hours. It’s hard for me to imagine an application area where this level of shift over time is acceptable. At Xicato we publish colour maintenance data based on our testing, but not all manufacturers do so. We think it is fundamental information for the lighting design community and the future of LED lighting.


Contact Xicato T: +44 7540 050 339 www.xicato.com


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