Recent LED-technology advances: the new Durabulb and L-Bar light sources

For a number of years, the lighting industry has directed its efforts to innovate LED lighting sources and have made these widely accessible.  As a result, brighter options for sources of light and for varied temperature colors have become available, and, with the advantage of an extended life cycle, LED’s have turned to be a selected option for homeowners.

The Lighting Science Lab launched earlier this year two products that continue their sustainable and health centered approach to lighting:

  • A lightweight ideal for commercial application, the L-Bar, is a linear luminaire with 100º degree beam angle, and an output of up to 4,500 lumens, powerful enough to replace traditional fluorescents.
  • The Durabulb, an innovative LED that “resists breakage due to impact, vibration and external stresses”, it is made of recycled materials and it doesn’t require packaging, so less waste is involved in the process.

Both products are developed as part of the LS Earth project, a line manufactured around sustainability, health, and, an ecological approach to packaging and disposable materials.

sustainable

LED’s versus CFL’s

If you are considering a renovation, lighting can make a huge different in how a space is perceived. Since energy efficiency is a given, thanks to the Star Energy certificate in pretty much any available product, the key to redesign should be based on the level of illumination.

LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes) as a source of illumination for residential and commercial projects, have come to all facets of lighting. Fluorescent sources have a much more limited lamp life than LEDs, have little flexibility, and don’t work well in cold temperatures. One product first introduced for residential projects in 2010, the versatile Progress Lighting Step Lights, performs indoor and outdoor even in extreme weather.

Panel lighting and fixtures that are enclosed around the lamp, like the reflectors commonly used in recessed lighting, provide an excellent source for ambient and task lighting. One advantage to retrofitted LEDs, is the spread beam of directed light, versus a relative broad beam spread by fluorescents. Additionally, LEDs equivalent lumen efficacy (Lumen/watt) make them a great choice for recessed fixtures.

Optionally, CFL’s light output, long life, color variety, and energy efficiency make them well worth considering on any project, since they can be incorporated into wall sconces, pendants, and wall-wash luminaries. The many alluring “peachy hues” or colors available in fluorescent, work well in the home, although they are not the best at color rendering, provided that you need a higher UV rendition to be used in the work space, for improved visual acuity and accuracy.

product-comparativeFinally, even though LED’s and CFL alike transfer almost all of the energy directly to light, resulting in very little heat loss, consider the higher lumen output from LED: around 90 lm/w from a LED lamp versus a typical 60 lm/w from a compact fluorescent.

When it comes to efficacy (the ratio of the lumens emitted by a light source to the electrical power supplied, lumens/W), lifespan, and the ability to show colors accurately or color rendering, LED bulbs continue to present a unique and rapid pace in development for general lighting applications.

Greener light sources

light_sources101541691_WM

Many of the new lamps in the market can be used in your old lighting fixtures. Compact fluorescent lamps, or CFL’s, are available in a full range of light levels, and are more efficient as they offer comparable light levels to the traditional incandescent light bulb, at half to one-third of the power consumption. Typically, a fluorescent lamp will measure 90 lumens per watt, versus a standard-voltage halogen, that measures around 35 lpw.

Watts as the standard unit for describing the “strenght” of bulbs is gradually being phased out and being replaced by lumens. The American Lighting Association suggests looking for bulbs with lumens equal to traditional incandescent wattages:lamp_efficacy

Lamp efficacy is measured as the ratio of the lumens emitted by a light source to the electrical power supplied, lumens/W. For example, a 20-watt CFL can replace your traditional household 40 watts (75 A-lamp)  with an average rated lamp life 750 -2,000 hours; much shorter as compared to the 10,000 hrs provided by a 11 W compact fluorescent that may offer 900 lumens.

A frequently asked question on CFL lightbulbs is about their mercury content. CFL’s contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing, an average of 5 milligrams. Mercury is an essential component that allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact or in use. When they burn out, compact fluorescent lightbulbs should be disposed at any available local recycling depot.