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Energy-saving LED bulb cuts light costs 80 percent

Posted: 12 Oct 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:lighting science? led bulb? optimized digital lighting? odl? led?

Lighting Science Inc. has introduced an environmentally friendly LED bulb that reportedly slashes light costs by 80 percent compared to incandescent, fluorescent and other LED bulbs.

The technology, called Optimized Digital Lighting (ODL), utilizes a patented LED bulb that's designed to generate less heat than other bulbs while delivering 30 percent greater light output, according to the company.

Lighting Science said an ODL R-30 bulb consumes only 5.6W and can replace 65W incandescent and 15W fluorescent bulbs. Compared to existing incandescent units, the ODL lamps reduce energy usage by almost 90 percent for the same end lumens, with a useful life up to 25 times longer (50,000h).

Relative to fluorescent lighting, ODL units reduce energy usage by as much as 50 percent, said the company. The bulbs use the same light fixtures as incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs.

The bulb has one significant catchit costs $33, compared to $3.50 for a standard R-30 incandescent floodlamp. But with a standard R-30 lamp rated to typically last only 2,000 hours, the user would have to purchase 25 incandescent bulbs to obtain the equivalent lifetime of an ODL bulb, according to Lighting Science.

LED technology has been long used for indicator lamps in electronic components and as signaling devices, such as traffic lights and automotive taillights. However, the historically high initial cost of LEDs, coupled with their lesser light quality, limited functionality, and appearance have delayed their widespread use for general illumination purposes.

The ODL bulb's heat-saving design helps it to run cooler while lasting longer and producing better light quality, according to Fred Maxik, inventor and chief executive of Lighting Science. The bulb uses 30 percent fewer LEDs than other LED bulbs, thus lowering ownership cost, Maxik added.

In addition, the LED bulb has no filament unlike incandescent bulbs, further extending useful life.

Another drawback to LEDs, color shift, was solved by using red, green, and blue LEDs to produce a white light. Other LED approaches that use costlier blue or ultraviolet LEDs with a phosphor coating experience color shift because the phosphor coating tends to degrade over time, according to Maxik.

"The LED lighting market has been ripe for this kind of approach," said Maxik in a statement. Maxik added he has spent a lifetime taking high-priced technology apart and figuring out how to put it back together again to deliver higher performance at lower cost.

Capable of emitting either warm white or ambient light, the ODL bulbs are available in a "T" shaped design for use in recessed canisters or a stylized cone-shaped bulb for lamps, track lighting, or other fixtures where the entire bulb is visible.

- Spencer Chin

EE Times

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