Wednesday, June 16, 2010

When it comes to LED replacement T8s, the best policy is to “just say no.”

A new posting just arrived from Jim Brodrick, the "Guru of All Things LED" for the US Department of Energy.  It has to do with all of those linear tube LED products that we saw at LightFair claiming to be headed toward replacing the familiar fluorescent tube.  As we expected, this is another example of over-promising and under-delivering. 

Comments from Mr. Brodrick include:

  • "Those LED products are a far cry from matching the performance of fluorescent T8s, it all adds up to a surefire recipe for consumer disappointment.”
  • "LED T8s have not proven competitive with linear fluorescent lamps. This is not a vague impression “sensed” from the marketplace; it’s a DOE finding based on careful analysis and testing results from DOE’s CALiPER program."
  • “The average initial bare-lamp light output of the LED replacement products was only about one-third of the average for the fluorescent lamps tested – with the best-performing LED T8 producing only half of the light output of a typical 4′ fluorescent"

Vu1 is continuing R&D on an ESL replacement for the linear fluorescent tube.  There are over 1.4B fluorescent tube fixtures in the U.S. alone.  Each of these fixtures contains multiple tubes. The idea of applying ESL to these fixtures with an energy efficient, mercury free, incandescent light quality and affordable alternative is very exciting.  Probably most exciting would be Vu1 ESL tube's potential to work with ambient light sensors and provide constant dimmabilty in buildings resulting in huge energy savings.