The lower prices could give a significant boost to LED-based streetlights. Up to now, many such lights have benefitted from federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant money, often because they weren't cost-competitive with traditional lighting technologies.
"If not for those funds, most of the LED streetlights would not have been put up," Jim Uno, president and CEO of American Green Lights, which deals with LED and induction technologies, told us. "Most cities could not have afforded $1,200 fixture costs."
Cree hopes its cost reduction will help change that. Such cost reductions are unsurprising. LED costs have been dropping virtually since the technology's invention in 1962 and have long been predicted by a phenomenon known as Haitz's Law. That law (named for Roland Haitz, a retired Agilent Technologies scientist) says LED cost per lumen falls by a factor of 10 every decade, while the light generated by the package rises by a factor of 20.
According to Cree, its new lights will offer as much as 100 lumens per watt -- a figure that enabled it to halve the number of LEDs in the unit and further reduce its cost. Industry experts say such claims represent a step forward for LEDs. "If they have an LED streetlight that is effectively giving out 100 lumens per watt, then that's very, very good," Uno said.
Cree says the lower price of the new technology will enable the XSP Series to be comparable in cost to sodium vapor technology, when maintenance and energy costs are included. "The price point is getting much closer to the incumbent technology," Trott said. "The cost has come down so much that it's not nearly the investment that it was five years ago."
LEDs are popping up everywhere and these street lights are just another sign that the technology is really starting to become mainstream. We just purchased some solar lighting for our outside gardens and guess what, they are all LEDs. Now I'm just waiting for some good sunny days to see if the LEDs really burn brighter than traditional lighting. I'll keep you posted.
Incandescent replacements have some fantastic advantages. I recently replaced the landing light in my 172 with an LED lamp. The constant vibration and heat make incandescents a poor choice for the cowl mounted landing light location in older Cessna's, but that's the only technology that was available at the time. Considering the promise of greatly improved life and a current draw that's nearly 1/10 of the original, the LED lamp was an ideal choice. Since the landing light only pulls a couple of amps and has such great life, I leave it on all the time.
The only disadvantage I've seen to incandescent replacements is the waste heat from traffic lights. Now there's not enough heat to melt the snow off here in blustery Chicago.
Beth, the laptop I am using now had LEDs for backlighting for the disply. It helps the battery last much longer. LEDs in this application replace EEFL lights, which are fairly effecient compared to incandescent.
As the price comes down they will replace other types of bulbs. Just the much longer lifetime helps. Even at home, not having to replace bulbs is a plus. For something like streetlamps bulb replacement is a very costly thing. This is a good trend.
LED Street Lights have gained ground and are being implemented right here in Stamford and Greenwich CT. LED lighting is certainly the wave of the future. However, only by educating the public to the true savings of LED bulbs will they become commonplace. The initial cost can sometimes seem high. It is only after comparing the cost vs savings over time do you see the real benefit of LED lighting solutions. I commend all cities and towns that are reducing costly energy consumption by utilizing energy efficient solutions.
Beyond the cost barrier, what have the downsides been for a broader array of LED applications? I've run into plenty of downsides with CFL lights, which frankly aren't compelling enough to justify the added expense and the potential energy savings.
Why is it nothing in the article speaks to the bottom line. Efficiency, usability and durability. Sodium lights can have efficiency of 200 lumens/watt. LEDs have 100. See wikipedia.
LEDs have wideband, selectable wavelength. Sodium is narrow, harsh and often color-blinding.
Newest LEDs and arrays have unproven durability and must be housed properly to account for icing conditions.
Not showstoppers but definitely considerations. A recent energy survey of my mom's residence resulted in all incandescent bulbs replaced with slow, low-lumen CFLs 18 months ago. I have since reverted half of them back to hot, quick-on, high watt and useable halogens. Solar arrays on the roof keep her feeling green. Not one size fits all for LEDs either. LEDs work great for landscape and atmosphere lighting. For handiwork and reading, give me a big bright soft-white every night or day.
As engineers and designers, we need to stop chasing fads and letting marketers yank us around. Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts.
The energy saving of the LED streetlights is impressive. We had a different issue with LED parking lot lights. Unlike the incadescent lights which were too hot for bird nests, the LED lights did not have same heat which allowed a good spot for birds to nest. With no solution from the manufacturerer, we returned the lights for credit and re-installed the old lights. This was a while ago, and I hope that this potential problem has been addressed.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.