Innovations
Monday, 12 August 2013 10:04

Light up your world

25 DEGREES looks at lighting technologies of the future.

Without light, there would be no sight. The visual ability of humans and other animals is the result of the complex interaction of light, eyes and brain. Lights have been old news since Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb – until now. In an age led by technology and the realities of climate change, good lighting, in all senses of the word, and lighting innovation have become more popular than ever. 25 DEGREES in Africa looks at the latest technologies in lighting.  

LED lighting has been adopted for mainstream use in both residential and commercial applications and has many benefits over conventional lighting. LED lighting is one of the most efficient lighting sources available, using up to 90% less energy than a standard halogen globe. LEDs also do not contain mercury like other fluorescent lamps and run far cooler, making them a much safer lighting option.

 

Wireless wonders

LED bulbs equipped with a wireless chip are the latest rage. Companies like NXP and iLux have revolutionised the technology and promote it based on the fact that the bulbs can be controlled from smartphones or tablets.

According to many smart-technology advocates, lighting is the starting point for a house full of networked gadgets.

iLux has conducted testing across a range of Wi-Fi LED controller applications for the iPhone and iPad.

Brighter is better

Royal Philips Electronics has managed to almost double the efficiency of LED bulbs, which are already highly efficient compared to conventional incandescent bulbs.

“The *TLED bulb will reach the market in 2015 for office and industry application before ultimately being used in the home. The bulb will produce 200 lumens per watt (lm/W), double the 100 lm/W for fluorescents (and for other LEDs),” Philips said.

Additionally, LG Chem recently announced an update on their organic LED (OLED) lighting programme. LG says they have successfully developed high-efficiency OLED lighting panels (80lm/W), that will enter mass production in July 2013. The upcoming 80lm/W will feature 20 000 hours lifetime, 3 000K colour temperature, brightness of 75 lumens (3 000cd/sqm) and a colour-rendering index (CRI) of 85. The first 80lm/W panels will be 100 x 100mm in size and only 1,1mm thick.

 

Energetic Energies at Milan Design Week

During the Milan Design Week in April, Panasonic revealed its Energetic Energies exhibition. Designed by the Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata, the exhibition was installed beneath the Largo Richini Portico at the University of Milano. The structure featured hundreds of solar panels scattered over representations of city rooftops. Hirata designed small solar units that grow out of the cityscape in an organic, tree-like way, mimicking the versatile adaptation of plants to the position of the sun.

 

High quality energy-efficiency is the holy grail of the lighting industry and the importance of solid-state lighting in the future is obvious. Philips and Osram are cooperating with the United Nations in promoting the adoption of low-energy light sources.

India has revealed its intentions of replacing 400-million incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents by the end of 2014.

Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to inHabitat, LG, arstechnica.com, Philips and iLux for the information given to write this article.

*Read more about Philips’ TLED bulb elsewhere in this issue.