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Thread: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

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    Flashaholic* ebow86's Avatar
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    Default What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Do we have any ideas on what hypothetically could replace the LED in the future? I know LED technology isn't that old, and it is getting better and better everyday but is there any technology on the horizon that could be superior to LED's in terms of efficiency and output? Any theory's on what lies down the road 25 or 50 years from now? Do you think that LED is here to stay for a long time?
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    This video clip, entitled Flashlight Experiment LEP vs LED, implies that plasma technology could replace LEDs.
    Retired engineer, author. Running Linux.

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Makers of plasma light bulbs are claiming 140+lm/W

    (oops, you snooze you lose)

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    Flashaholic Lighteous's Avatar
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Wow! Take me to the nearest Flashaholism Rehab Center...

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by 2filthy3 View Post
    Makers of plasma light bulbs are claiming 140+lm/W

    (oops, you snooze you lose)
    White leds go up to 150 and low pressure sodium lamps can go up to 200. So what's so cool about plasma.

    Nap.

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Exciting! How durable are plasma bulbs? What additional radiation to they give off?

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    Flashaholic* ebow86's Avatar
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    I don't think plamsa will be replacing LED's anytime soon, LED technology has come too far already. When I started the post, I was thinking someone would know about some radical theoretical technology that could come in the future. Plasma is already an existing technology.
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    Flashaholic* Launch Mini's Avatar
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    I don't think they are comparing apples to apples there. THe "high power LED" could be anything, they didnt even show the light, then the Plasma light is some big high voltage light. I am sure a few CPF's here have LED's that will perform equally to their light.

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    Flashaholic* John_Galt's Avatar
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by parnass View Post
    This video clip, entitled Flashlight Experiment LEP vs LED, implies that plasma technology could replace LEDs.
    So they had some aspheric equipped light, which, with the efficiency of aspherics, and all the loss of output in the head, is likely less than 100 lumens OTF, all of which is in a small, square beam, and tried to compare that to a searchlight sized 10-12" reflectored light that probably put out thousands of lumens? That's an apples to Zebras comparison.

    Let's see them try that with a similar high output, multi-LED, multi-reflectored light powered by the same powersource, in a similar format...
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    Retired Administrator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Moved to General Light Discussion.
    Norm

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by Napalm View Post
    White leds go up to 150 and low pressure sodium lamps can go up to 200. So what's so cool about plasma.

    Nap.
    You can get 168 lumens/watt LEDs now I believe. Plasma bulbs are essentially still in the labs as far as I can tell nobody sells them and at 140 lumens/watt they are blown away by Cree's 231 lumens/watt LED that is also still in the lab.
    I see LEDs taking over more and more of the lighting chores and in the years to come all but the high output fixtures will be LEDs as LEDs price per lumen is still way too high to justify investment for the efficiency boost.
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    When you look at the current trends in LED development, it's likely we'll be at 80% to 90% conversion efficiency by the end of the decade. Besides that, LEDs can last hundreds of thousands of hours. When you're this close to theoretical maximums, I'm not really seeing how any other technology can replace LEDs. Even cost is rapidly coming down. I personally think LEDs and OLEDs will be the pinnacle of artificial lighting probably forever. There just isn't a whole lot of room for any new technology to improve upon.

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    http://luxim.com/ is commercially available plasma lighting.

    Will plasma beat LED ... I think unlikely only because the process is simple and while simple is good, it has limitations. LED has so many ways that will be found over time to tweak the output that we are going to get very close to theoretical maximums.

    Semiman

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    You can get 168 lumens/watt LEDs now I believe. Plasma bulbs are essentially still in the labs as far as I can tell nobody sells them and at 140 lumens/watt they are blown away by Cree's 231 lumens/watt LED that is also still in the lab.
    I see LEDs taking over more and more of the lighting chores and in the years to come all but the high output fixtures will be LEDs as LEDs price per lumen is still way too high to justify investment for the efficiency boost.
    If Luxim's claims are to be believed, then yes Cree may have a higher lumen/watt offering but Luxim beats them by a good margin in lumens/watt at the CCT and CRI their LEPs run at.

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorblinded View Post
    If Luxim's claims are to be believed, then yes Cree may have a higher lumen/watt offering but Luxim beats them by a good margin in lumens/watt at the CCT and CRI their LEPs run at.
    If you can show me a time to market of their products I will consider them a valid competitor. We know Cree can take stuff from their lab and get it on the market within a few years but I really know very little about Luxims products. I seem to remember an RF bulb design a long time ago back when CFLs were $15 each that made promises then...
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    If you can show me a time to market of their products I will consider them a valid competitor. We know Cree can take stuff from their lab and get it on the market within a few years but I really know very little about Luxims products. I seem to remember an RF bulb design a long time ago back when CFLs were $15 each that made promises then...
    As I said, if their site is to be believed then they may already have commercially available products with the qualities I mentioned.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorblinded View Post
    As I said, if their site is to be believed then they may already have commercially available products with the qualities I mentioned.
    They may only be able to compete in a niche market with their product on the commercial level. If I read correctly they are using RF to excite a gas to make light which is nothing new as it has been around since fluorecent tubes and radio transmitters have been around.
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Luxim has real products and they are shipping in volumes ... 10's of thousands to date. That said, I do not believe they have anything actually shipping at 100 lumen/watt or greater. All the specs I can find are 80ish at best with AC taken into account. They are real and they are competition but I believe at least for now, they will compete for the big stuff -- MH replacements, etc. -- think 400/1000 watt stuff.

  19. #19

    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by SemiMan View Post
    Luxim has real products and they are shipping in volumes ... 10's of thousands to date. That said, I do not believe they have anything actually shipping at 100 lumen/watt or greater. All the specs I can find are 80ish at best with AC taken into account. They are real and they are competition but I believe at least for now, they will compete for the big stuff -- MH replacements, etc. -- think 400/1000 watt stuff.
    I don't see LEDs replacing high output lights in the near future, perhaps later when they are able to get the cost per lumen down and the output way up per emitter we will see LEDs starting to compete with metal halide lamps in output. In other words Luxim is marketing in the range that LEDs haven't yet penetrated at efficiencies that basically make it unable to penetrate into the LED market. I see LEDs efficiency and output slowly pushing into the higher output market and perhaps one day replacing metal halide in specifically designed fixtures for them.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Do you think incandescent, fluorescent and HID lamps are just a temporary transitional technology to move away from candles, oil and gas lights until LEDs become the true, ultimate successor to candles and the other lighting technologies?

  21. #21

    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by oldwesty4ever View Post
    Do you think incandescent, fluorescent and HID lamps are just a temporary transitional technology to move away from candles, oil and gas lights until LEDs become the true, ultimate successor to candles and the other lighting technologies?
    Incandescent lighting has been around well over 100 years, fluorescent lighting easily 50+ years and candles are still used also so I wouldn't consider them temporary or transitional at all as there is way too many fixtures in buildings and cars out there using them to go away anytime soon. I see LEDs over the next two decades to start becoming the go to technology in most applications that can take advantage of them as energy prices and energy production concerns arise more. I do not see any other technology improving at the rate nor matching the proven track record LEDs have at this time. I wish there was some other technology in a lab touting 200+ lumens/watt figures in the next few years even being produced so by that I don't see anything else usurping LEDs future dominance of the market. I don't however see LEDs taking over the market anytime soon as the cost/lumen is still too high such that you cannot recoup your investment in 5 years on them over other efficient light techologies that have a dramatically cheaper cost/lumen ratio.
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    ...............
    Last edited by beerwax; 07-04-2011 at 04:09 PM.

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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    I don't however see LEDs taking over the market anytime soon as the cost/lumen is still too high such that you cannot recoup your investment in 5 years on them over other efficient light techologies that have a dramatically cheaper cost/lumen ratio.
    True, but this may become an invalid argument in a few short years. Well known venture capital firm Vantage Point Capital Partners claims that LED prices will fall by 90% by 2015.

    Vantage Point has backed four LED companies Huga Optotech of Taiwan, Glo of Sweden, and the US companies Switch Bulb Co and Bridgelux.

    BTW, considering their track record it is interesting to see Switch Lighting on their list (Liquid filled LED Light Bulb) a technology dismissed as an "interim gimmick" and a "solution in search of a problem" by a CPF member who likes to make such pronouncements. Vantage Point Capital is also a backer of Tesla Motors and helped bring them public.
    Last edited by EZO; 06-29-2011 at 10:05 AM.

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by EZO View Post
    BTW, considering their track record it is interesting to see Switch Lighting on their list (Liquid filled LED Light Bulb) a technology dismissed as an "interim gimmick" and a "solution in search of a problem" by a CPF member who likes to make such pronouncements. Vantage Point Capital is also a backer of Tesla Motors and helped bring them public.
    And if you recall here's the reason I gave for that assessment:

    "With LEDs becoming ever more efficient, this seems like an interim gimmick to deal with a heat issue which won't even exist in 2 or 3 years."

    I don't deny that if LED efficiency was stagnant, then the liquid-filled light bulb might be a long-term, elegant solution. In fact, I plan to eventually buy one or two of them in the clear version just because I think it looks cool (but I'm waiting for 3500K or 4000K because I just can't stand 2700K). Anyway, the fact is it looks like LEDs will hit 80% to 90% conversion efficiency by the end of the decade. This means perhaps 1 watt of waste heat to deal with in a 100-watt incandescent equivalent. You don't even need anything beyond a small heat spreader to deal with that amount of heat. Besides, the long-term trend is towards purpose-built LED fixtures, or even OLED luminescent ceiling panels. As LEDs take over the market, brand-new fixtures based on screw-base lamps will likely disappear altogether from the market. Eventually, as existing screw-base fixtures wear out or break, they will be replaced with purpose-built LED fixtures with better thermal properties than a screw-base bulb. In short, not only do I not see the liquid-filled bulb as anything more than an interim solution, but also screw-base LED retrofits in general I see only as sort of a middle-term type of thing. In time they just won't be needed in large numbers (or at all) because the fixtures they're used in will largely be replaced. This already happened in the commercial sector starting after WWII. Fluorescents and other discharge lamps gradually replaced incandescents until the point that they were pretty much the only thing in use.

    As for Tesla Motors, I recall being one of relatively few here saying that electric cars will be big, to the point that they'll likely obsolete gas cars within a decade or so, when Tesla Motors first started. Now that EV technology is proving itself, that looks likely to happen. Difficult to put a date on these things, but I'll give a 2020 to 2025 time frame for when the last ICE vehicle will see production. Anyway, it's not like I'm not forward thinking about new idea, it's just that with my engineering background I know what's likely to be viable and what isn't. Generally complex, expensive solutions to existing problems don't stay in the marketplace long unless the simple approach has serious drawbacks. That was the case, for example, with electric cars for a long time. They lacked the range, and had other issues, until perhaps 15 years ago. This is why the horribly complex, breakdown-prone ICE, mated to an equally complex multigear transmission, dominated the market. The much simpler battery plus electric motor just couldn't deliver until recently. For much the same reason, I'm not seeing why you would need a liquid-filled bulb once the heat issue with LEDs is solved (and it largely is because we know what to tweak in order to reach extremely high efficiencies).

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    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    jtr1962, I don't necessarily disagree with you here. I just think it interesting that a venture cap firm with the level of experience and expertise of Vantage Point would back this firm. Perhaps as far as the marketplace is concerned "interim" could be a long time. Just because a technical milestone will be achieved within a certain time frame doesn't mean it will make it to the market right away. In the meantime we have Switch Lighting and others. Personally, I enjoy watching the different approaches being taken whether they will survive or not. In fact, here is another one, (watch the video) a nanotech nanofiber/blue LED hybrid that may provide for very high CRI numbers and some interesting new luminaire design possibilities. Again, there are other considerations in the marketplace beyond pure engineering, but indeed, the engineering part is cool.

    Did you happen to read the article I referenced in another thread titled "Solid-state lighting: ‘The case’ 10 years after and future prospects"? It seems like something that would be right up your alley.

    Respectfully,
    jtr1962, my post was primarily about the dramatically falling prices of LEDs which essentially supports many of your comments on these boards. I only mentioned Switch Lighting as a "BTW" remark with no intention of potentially derailing the thread into a long winded discourse on electric vehicles.

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Thanks for the links. You are correct that what I call "interim" could be considered a long time in today's marketplace. Remember that many CEOs nowadays don't look much past the next quarter. From that perspective, the liquid-filled light bulb, which I say should be viable for at least 3 to 5 years, does indeed look like a good long-term investment. I'll admit sometimes my comments tend to be biased because my thinking tends to mirror the East more than the West. In Eastern nations things are often planned in terms of many years, decades, or even centuries (i.e. the Great Wall).

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    I have read that the screw in socket actually violates the most basic electrical safety standards as they pose a major shock hazard. Remember it was designed in 1881, well before electrical safety standards went in effect. However, there are 4.5 billion screw in sockets in the USA, I doubt they will disappear that fast. Maybe in new construction intergrated fixture will be required to meet environmental regulations as they already require GU24 sockets in current LEED certified buildings.

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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    EZO,

    Commenting on that solid-state lighting paper you linked to, I found it interesting that the "pessimistic" view is that LED efficiency will plateau at around 200 lm/W, while the other, more optimistic author, said he felt 250 to 300 lm/W was more likely (I tend to agree). Even at 200 lm/W, plus decreased cost per lumen, LEDs should pretty much dominate the market except for niche applications. I thought the vacuum tube analogy particularly apt. Vacuum tubes haven't entirely disappeared, but are relegated to niche applications like microwave ovens which so far haven't proven amenable to a solid state solution. I suspect some niche lighting applications, especially those with high temperatures, will still use traditional solutions.

    oldwesty4ever,

    I agree 100% about the shock hazard. That might be the one thing which effectively regulates sockets out of existence, particularly in new construction. As for the installed base, generally people seem to replace their lamps/fixtures on a 15-25 year cycle. If socketed fixtures are no longer sold by, say, 2015, then they'll just about be gone by 2040 or so, with many gone by 2030.

  29. #29

    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    ...........
    Last edited by beerwax; 07-04-2011 at 04:10 PM.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic* EZO's Avatar
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    Default Re: What technology will replace LED's as most efficient light source

    Quote Originally Posted by oldwesty4ever View Post
    I have read that the screw in socket actually violates the most basic electrical safety standards as they pose a major shock hazard. Remember it was designed in 1881, well before electrical safety standards went in effect. However, there are 4.5 billion screw in sockets in the USA, I doubt they will disappear that fast. Maybe in new construction intergrated fixture will be required to meet environmental regulations as they already require GU24 sockets in current LEED certified buildings.
    Indeed, it will take a long time before we see the end of E27 screw in lightbulb sockets. It will take someone to come up with an innovative new design or paradigm. Helieon Corp is an early entry with an attempt to offer a line of LED products that are not E27s but "that are as easy as changing a light bulb".
    Last edited by EZO; 06-29-2011 at 06:49 PM.

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