Obama's stimulas package likely to use LEDs

HeathS

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It was just announced that Obama had plans to make all federal buildings more energy efficient (he also mentioned schools, and we all know those flickering tubes just can't be good for the kids ability to focus.) Just before his talk, it was also announced that the lighting at the Pentagon will be replaced using CREE fixtures. Just think of all the buildings and roads that need lighting.

It may be a good time to buy - not just a Cree flashlight, but maybe some stock?
 

blasterman

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Given it's the Pentagon, they'll be paying $1,000 for each emitter :thumbsdow
 

Guy's Dropper

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Cree to light wing of Pentagon with 4200 LED fixtures

Cool! The price of Cree's stock should go up, and with greater volume, the price of emitters should drop.

Link to specs of LR24 LED fixture
With greater demand, prices will increase. In addition to that, there is the possibility that the quality of their leds will depreciate with the mass production of so many leds.

I like fluorescent lighting for schools. It is the least distracting to me of all light sources, and it is dirt cheap. I think there are bigger things to be concerned with right now, and no mention was made on any type of increase in efficiency, so I am somewhat critical of this. Also, I'm not sure how wise it would be to spend large amounts of money on leds that will soon be obsolete. I just hope they considered the cost of new light fixtures vs. the cost of electricity, so that this pays for itself within a short amount of time and doesn't become a waste of money.
 

jtr1962

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I just hope they considered the cost of new light fixtures vs. the cost of electricity, so that this pays for itself within a short amount of time and doesn't become a waste of money.
The fixtures are claimed to save 22% on the cost of electricity. Since this is the Pentagon, I'm assuming the fixtures will be on 24/7. They use 48 watts according to the spec sheets, which in turn implies the old fixtures use 62 watts ( 14 watts saved is a 22% savings ). Over the 50,000 hour life of the fixture then you save 0.014*50000 = 700 kW-hr. At $0.20 kW-hr that's $140. The fixtures retail for $380, so the energy savings alone won't pay for them. I doubt there's $240 in savings of tubes and labor from avoiding perhaps two relampings. My only guess is perhaps these are going to be hooked to occupancy sensors, and the energy savings will be more than 22%. Or maybe they're paying significantly less than the retail price of $380. Also, if the older fixtures needed to be replaced anyway (at a cost of perhaps $100 or more each), then this all may start to make financial sense. You're right about the LEDs being obsolete soon though.

Well, we all know the early adopters of any new technology pay a premium, and those who follow reap the benefits. Better to have our government with deep pockets do this. At least Cree will be getting data on how these fixtures perform in the real world.
 

brickbat

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...Better to have our government with deep pockets do this....

Our government's 'pockets' have no depth. Whenever they reach into them, we all feel a tug at our wallets...

Governments have only two ways to generate revenue - Tax us or print money.

If Cree fixtures actually made economic sense, you'd see them lighting your Wal-Mart, instead of T8 fluorescent lamps/daylighting. Wal-Mart had the sense to use LEDs in their refrigerated sections, but it wasn't a feel-good, economy-stimulating, 'green' move. It just made good economic sense. We should expect no less from those we elect to govern us.
 

jtr1962

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Maybe it makes financial sense, maybe not. Could go either way depending upon what they paid, how much electricity costs in the future, etc. If the government is going to waste my money anyway, I'd rather it be on LED fixtures than $1000 toilet seats.
 

PhotonWrangler

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It might not be about economic sense as much as it's about hardening everything in the building including the lights. A solid state fixture can withstand a great deal more mechanical shock than a fragile glass tube filled with mercury.
 

R33E8

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With greater demand, prices will increase. In addition to that, there is the possibility that the quality of their leds will depreciate with the mass production of so many leds.

Well I heard that Cree's entire process(from construction to packaging) is fully automated by a machine.. I guess it's just a matter of building more machines to handle the extra demand..
 

jtr1962

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It might not be about economic sense as much as it's about hardening everything in the building including the lights. A solid state fixture can withstand a great deal more mechanical shock than a fragile glass tube filled with mercury.
Yes, and I think that is probably the real reason. Power savings is just a bonus. I know LEDs have been used on some submarines for a few years already for similar reasons.
 

blasterman

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Also, if the older fixtures needed to be replaced anyway (at a cost of perhaps $100 or more each), then this all may start to make financial sense.

Likely the reason - good call.
 

JohnR66

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As much as I like LEDs, I'm not confident in their use in general illumination just yet. With electronic ballasts and T8 or T5 tubes, you can reach above 90 lumen per watt efficiency levels. The LEDs will have to be cooled very well to maintain the high efficiency.

If using a power LED, like the XR-E, these shouldn't be driven beyond 500ma per LED. In some areas were the lights are on 24/7, the LED would would have significant lumen depreciation after several years.

A 32 watt 4 foot T8 tube can output around 2,800 lumens. It would take a lot of LEDs to match its brightness. Think of the cost of a fixture that would replace a 4 tube unit! I'm sure some of the LED fixtures will require maintenance. I wonder about the crazy cost of the maintenance contract these will be under?

I think they should try them in a small area to see how these work and re-evaluate in 2 or three years.
 

blasterman

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Here's the fixture:

http://www.creelighting.com/LR24.htm

Looking at the performance vspecs, it's arguably on par with modern T5/T8 fixtures, so we can dispense with the 'it's LED - lets shut off our coal plants!' bandwagon.

However, the advantage is clearly a logistical one given that I would assume the Cree fixture is a drop in and leave it type of unit. This reduces maintenance and service over-head over the long run compared to Fluorescent. This is clearly something that's very advantageous for a government installation, but not a choice based on raw energy efficiency debates.

Also note the Cree has to use two types of LEDs to get the desired light quality, which reduces efficiency. It would also seem to be an awknowledgement that Cree themselves can't get decent warm [aethestically pleasing] light from a single emitter. Whazza matter Cree? Can't figure out your own Bin tints either?:rolleyes:
 

jtr1962

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Also note the Cree has to use two types of LEDs to get the desired light quality, which reduces efficiency. It would also seem to be an awknowledgement that Cree themselves can't get decent warm [aethestically pleasing] light from a single emitter. Whazza matter Cree? Can't figure out your own Bin tints either?:rolleyes:
I'm pretty sure there are three reasons for the use of red and yellow LEDs (they only mention those two but they have to use white also or the light color would be orange). First off, by varying the proportion of red and yellow relative to white they can compensate for variations in tint both when new and as tint shifts over time. Second, the addition of these two colors warms the light a bit, meaning they can use cooler, more efficient whites as the primary light source (i.e. R, Y, 5000K white combined to make 3500K white is probably more efficient than using 3500K white alone, and it allows compensation for tint variations). Third, the reds and yellows improve the CRI from perhaps the high 70s, or at best low 80s, to the 92 in the spec sheets.

Down the road if Cree can use two phosphors types in a single emitter for better CRI, and fix the tint lottery, I'm sure they'll use only one type of emitter. That and getting rid of the active compensation system would dramatically reduce the cost of these fixtures.
 

rushnrockt

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With greater demand, prices will increase. In addition to that, there is the possibility that the quality of their leds will depreciate with the mass production of so many leds.

I like fluorescent lighting for schools. It is the least distracting to me of all light sources, and it is dirt cheap.

Not to claim that LEDs are better, but fluorescent lighting is far from being the best as far as health goes.
 

jtr1962

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Not to claim that LEDs are better, but fluorescent lighting is far from being the best as far as health goes.
Depends on the type of setup used. Anything with a magnetic ballast which flickers is proven to cause long-term health problems is some percentage of the population. In many countries such ballasts are outlawed. However, new installations haven't used those for well over a decade. Most school/office/store lighting these days is with electronically ballasted T8s which don't flicker. As for color rendering, some of the older T12 tubes were admittedly horrible, with a CRI of about 62. Again, that problem has been fixed, and some countries even outlaw low CRI halophosphor tubes.. The lowest grade of triphosphor T8 tubes have a CRI of about 78, which is acceptable to most. The higher grade is 85 or 86, not perfect but close enough that few will notice the difference. T5 tubes don't even have the lower grade-they are all CRI 85/86. Specialty tubes (mostly 5000K to 5500K) using as many as six phosphors are available with CRI as high as 98. These are practically indistiguishable from sunlight, but they are expensive relative to the commodity tubes, so few installations will use them.

The high CRI and lack of flicker of Cree's fixtures mean that there should be virtually no complaints about light quality. They seem to be superior to perhaps 99% of typical fluorescent installations.
 
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2xTrinity

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If Cree fixtures actually made economic sense, you'd see them lighting your Wal-Mart, instead of T8 fluorescent lamps/daylighting. Wal-Mart had the sense to use LEDs in their refrigerated sections, but it wasn't a feel-good, economy-stimulating, 'green' move. It just made good economic sense. We should expect no less from those we elect to govern us.
The refrigerated section lighting turned out to be profitable even with LEDs that are about 50% less efficient than the current generation. This is almost entirely because the LEDs may be cycled on and off, but fluorescents -- especially in a cold environment -- must be left on continuously to stay "warmed up", and prevent wear from on/off cycling. LEDs are also inherently directional, which is a big advantage in a cramped space like a fridge with no room for a big reflector. Not only that, heat from the fluorescents adds additonal load to the fridge, so the efficiency improvement is magnified.

In spaces that are occupied 24/7, or on for hours at a time, IMO fluoro is still the way to go. IN places where people come and go frequently, and usually only stay for a short period of time, the ability of LEDs to cycle off/on on motion detectors could lead to a huge savings -- especailly considering the Cree fixtures are equal efficiency to the fluoro fixtures to start with.
 

brickbat

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...This is almost entirely because the LEDs may be cycled on and off...

True.

But, I spend as little time as possible in Walmart. Do you know if they actually turn these off with occupancy sensors or something? Every time I see them, they're all on...
 

Illum

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I really hope this becomes the case. I'm nowhere near the pentagon but I'm sick of the orange/brown looking sodium fired road/parking lot lights.

That and if they can somehow eliminate the multi-shadow effect of multiple LED lightbars. 1LED = 1Shadow, 30LEDs = 30Shadows...reading using the fenix lightbar [30 3-die LEDs] gives me a headache if theres anything other than the book on my table, I'm not sure what reading under the LR24 feels like:ohgeez:
 
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