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LED efficiency soared in 2014, CRI needs more work

LED efficiency soared in 2014, CRI needs more work

By BizLED Bureau

May 27, 2015: The year 2014 was a beneficial year for the consumers of LED lighting products as they had been gifted with two major achievements?while prices of LEDs have gone down significantly, its efficiency has soared. Although it?s a known fact that LED lights are more efficient than compact florescent bulbs or incandescent bulbs, in 2014, its gap has widened further.

Increase in efficiency

The average efficiency of LEDs was about 80 lumens per watt in mid-2013, but now it is about 100 lumens per watt, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), USA. That is a lot more than the efficiency of CFLs, which ranges from about 55 to 70 lumens per watt. In fact, in September 2014, a number of LED manufacturers launched Energy Star-qualified bulbs with 100 lumens per watt.

However, LEDs have a long way to go as it is still not been adopted on a mass scale?even two years back, LED bulbs were very expensive than other traditional lighting bulbs, but since then, their costs have reduced dramatically. Yet, its demand in increasing steadily over the years. Total shipments of LED bulbs rose in 2011 from around 9 million bulbs to more than 45 million bulbs in 2013; this figure, however, indicates less than 3% of the share in general lighting market, states EIA.

Costs to consumers have also been cut down by several energy-efficiency programs that offer discounts, rebates, or other incentives. From 2011-13, sponsors of energy efficiency program invested $400 to $470 million annually to encourage large scale adoption of Energy Star-certified lighting products.

CRI is still a challenge

The LED industry still faces a challenge, that is, many LEDs still do not have a color rendering index like incandescent lights, which have a CRI of 100. According to a US Department of Energy report, some efficiency may have to be sacrificed to meet color requirements of the consumers, who usually prefer a multi-directional, warm light.

Color temperature, which is measured in kelvins (K), specifies the appearance of the light from warmer to cooler tones. LED lamps with lower color temperatures (about 2,500 K to 3,500 K) are almost like traditional incandescent and halogen bulbs, with little orange tones. Lamps with higher color temperatures are similar to sunlight and some types of fluorescent lamps. Lamps to be specified by Energy Star needs color temperature between 2,750 K and 6,500 K.

Color rendering index (CRI), on the other hand, measures how well the light depicts the colors of the objects, skin tones or materials. The more the appearance of a LED lamp color deviates from its original appearance under an incandescent light, the lower is its CRI.

The Energy Star-certification requires CRI values to be at least 80, and this year many manufacturers have launched LED bulbs with this specification.

None of the facts and figures mentioned in the story have been created by BizLED.co.in. BizLED is not responsible for any factual errors. The facts and figures have been shared by experts on LED technology.

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  1. If 100 lumens per watt is the new standard, why is the new Cree 60 watt equivalent rated at 76.6 lunems per watt? And Cree is probably one of the best of the best. Still a very good number. It is not uncommon to find newer tubular fluorescent in the 100 lumens per watt range. Are we still seeing independent testing by the government effort, I think Calipher reports? What are they seeing?

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