Why Don’t You Have LEDs Yet?

Its 2012 and in another two years you wont be able to find incandescent lamps anymore. That’s right folks; the traditional soft white lamps you have in your kitchen or hanging in your restaurant will no longer be easily available. So what will we do and what is the future of lighting?

If you haven’t heard it from someone else you are hearing it now from Dr. Bulb: LED and solid state lighting is the future. They are durable and small enough to fit on a key chain, they last for close to a decade, and they are extremely energy efficient. The movement away from incandescent to LED is occurring, but it is happening slower and more painfully than VCs or entrepreneurs expected.


With LED technology, you change lamps less, experience less lumen depreciation, and save massive amounts on your energy bill. So what is keeping people from this new technology?    

Unfortunately, LEDs have not yet made it into the home on a large scale. However, they have started to make it into the enterprise. Groom Energy and Greentech Media Research predict that the LED enterprise lighting market will grow by 30 percent in 2011 and surpass $1 billion in annual revenue by 2014. The 2010 U.S. market for commercial and industrial LED lighting is sized at $330 million in annual revenue. 

The initial cost of LED lighting doesn’t help the cause, either: light bulbs show tremendous price elasticity. This means that small changes in the price will have a much larger effect on the demand.

Fred Maxik, the founder and CTO of the 900-employee Lighting Science Group, doesn’t feel that cost is holding the industry back. He said recently that in commercial and retail applications, LEDs can today be justified on an energy efficiency basis. What’s needed, according to Maxik, is consumer education. More consumers and business owners need to understand the benefits of this technology and spread the good word.

Where are the LED evangelists? Why are there not people shouting from the rooftops that they reduced their home energy costs by hundreds of dollars. Here at my Dr. Bulb headquarters, I just installed a bunch of new >Kumho LED lamps in various fixtures as well as my track lighting system. These are currently available on Amazon.  Adopting a new lighting technology shouldn’t be that hard. Not only am I saving big on my monthly energy costs, but I have some of the most high tech and lamps available in the lighting industry. Jealous? Get your own today and let the saving begin!




General Lighting

Induction Lamps Brighten Up The University of Michigan’s Player Development Center

The University of Michigan’s men’s basketball team is shooting for a Big Ten title and a long NCAA Tournament run this season. While the Wolverines continue to rack up victories in games, brand new induction lighting is helping them on the practice court.

Fifty-six Induction High Bay fixtures were installed in the university’s state-of-the-art Player Development Center, which is attached to the arena where Michigan plays its home games. Induction is a perfect fit for gymnasiums and recreation centers   


Induction technology is basically fluorescent lamp lighting without electrodes. It uses magnetic induction to ignite the phosphors instead of electrodes. The main advantages of induction technology are as follows. Electrodes are a significant point of failure on traditional fluorescent lamps causing more frequent replacement. Induction lamps do not have electrodes and consequently have an extremely long life, rated at 100,000 hours. Also, the lack of electrodes makes them more reliable in high-vibration applications such as gymnasiums and fitness centers. The second major advantage is the ability to use light generating substances that would react with metal electrodes in normal lamps, enabling the use of higher performance substances for more light.

 Induction lights are ‘instant-on.’ A coach can flip a switch and start practice instead of waiting several minutes for them to warm up and fully illuminate.

Induction technology delivers an unequaled 100,000 hours of high quality white light which makes them virtually maintenance free. That is the equivalent of 100 incandescent lamps, 5 HID lamps, or 5 typical fluorescent lamp life cycles.

Intrested in learning more about induction lighting? Click here!

General Lighting

Induction Lighting v. LED and Other Lighting Technologies

While the current buzz in the press is LEDs and LEDs will someday become a significant technology in luminaires, for now LEDs are not the end all – be all, and they will not be the solution for everything.  There are many lighting technologies that are still significantly more energy efficient, last longer, or are a better light technology for a specific application.  An example is Induction Lighting. Induction light fixtures perform for up to 100,000 hours making them virtually maintenance free, provide high color rendering (CRI) , have minimal lumen depreciation over the life of the lamp, and very energy efficiency too,


Induction Wall Pack

The inherent benefits of Induction light fixtures make them ideally suited for applications such as difficult to access locations, expensive to access locations, and areas with vibration and places where long term reliability and energy efficiency are valued.  As compared with LEDs, LED light fixtures are just beginning to have enough light output to be used in place of traditional high intensity discharge light sources.  The cost is very high, and compared to induction lighting, LEDs have half the rated light.  Additionally, LEDs are sensitive to temperature.   As the temperature increases, light output of LEDs decreases and the life of the LED luminaire is diminished.  Heat has virtually no impact on the light output of an induction system and in a properly designed fixture has zero impact on system life too.

The U.S. Department of Energy on one of their Energy Savings Blog reports, “Induction lighting is one of the best kept secrets in energy-efficient lighting. Simply stated, induction lighting is essentially a fluorescent light without electrodes or filaments, the items that frequently cause other bulbs to burn out quickly. Thus, many induction lighting units have an extremely long life of up to 100,000 hours. To put this in perspective, an induction lighting system lasting 100,000 hours will last more than 11 years in continuous 24/7 operation, and 25 years if operated 10 hours a day.”


Induction High Bay Fixture Shown with Optional Acrylic Refractor

An example of an application where Induction lighting is a superior choice as compared to other lighting is an industrial manufacturing setting that is operational 24/7.  Since heat rises, typically it is very hot near the ceiling/roof, which is not good for the life or light output of LED luminaires.  Also, LED luminaires are expensive and most can’t put out enough light. Linear fluorescent high bay fixtures require clean reflectors and are susceptible to dulling in areas with chemical processes.  Also the lamps get dirty and consequently put out less lumens. High Pressure Sodium is efficient but the color rendering is about 20 which is not sufficient in some production areas and is strongly disliked by workers. Metal Halide is a great high bay light system, but does not have the life, lumen maintenance, or in some instances the energy efficiency of Induction lighting.

In summary, there is a best solution if one understands the tradeoffs.  Each lighting source has its place.  In the case of Induction lighting, it has tremendous merits, but comes at an initial cost that is higher than most other lighting technologies.

To discuss what the best lighting technology is best for your facility, call a lighting specialist at Access Fixtures.  1.888.521.2582 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1.888.521.2582      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email at