The headlines read “Cree Shatters Efficiency Benchmark with First 200-Lumen-Per-Watt LED Luminaire.” A 200-lumen-per-watt (LPW) is twice the efficiency of the best linear fluorescent luminaires—but is it real? Department of Energy (DOE) projections estimate this level of luminaire efficiency would not occur until after 2020. Is it possible that Cree’s latest innovation has achieved this level of efficiency six years sooner than projected?
The 3,200-lumen concept luminaire delivered 200 LPW + at 80 CRI at thermal equilibrium while remaining within the ANSI color specification for 3000 K. While the prototype leverages Cree’s vertical integration with innovations in LED chips, optics, materials technology and novel system design to deliver unprecedented performance, the keywords are prototype and concept. The results do not imply a product that is cost effective of can be readily produced.
Personally, I find it exciting. It does take prototypes to someday be able to produce luminaires that can exceed 200 LPW, but 200 LPW luminaires are not here yet. Today our options for LED light fixtures include luminaires that emit between 50 and 100 LPW. Luminaires with LG LED light modules that mount on the exterior of the housing—such as the ecoWedge Full Cutoff Wall Pack by Access Fixtures— have the ability to emit light in a high range. However, most luminaires that employ Cree chip on board (COB) designs such as Access Fixtures LED Cutoff Wall Packs emit a respectable 65 LPW.