Before we jump into the details of LED, we’ll take a step back to learn why alternate light sources are important We’ll look at the options that are available to you I’ll explain some of the underlying basics of LED lighting… … and then apply that to under cabinet lighting The use of LED is going to change the way customers consider lighting, the result being a more expensive initial cost, but lower lifetime costs after installation. We’ll look at a detailed breakdown of costs We will then look specifically at cabinet lighting, explain the different type available and them discuss some of the lamping options and how they stack-up against LED Finally, I’ll give you some questions to ask your LED supplier to be certain you install trouble-free lighting Now, lets get started with a little background information
Fossil fuels, like all natural resources are a finite commodity. There is only so much that is available. In the 1950’s experts calculated that the US production of oil would reach its peak between 1965 and 1970. That prediction was basically accurate. In 1974, the same scientist calculated that worldwide production of oil would peak in 1995. The intervention of government mandates for more energy efficient automobiles and homes in the 1980’s pushed that peak back. The International Energy Agency has stated that worldwide oil production peaked in 2006. This means that that finite resource will never get larger. The quantity available is only going to get smaller. New drill sites are declining in numbers Oil executives state that “cheap oil” (oil easy to remove from the earth) has disappeared and what is left to exhume will cost more and more money.
How may of you remember waiting in line for gas in 1979? Peak production of American oil had passed. The law of supply and demand kicked in. When supply diminishes, you must increase the cost to reduce demand. Along with the exhaustion of the supply of easy to extract petroleum, we began a national fight against pollution and with that in mind, passed a number of environmental protection laws. This made a number of coal-burning power plants obsolete or they needed to be heavily modified to reduce the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere. The cost of fossil fuels will never again be cheap. From this point forward, the cost of energy will exceed most any other daily commodity.
In 1979, Jimmy Carter sat in the White House and address the American public wearing a cardigan sweater. He stated that the temperature in the White House had been lowered to 65 degrees and he urged America to do the same. He indicated that the problem was the moral equivalent of war with this very prophetic statement: "The energy crisis is real. It is worldwide. It is a clear and present danger to our nation. These are facts and we simply must face them. “ Recently, Jimmy Carter indicated that he believe this was the single most important speech he gave to the American public. He stated that he worked on this address an entire weekend at Camp David. What did we do? We ignored him.
Since President Carter’s speech, we have made numerous changes in our use of natural resources. We have become a more efficient society that the one we inhabited in 1980. Regardless, demand for basic resources continues to rise along with cost. Gasoline has had kinetic shifts in price While natural gas is enjoying relatively stable pricing, that was not the case a few years back and jumps are likely to occur in the future. Coal is used in over 50% of our electrical energy production, when the price of coal rises, the cost of electricity will follow All of this has occurred at a point in history when we have enjoyed low inflation rates. That means, the added dollars required for these utility increases are coming from some other source of funds. You are not going to the theatre as often, you are not enjoying food out as often, you are not buying an extra pair of shoes, all to assure you have money available to give to the oil and utility companies.
Since 1979, the problem has continued through the way in which we live our lives. Out population is shifting from a NE based society to a SW. Areas heretofore sparsely populated are now the fastest growing cities in the nation. Power lines, sub-stations, and all other electric infrastructure is deteriorating rapidly. Energy suppliers are expecting the repair and replacement to cost BILLIONS of dollars. If we all pooled our money and decided to build a new power plant, it would take 14 years before the first kilowatt of electricity would be generated. The cost would be in the Billions. As you can guess, the utility companies cannot afford these huge expenses. They do not want to construct a new power plant. Who left their microwave oven plugged-in when they left the house today? It takes more energy to power the digital clock than it does to warm a slice of leftover pizza. Who uses an electric alarm clock? In the past, most people used a wind-up clock. Is your computer plugged-in at home? All of these are new uses and new demands on a finite resource.
Because of these changes, government is getting involved. Prior to his leaving office, George Bush signed an executive order mandating that the federal government operate 30% more efficiently than the general population. California, Washington state, Oregon and Nevada are bringing tough new-construction regulations into play to insure that new building are energy efficient With the exception of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, the Energy Star symbol is the strongest influence on product purchase to the American consumer. Utility incentives are interesting. Last year, American utilities spent over $4 Billion to convince their customers to use LESS electricity and they believe this to be a bargain. Next year, (this year) they are expected to spend even more. They simply cannot afford to construct a new power plant and it is cheaper for them to push us to adopt more efficient habits.
With all of this overwhelming information and pressure, strangely, much of America has not yet embraced the green movement, even with the rapid increases in energy costs with no apparent end in sight. One reason may be the inability of the real estate market to agree upon a method of indicating the efficiency of a home. Regardless, only 18% of the population is willing to pay for an environmentally friendly building! 14 are not concerned and 35% are concerned, but do not want to pay, so therefore they are not really all that concerned. The most puzzling is this last statistic, 33% are concerned, but they do not want to pay for the efficient element at the time of new construction, which is of course the least expensive time to make efficient changes and improvements. Even after all of that, consumers expect a VERY quick payback. They will spend $5000, if they can be guaranteed a $1000 annual savings. This five year payback may not be viable on a number of consumer goods.
As a nation, we spend over $37 Billion on electricity for lighting
In the commercial space, lighting is the number one consumer of electricity. As you can see, it is almost twice that of the number two consumer, office equipment. It is easy to understand why offices and commercial buildings long ago adopted energy efficient lighting as a standard.
According to this survey conducted by the Energy Information Agency of the DOE in 2001, Lighting was the fifth highest user of electricity in a home, consuming 8.8 percent of a typical residential electric bill.
A new survey has recently been release, showing 2008 use and look what has happened to lighting. It is now in 2 nd place. Yes, “Other” is actually in 1 st , but this is an accumulation of can openers, shavers and assorted electric appliances. Air conditioning is somewhat constant over the previous surveys going back as far as 1987 Refrigerator and space heating have gone down Water heating and Clothes Dryers have remained essential stable. … but lighting is growing! This has nothing to do with our effectively selling more lights and even the increase in luminaires being used in each home. As we use more efficient appliances, they use a lower percent of electricity and the amount of electricity dedicated to lighting will continue to rise. The predicted is, if all other appliances continue to improve at the rate in which they now progress, lighting will become over 45% of an electric bill by 2020. As that gets closer to occurring, pressure will continue to be placed on lighting to reduce its demand on the electric grid. (Energy Information Agency – DOE 2008)
The light bulbs currently in-use in most homes, consume a large amount of electricity. To achieve the mandated efficacy, we must move away from that architecture and into fluorescent and LED light sources. That said, the incandescent manufacturers are promising a new generation of high-efficacy halogen that will perform more effectively and will meet the new light bulb law’s efficacy requirements The real savings will come with LED technology Future technology, such as OLED’s may become a factor in the future. OLED’s are organic LED’s. While LED’s must be grown on a crystalline base, OLED can be grown on less expensive substructures, such as glass, plastic or foil. Recently, a team of Swedish and American scientist created an organic light-emitting electrochemical cell nicknamed, LEC. The lighting system is created entirely from liquid solution, so it can be created through an inexpensive printing process. The key element, graphene is one atom thick and 100 times stronger than steel. A square meter would support 9.2 pounds, but weigh less than a cat’s whisker. The LEC’s are positioned to take over for OLEDS and would be fully recyclable. All of that is for the future. LED’s are available today. Today, we’ll concentrate on LED’s.
Over the years, we have had an assortment of lighting methods, each improving on the previous technology. The first light was fire. Candles became a somewhat more controlled fire and could be brought into a living space with reasonable ease. In 1879, Thomas Edison improved on the design of Woodward & Evans to commercialize light bulbs. 1927 – the concept behind fluorescent lamps were created In the 50’s and 60’s an assortment of High Intensity Discharge were created, with some delivering better efficacy that fluorescent lighting. Today, we’re looking at LED’s that deliver the highest efficiency of any light source currently available.
In addition to improvements in lumen output, new light sources provided an assortment of better and better life cycles. With the exception of the sun, high flux LED’s are the most long-lived light source currently available commercially.
Why is there a such a buzz over LED? Let’s compare the rise in efficacy over the other types of lighting technology. Let’s follow the orange line. Thomas Edison invents the incandescent lamp with a tungsten filament and the light bulbs we buy today, are as efficient as those created by Edison. There has been no significant increase in efficacy. Fluorescent lamping was created at the end of the 30’s and like most new technology, product improvements followed. At the end of the 70’s, a number of changes were made to fluorescent lighting. Low-power ballasts disappeared, magnetic ballasts lost popularity, pre-start and trigger start ballast were no longer used. With those changes, efficacy increased, but we have had very little change in efficacy lately and you see that represented with a plateau in the line. Similar to fluorescent, the Electric discharge lamps grew when new and jumped in efficacy during the 60’s and 70’s, us they too have plateaued over the last 20-plus years. If you note the Mercury Vapor line, it never really got much better than the original efficiency and it easy to see why the US government outlawed the lamps a few years ago. Now check out the blue line. This represents LED. You can see that the efficiency gets better and better. Experts in the LED field do not expect LED to plateau until it reached 200 to 225 lumens per watt. That will make LED 2 to 4 times more efficient than the best fluorescent lamping on the market. I think it is easy to see with this chart why LED has such a buzz.
It is now time to take LED technology seriously.
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. Basically, this is a semiconductor that converts electricity to light. Electricity is brought into the semiconductor and the result of that energy input is light. In an incandescent lamp, electricity is brought to the filament and it is heated up, thus resulting in light. Very little of the electricity in an LED system is wasted on heat. There is a ton of information on this slide and we could spend a half-hour going through the minutia, but while it may be of interest to engineers and manufacturers, it may not be a valuable use of your time. Suffice to say, and LED converts electricity to light.
You may be surprised to know that the concept behind LED technology is over 100 years old. Experiments in electrically charging phosphorous elements took place in the early 1900’s. The first visible light was not created until the 1960’s. The first commercial use for LED occurred and LED’s became a real business in the 70’s when practical applications were found for the chips. This watch was sold at the time for the same price as a house. Shortly thereafter, calculators costing in the range of $150 to $300 sold well. As you may be aware, prices rapidly declined. In the 80’s, green and yellow LED were created. Blue LED came along in the 90’s. The reason you have decided to spend an hour learning about LED is because of what occurred in 2002. A Japanese company Nichia created the first white LED and in these short subsequent years, the entire lighting world has been turned on its ear.
Lets look at some of the other reasons why LED is proving to be a good choice for general lighting. We’ll go through each of these points, long life, durability, low energy use, size and UV facts in more detail.
We have all heard of the promises of long-lasting LED. Why is this a concern?
Incandescent lamps can last a long time, too! You may have heard of this light bulb. It has been hanging in a California Firehouse for over 100 years. This lamp is a bit of an anomaly. It has a VERY thick filament that protects it from the deterioration we find in most modern lamps. This is only a 4 watt lamp, so it is not generating much heat. By all accounts this lamp has only been switched off and then on again 3 or 4 times in its life. The on-off cycle is traumatic for an incandescent lamp. Under the right circumstances, incandescent lamping can last as long as LED, but that is not typical.
Incandescent light bulb longevity is predicted by testing large quantities of lamps. In the case of incandescent and fluorescent lamps, a room full of lamps are illuminated. As they burn out, their expiration date is recorded. When 50% of the lamps have reached the end of life, that pegs the expected lamp life. That is what is printed on light bulb carton. A typical lamp manufacturer has lamp life testing in process at all times. LED do not suffer from catastrophic failure. From the moment they are turned on, they begin a slow decline in brightness, getting dimmer and dimmer and dimmer, until they are barely visible. For that reason, life needs to be measured in a different way. To provide an appropriate measure of useful life of an LED, a level of acceptable lumen depreciation must be chosen. At what point is the light level no longer meeting the needs of the application? The answer may differ depending on the application of the product. For a common application such as general lighting in an office environment, research has shown that the majority of occupants in a space will accept light level reductions of up to 30% with little notice, particularly if the reduction is gradual. Therefore a level of 70% of initial light level could be considered an appropriate threshold of useful life for general lighting. Based on this research, the Alliance for Solid State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST), a group led by the Lighting Research Center (LRC), recommends defining useful life as the point at which light output has declined to 70% of initial lumens (abbreviated as L70) for general lighting . (The level is reduced to 50% (L50) for LEDs used for decorative purposes. For some applications, a level higher than 70% may be required.) When you see 40,000 hours on a LED lighting fixture carton or catalog, it means that at 40,000 hours, the lumen output will be 30% less than initial. The light will continue past that point, but it will be lower than what is noticeable to the human eye.
It is important to consider the whole system when discussing and comparing life span. In a typical LED system, the chips may be the strongest part. If the circuitry, and other components are not designed to last 40,000 hours, what good is an LED chip that will? It is important to consider all of the elements of a lighting fixture when considering longevity. If all of the LED components were placed into an exterior cardboard lighting fixture, what is the weak link? What would fail first? Of course, the cardboard. Remember that the LED is a part of a whole luminaire, so seeking out a viable luminaire manufacturer is important. UL tests lighting fixtures at 25ºC (77ºF) This is typically adequate for most interior ambient temperatures, but exterior lighting is different. In desert climates, temperatures regularly go beyond 77ºF at night. In those applications, it is important to ask the supplier if they have met UL requirements or if they have gone beyond and designed the system to 40ºC (104ºF). If cooler ambient temperatures are used, this will negatively impact life – Remember heat is the enemy of an LED system. Finally, it is important to use a reliable manufacturer. Because there are many ways to measure LED life, there are many ways to present results that might be half-truths. Be careful. Let professional lighting consultants help you select reputable manufacturers that will provide honest data and results.
In addition to longevity, an LED is quite durable. They are nearly impervious to vibration because they have no filament to dislocate A precautious child can turn an LED light on and off until his arm tires and it will not affect the LED. LED operate well in the cold and with proper design can function in hot environments. We will cover more on LED’s and heat in a moment.
Think about LED in the same way you currently think about computer chips. If you waited to buy a computer until the best processor chip were available, you would never have purchased a computer over the last 20 years. LED are constantly getting better. They are VERY good now and this is an excellent time to jump into the game. Many hours and dollars of savings are available now. Yes, they will get incrementally better, but they are very good now.
The lack of UV can be of great help with lighting artwork. You can expect that art lighting will be changing over the next few years. Much of the climate conditioning costs are designed to combat the effects of radiant heat from incandescent and fluorescent lighting. Without radiant heat, the electric savings will be joined by home conditioning savings.
Current light bulbs are about the size of our fist. Lighting fixtures are designed to cover that big light source. LED ‘s are about ¼ the size of your baby fingernail. When the light source is reduced by such an amount, the shape, size and design of the luminaire is sure to change. Creative people will find new definitions for what we expect from a lighting fixture. This will be an exciting time to see what the next lighting fixture will look like.
Let’s learn a bit more about how LED will change lighting.
As we enter a time where LED lighting is becoming a real factor, we must realize that the approach to using them in a lighting fixture must differ. LED is like no other light source ever encountered. There will be a right and a wrong way to bring LED into lighting.
LED chips are different, because they emit light in a different way, because they create light in a different way, because they are not incandescent they need to be treated differently. A typical incandescent and fluorescent lamp is omni-directional. That means, light is emitted in multiple directions, 260 degrees around and approximately 280 degrees over the socket. LED is directional. It is like an MR16 lamp. Light only travels in one direction. It does not go backwards. Trying to get directional light to appear omni-directional will be a challenge.
We are all conscious of the fact that LED lighting saves money. That fact is based on the idea that that a chip is used properly. Poorly engineered and conceived LED fixtures really don’t save the amount of money and energy expected. It may require more directional LED to achieve the same light output as an omni-directional fluorescent lamp, so that the net result is a deficit.
You might be better using incandescent or fluorescent fixture and tossing money down the drain. The extra money you spend on the LED will be consumed by the inefficiencies, if the fixture is not designed properly.
Let’s look into the details covering each of these elements. These are things the manufacturer must address when creating a good LED product. It is important for the consumer and specifier to understand these points because it will help in the intelligent purchase of the LED fixture and allow you to ask good questions of the distributor. Let’s go through each of these points, thermal management, Color, optics and electronics.
If you have visited a new grocery store, you have experienced a transformation of lighting. Freezer and refrigerator cases have been lit by fluorescent lights for years. Fluorescent’s do not like the cold. They operate more effectively in the warm. For that reason, freezer case lighting required constant repair. LED is just the opposite. LED operate most effectively in cooler temperatures, so we are seeing a change taking place. LED’s must be kept cool. What little heat produced by LED and its circuitry must be managed. An effective heat management system is crucial to a good LED system. This is the responsibility of the luminaire manufacturer. The LED manufacturer gives the luminaire manufacturer information needed to insure the proper operation. It is up to the luminaire manufacturer to follow these instructions. You need to be aware of this, so you can ask good questions to determine if the supplier is indeed doing what is necessary to insure the LED will function as promised.
Radiant Heat is the sun If the sun shines on a cold day, you are more comfortable than the same temperature on a cloudy day Radiant heat impacts the room temperature. If you are in a lighting showroom or a place with many lights, the heat from the incandescent light bulbs impacts the temperature. A typical incandescent lamp produces radiant heat. LED creates heat, but it is instead conducted heat and emanating from the circuitry in the back. This is the heat that must be controlled.
The chart on this screen and the next are provided by the manufacturer of the LED to help the manufacturer engineer the lighting fixture. There is a relationship between the Junction Temperature and the lifespan of the LED. As the junction temperature rises, the expected lifespan decreases. In this particular instance, if the engineers can keep the junction temperature of the LED at 90 degrees, then we can promise the customer 40,000 hours of use. If, for example, the junction temperature is 120 degrees, then the manufacturer of the luminaire should only promise a life of about 22,000 hours.
The same relationship is applied to lumen output. As the junction temperatures rise, the lumen output decreases. To insure the correct amount of light is coming from the fixture, the junction temperature must follow these guidelines. From these two charts, you can see the importance of properly maintained junction temperatures. If the heat is not maintained, longevity will suffer and lumen output will suffer. This is a crucial point in the engineering of an LED lighting fixture.
With incandescent lighting, we never really needed to consider the color of light. As we now begin to use a larger amount of fluorescent and LED light, we must in-turn understand the color of light and how to communicate that information to the consumer. This information is the most important and most valuable as we transition away from incandescent light sources. The color of light is measured by two numbers. The first is Correlated Color Temperature. This is abbreviated as CCT or usually simply called color temperature. The Color Temperature refers to the appearance of the light and it is measure in Kelvin. If the light is warm, the number is low. A warm, yellow candle is 1500 degrees Kelvin. As the appearance of the color gets cooler, the Kelvin temperature rises, so a Northern Sky, at noon, in the summer is close to 8000 degrees Kelvin. Typical incandescent lamps run between 2700 Kelvin and 3000 Kelvin. A traditional 60 watt incandescent light bulb appears at 2700 degrees Kelvin. Halogen lamps are 3000 degree Kelvin. This is the range of color we see in an American home. If we want our fluorescent or Solid State lighting to appear the same color as our incandescent light, then selecting those which deliver a 2700 to 3000 Kelvin color is required.
The second leg of measuring the color of light is Color Rendering Index or abbreviated as CRI. This is the way in which the light interprets color. This interpretation is measure on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the top score. Light effects what we see and how we see it. Each type of light presents a different result. To help understand, imagine you are in a hardware store. You are at the paint aisle under the special light over the series of paint swatches. As you try to determine what paint to purchase, you match the swatches to the material samples from your home and ultimately select a color. As you move to the screwdriver aisle, you glance down at the paint swatch and it is different. It looks nothing like what you thought you selected in the paint swatch booth. This is because the lamps in the screwdriver aisle does not need to be color sensitive. Screwdrivers are usually not purchased because of their color. Now, move outside. Outside is a perfect 100 score, but it is unlikely you will ever have the interior of your home match the outside. Again, the swatch of paint appears different from the other two viewings. In the picture on this slide, you can see that this young woman’s face is exposed to a variety of different Color Renderings. You can see the difference in her skin tone and appearance.
The photographs of the bouquet of flowers clearly illustrate how CRI impacts color. In the top left corner, this bouquet has a CRI of zero. CRI jumps incrementally by 10 until the full color is expressed in the lower bouquet. You will note that primary colors appear in the first row. In the second row, secondary colors like green and purple start to pop. It is not until CRI reaches 70, 80 that the full color can be appreciated. In color sensitive areas of the home, a CRI of no less than 80 should be used. Color sensitive areas are kitchens, bathrooms and even closets where matching color is important. In non-color-sensitive areas, such as toe kick lighting, cove, tray ceiling, above cabinet lighting, you can go into the 70’s, but in no case should you go lower.
These pictures will help you understand that good color light is a combination of Color Temperature and Color Rendering Index. One without the other will result in substandard results. Ignore the photo on the right. Concentrate on the two photos on the left. Both share a color temperature of 3000 Kelvin, but the image on the left has a low CRI of 52. That image has a grey pallor. The lady’s blouse is grey. Her lips have lost tone and her blue eyes are grey. These are the by-products of low CRI. Now, ignore the image on the left. The middle and the right photo both have a CRI of 82, but the image on the Right uses 6500 Kelvin lamps. This blue light pours a blue rinse over the entire photo. Her blouse is not white, but instead blue, her hair has a blue tint and her eyes are freakishly blue. The image in the center has a balance of color temperature and CRI. Selecting a lamp with the correct color temperature and ignoring the CRI will give you unsatisfactory light. Concentrating only on CRI and forgetting the color temperature will be equally unflattering. You must consider both numbers when selecting fluorescent and solid state lighting.
Here is another series of photographs that will help you understand the value of specifying the correct combination of color temperature and CRI. In the first image, 4000 Kelvin LED is used with a low CRI. The granite countertop is extremely blue, the carrots look anemic and the mushroom simply looks dirty and inedible. In the center image, LED with a color temperature of 3500 Kelvin is used. Many people will tell you that 3500 Kelvin is warm, but it is important to remember that there are no incandescent equivalents to 3500, so this will appear cooler in a residential environment. This LED also has a low CRI and as such, the vegetables still look unnatural and the mushroom continues to appear unedible. In the third picture, LED with 3000 Kelvin is used along with a CRI of 90. Finally, the granite countertop looks correct and the vegetables are the correct color, even the mushroom. Poorly selected lighting will have an adverse effect on the items on the countertop. It will make foodstuffs look unnatural, spoiled and unappetizing. With under cabinet lighting , it is easy to make a great new kitchen look horrible, simply by selecting bad lighting.
It is important to know that LED has a tolerance. When selecting solid state lighting, be sure to learn that tolerance. It should be readily available in a suppliers catalog or a website. If you find it difficult to locate this tolerance, then the manufacturer is likely hiding something. As LED are manufactured and come off the production line, each is examined and measure for its color characteristics. Once measured, the LED is placed into a bin. Sometimes the bin is sub-divided and there will be sub-bins, all containing LED with similar light characteristics. It is up to the manufacturer of the lighting fixture to buy the bins that most closely align to what they want to sell to their customers and what their customers expect of them. If a manufacturer is willing to take any or all bins, the price of the LED will be very low. As the acceptable bins narrows, the price increases, because the manufacturer of the LED must find someone willing to accept the remainder. Even with tight bin selection, it is typical to get some variation of color. This would be most notable in all-white kitchens, or all beige kitchens. In most other colors, the differences will bounce around and blend reasonably well.
Remember: Brightness has nothing to do with wattage. Wattage is a measurement of the power consumed. Brightness is measured in lumens. A traditional 60 watt incandescent light bulb emits 800 lumens. A 13 watt CFL emits the same 800 lumens. The FTC has changed the light bulb labeling requirements and starting in January of 2012, the packaging for light bulbs MUST list the lumen output number larger than any other specification on the carton. It must also be on the front of the packaging. At that time, you will no longer buy a 60 watt light bulb, but instead an 800 lumen bulb. This will help consumers transition between technologies.
Good optics can maximize the light output provided by the LED. Inexpensive optics will loose some of the light via inefficiency. As you begin to consider LED, pay attention to the manufacturer that touts optic quality because it will make a huge difference in the light output, especially as related to wattage consumption.
Unlike most lighting, electronics plays a major part in the make-up of LED lighting. Developing good electronics is key to good LED. This also means that LED lighting fixtures are more complex than their incandescent counterpart. That complexity results in the higher price we pay for solid state lighting.
As you will see, the cost of the LED Lighting is more expensive than our incandescent lights. To truly see the benefits of LED, it is important to look at the total cost, including electricity and replacement lamps. Let’s look at the total lifetime cost of an LED system.
Wattage is energy consumed. It may mean to you that the light is brighter, but to the Electric company, it means MORE MONEY! Electric is billed in kilowatt hours. The 2011 national average for residential customers is 11.58 cents per kilowatt hour.
First, as an introduction, lets look at what has happening to the cost of electricity since 2002. Each and every year since 2002, the cost of electricity has increased and with the exception of the difference between 2009 and 2010, the percent increase was in excess of the cost of inflation and the cost of living. This again shows that these additional expenses are an added burden to the electric consumer. This is coming from savings and at the expense of discretionary income. We are buying less of what we want to afford the entity we need. Any predictions what will happen next year?
To give you an idea of the range of differences, here is a sampling of the top ten and bottom ten states Hawaii is always the most expensive electricity in the nation, but that is logical, as they are an island state. Interestingly, Connecticut is always number two and the top ten is primarily made-up of east coast stated, yet we always hear the buzz about California. It would seem that the eastern states will wake up soon and begin an initiative to save energy soon. In the bottom are many of the states in the upper northwest. Over twenty years ago, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming got together to plan for the energy needs over the next 20 years. Based on current consumption, they calculated they would need to build five new power plants. They began a concerted effort to convince customers to use less electricity and these states have powerful incentives and legislation to convince users to use less. They have yet to build one of the power plants and they enjoy among the lowest electric rates in the nation. Energy efficacy efforts do work. They have proven it.
To give you a fair understanding of how LED can be used and what costs are involved, we will go through a side-by-side comparison of a Xenon system and an LED installation.
The Xenon installation consists of six fixtures with a total wattage consumption of 216 watts. The suggested list price for the fixtures, switch, cables, wire module ands replacement light bulbs is $1213.
The initial cost of the LED parts is more expensive. No replacement lamps are needed, but the total suggested list price is $1533. The LED system uses a tiny 42 watts to deliver comparable lumen output to that created by the Xenon system.
Now, using average cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity, lets simply look at the electrical cost to the consumer for both fixture types. As you can see, the cost for electricity alone is almost $40 per year. This assumes no price increase, which we know is not likely.
When the total life cost is reviewed, there is actually a savings. Over the life of the fixture, you will save over $400 when compared to a Xenon system. The question is simply when will you spend the money. If you spend the money up-front, you will save in operation cost for its entire lifespan. An LED system is in-fact, less expensive than a Xenon system.
Cost is only one factor. Because LED is different light, manufacturers do not enjoy the consistency of a typical light bulb. That means that the light provided by different manufacturers can be different. Checking the light output is now vitally important. Some light fixtures may not deliver adequate amounts of light, even though they appear to be exactly the same.
This is a lumen output comparison of two fixtures from two different lighting manufacturers. Both are 22” long, both are white, both are mounted as Direct Wire products and both consume in the neighborhood of 9 watts of power. The foot-candle number, that is the reading of the light output measurable on the counter surface at the front and in the center is the most important number. In the chart on the right, that number is 19.8 foot-candles. On the fixture to the left, the same spot provides a light output measurement of 5.7 foot-candles. This is 1/3 the output. Having an inadequate amount of light at the front of the counter will make it difficult to perform basic kitchen chores. There may not be enough light to cut carrots or filet a fish. Again, we had heretofore measured the amount of light based on wattage. If we did that here, one fixture would work well in a home, the other would not. A 1 watt LED from company A is not the same as a 1 watt LED from company B and both can be different from company C, even if all of the LED chips are manufactured by the same LED company. It is all in how effectively you manage the LED, drive the LED and how effectively you maintain the LED junction temperature. You MUST begin to ask for lumen output charts, graphs and information to make an informed buying decision.
On the left is a 75 watt in-ground PAR lamp compared with a 8.5 watt LED. The LED actually provides a nice pool of light.
This compares a typical “hockey puck” type light with an LED version. The LED on the left presents a beautiful even pool of light, while the Xenon on the right is striated and excessively yellow to the point of impacting the color of the green apple below.
Now, lets apply what we’ve learned and use it to light a home properly.
The way we light a room has changed. In these images, a single light source was used to illuminate this dining room and this kitchen. At the time, this was an acceptable way to illuminate a room. Changes in the Architecture of a residence have allowed designers and creative people to expand beyond the single light sources typically found in the past. Advancements in switching have convinced users to add a bank of switches to the wall, each controlling a different lighting element.
Now, multiple light sources are used in combination with multiple switches. Note the lamps, sconce and pendant in the first picture. This would never have been proposed 20 years ago. In the second picture, the feature chandelier is still in the center, but is supplemented by pin-spots on either side of the chandelier. The tray ceiling is illuminated, spots are added around the perimeter of the room and picture lighting is over the tapestry on the right. These groups of lights allow for the creation of multiple environments that can service a host of different activities.
In the kitchen, the tree layers of light are most evident. Ambient light is provided by recessed cans. Task light is under the cabinets and accent is all over in the picture on the right. It has been placed over the top of the cabinets, at the toe kick and in the mini-pendants over the island. In the bathroom shot, the toe kick lighting is an effective accent light, but it is also very serviceable and a great light, especially when navigating to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Where should light be placed in a kitchen? The possibilities are almost endless and when designing the lighting for these spaces, this laundry list of places should be used. Under cabinet lighting is a must and crucial to adequate work space. Is there space over the cabinets? This will expand the visual appearance of the room. Glass front cabinets will benefit from light, especially if the contain collectables or fine crystal. Under counter lighting serves as an easy way to illuminate open drawers. Toe kick lighting is a great way to visually lift the room. It can also serve as a perfect nightlight in kitchens. Buy using plug-in power supplies, tables and benches can also be lit. This picture of the bed was not intended to suggest the placement of a bed in the kitchen, but rather to inspire creative think in the placement of light. This platform bed has lights UNDER. Because of the platform supports, the shadow lines are interesting and if illuminated in the middle of the night, this light would not blind the resident, but still provide adequate illumination to the bathroom, or elsewhere.
Lets talk about some basic information on the selection of under cabinet lighting.
Here are a few thoughts to consider when designing under cabinet lighting. First, avoid dark spots. That can be accomplished by mounting a lighting fixture under each cabinet. Do not leave any un-lit, or that will create the dark spot. When selecting the lighting fixture, be certain the length is commensurate with the length of the cabinet. Do not use a 6” fixture under a 24” cabinet. If that is done, it will leave a dark spot and the homeowner will not have adequate light to perform kitchen tasks across the entire countertop. Pockets will be left in shadow.
There are two types of under cabinet lighting. Modular fixtures are designed to be mounted under the forward edge of the cabinet, thus allowing most of the light to be directed at the front edge of the counter, where all of the work is performed. This is the preferred method of installation according to the American Lighting Association and should be considered the most desired, professional lighting job. Sometimes, the electrician has already pulled wire, existing units are being replaced or cost becomes a factor. When this is the case, Direct Wire becomes the most viable option. These fixtures mount against the rear edge of the cabinets, above the backsplash. The light at the work surface will be less than the modular units, but it will be adequate. Plug-in under-cabinet lighting is not for professionally designed and installed lighting. This is a do-it-yourself answer. The only place this should be considered is if there is a remote corner where the power is difficult to access.
There are a number of lamping options available in cabinet lighting. We’ll go through each and list the Pros and Cons so an informed buying and specifying decision can be made.
Most of this presentation dealt with an education of LED. This is a concise recap. The biggest thing to remember about LED is color. With the information that was presented, this “con” should be easy to overcome. Selecting good color LED is not that complicated, if you understand the color of light. Remember also that performance can easily be overstated. The manufacturers may not even be malicious. They may simply be overwhelmed by the new technology and not know how to use the data. Reputable luminaire manufacturers will provide data that you can trust.
If LED is too expensive, 12V Xenon is a VERY good second choice. These lamps last 10,000 hours, the fixtures are offered for a reasonable price and the light output is excellent. It is important to note that they do generate a bit of heat, so care should be taken when installed. Homeowners may need to move their baking chocolate or perishables if kept on the lower shelf. Remember also, that 12V Xenon units contain a transformer. Transformers have a lifespan that is usually 40,000 hour, but they can fail and may need to be replaced.
120V Xenon has low light output, the lamp has a short lifespan and these are typically larger depth fixtures. The only viable reason to buy these is cost. Because they do not contain a transformer, they are lighter and less expensive.
There are little or no halogen under-cabinet lights remaining in the market. These operate very hot and not recommended for use any longer. If offered, stay away from halogen cabinet lighting.
Fluorescent lighting can be a VERY good light source and it is also very reasonably priced and the lamps have a long life span. The only con listed on this table is the issue of color temperature and color rendering. Because that was fully explained, that should not be an issue. Often times, fluorescent under cabinet lighting is supplied with poor quality lamps. If the consumer needs a budget-priced lighting solution, a good option might be to but the inexpensive product and then ask your lighting professional to supply you with a high-quality replacement lamp. Good lamps in bargain fixtures may be the perfect answer.
As you can see from this accumulation of different types of under cabinet lights, there is a system for every budget. From the most expensive LED Modular system to a Direct Wire fluorescent system, everyone can have undercabinet lighting, as long as they clearly understand the positives and negatives of their purchase. Light output, performance, longevity and size will all vary dependant on the type selected. Clearly share the pros and cons of each and the consumer will make an educated selection.
A word of warning. Most LED retrofit lamps are not yet ready for prime-time. The Department of Energy has been conducting testing on LED replacement lamps via their CALiPER program. While they are reporting better results today than three years ago, the results are still not very encouraging. In all of the MR16’s tested, the BEST was only equivalent to a 20W halogen. Any of the lamps that promise light output greater than 20 watts is wrong. This screen shot from a lamp web page promises 40W comparable performance. At $29 a lamp, the consumer who buys this will be disappointed.
Be very careful when considering LED replacement lamps. Many have temperature restrictions and location restriction that void warranties. At this juncture, stick with the LED luminaires and wait for the lamps to improve in quality.
To insure that you purchase high quality LED lighting products, remember these three questions and discuss them with your lighting dealer. What is the color temperature and CRI – we discussed this in depth. If the answers are unsatisfactory, seek out a different supplier. As always, your professional lighting consultant may have already vetted these suppliers and may have this information at hand. The chip is rated for 40,000 hours, what about the rest of the fixture? Are you buying from a trusted manufacturer? What is the warranty? If the warranty is 1 year and the LED lasts 40,000 hours, almost 5 years, why the disconnect? Is the light output adequate? Because we are moving away from wattage as an indicator of light output, it will become more important to pay attention to light output. The question must be asked.
As I said in the beginning, I hope you’ll agree that LED is going to make an exciting future of lighting. It will change the way we light our living spaces and the coming transition will make for an interesting and at times challenging time.
I would be happy to answer any question now, or I will remain afterwards if you’d like to discuss something in private.
Thanks For Taking Part!• The History and Reasons for Energy Efficiency• Energy Efficient Lighting Options• LED Fundamentals• LED Cabinet Lighting• The Financial Realities of LED Lighting• Selecting Cabinet Lighting• LED Advice
A Quick History of Energy EfficiencyOur Past Helps Us Understand How We Got Here and Where We’re Going
The 1979 Oil Crisis • The law of Supply & Demand was telling us something
The Energy Crisis"The energy crisis is real. It is worldwide. It is a clear and present danger to our nation. These are facts and we simply must face them.“ - President Jimmy Carter, 1979
Rising Cost of Energy• Gasoline – From $1.40 to $4.10 over the last 24 months.• Natural Gas – Between 2002-03 and 2005-06 heating season, the average heating season costs went from $797 to $1096 (28%)• Coal – 16.5% increase 2004 to 2005• Inflation has remained below 5% since 1991
Energy Efficiency Realities• The US population is shifting to areas that were previously occupied sparsely (Phoenix, Las Vegas, N&S Carolina)• Power-moving infrastructure is old, deteriorating and in need of replacement• New power producing plants are not likely to come on-line any time soon• American consumers continually add energy using equipment to their personal environment
Demand for Energy Efficiency is Growing• Federal Energy Law and the President’s Executive Order• California & Washington State Building laws now mandate Energy Efficient elements• Energy Star is growing in awareness• Utility incentives
Green, but…• Will spend up • 18% are willing to pay for to $5000 on a “Environmentally Friendly” new home to building save $1000 • 14% are “Not Concerned” annually • 35% are concerned, but not willing to pay for it • 33% are concerned, but do not want the added expense as an increased burden at the time of new construction
Energy Used By Lighting• According to the Energy Information Administration: – As a nation, we spend about one-quarter of our electricity on lighting, at a cost of more than $37 billion annually
Commercial Electricity Use1. Lighting 44%2. Office Equipment 24%3. Air Conditioning 14%4. Ventilation 8%5. Other 8%6. Space Heating 3%• EIA 2001 report
Residential Electricity Use 20011. Air Conditioning 16.0%2. Refrigerator 13.7%3. Space Heating 10.1%4. Water Heating 9.1%5. Lighting 8.8%6. Misc. 7.3%7. Clothes Dryer 5.8%8. Freezer 3.5%
LED FundamentalsThe time has come to seriously consider LED technology
How does an LED Chip work?• Light Emitting Diode - A semiconductor device that converts electricity to light – Electrons change state within the semi-conductor device and release energy in the form of light • Photons are the most basic component in light • Changing the energy level of the light photons results in different color light • Warm white is created by coating blue LED’s with a yellowish phosphor • Changing the phosphor composition will change the color temperature
History of LED• After experiments in electroluminescence dating back to 1907, the first visible LED (in red) was created in the 1960’s• LED chips first became popular in wristwatches and calculators in the early 70’s• 1980’s - green & yellow• 1990’s – blue • 2002 – Nichia creates white• Brightness has increased along with movement along the light spectrum
Why are LED a Good Choice?• Long Life• Durability• High Efficacy / Low Energy Use• Compact Size• No UV Issues
What Does 40,000 Hours Mean?• LED Chips do not suffer from catastrophic failure• The LED lumen output slowly degrades• After 40,000 hours of use, the light output is 70% of original• It will continue to operate at lower lumen output for an extended period
But Incandescent Lasts 100 Years!• Since 1901• Thick filament• 4 watts• Turned off 3 or 4 times
Have You Heard the One About 100,000 Hour LED’s?• Incandescent and • LED Testing Fluorescent Testing – Life to 70% of – Life to 50% of original lumen failures shall not (when the lumen be less than output is reduced value declared by to 30% below manufacturer initial output) – (IEC60969) – (IESNA LM-79)
Things To Know About 40,000• The fixture is only as strong as the weakest link – Chip @ 40,000? – Circuit board@ 40,000? – Driver@ 40,000? – Components@ 40,000?• To what ambient temperature is fixture designed?• There are many ways for manufactures to “play” with the numbers
Durability• Nearly impervious to vibration• Unaffected by on/off cycles• Operates reliably in cold environments and can operate well in warm, with the proper design
Efficacy of Today’s LED • Like computer chips, LED chips improve with each new model and version • We can now effectively create lumen output similar to 175W of incandescent light
No UV or Radiant Heat Issues• LED’s do not emit ultraviolet (UV) rays – Safe for use in light sensitive applications• LED’s do not radiate heat in the light beam – Will not impact the temperature of the conditioned space
Compact Size• The small size of an LED chip allows it to be used in locations impossible with old incandescent and fluorescent technology
LED LightingUnderstanding the New Technology and Using It to Your and Your Customer’s Advantage
The Road to GOOD LED Lighting • There is a right way and a wrong way to engineer GOOD LED lighting • Inserting an LED chip into the wrong enclosure is like pounding a square peg into a round hole
Saying so, does not make it true• LED light is different from incandescent light• LED light has different characteristic• To get the most out of an LED chip, it must be handled differently
Poorly Engineered LED lighting is…• Inefficient• Ineffective• A waste of energy• Requires more chips to make up for losses• Suffers from early demise
Like the Peg & Hole…• Placing LED chips in a fixture designed for incandescent lamps is like throwing money out the window. Any benefit is lost.
Points to Consider WhenDeveloping an LED Fixture• Thermal management• Light characteristics – Color Temperature – Color Rendering Index (CRI)• Optics• Electronics
What Prolongs/Hampers theLife of an LED?• LED’s like the cold• Thermal management is important to maintain the expected lifespan• Failure will result in premature expiration
Color Temperature CCT• Color of light is referred to as temperature and is measured in Kelvin (K)• Regular incandescent light bulbs are between 2600K and 3100K• 2700K Fluorescents and 2800K LED are most natural to customers
Color Rendering Index (CRI)• How well does the light interpret color• 100 is the top “score” and represents what you would seen in daytime sunlight• CRI in the high 70’s is a good starting place• Think about looking at paint chips in a store and the parking lot
Examples of LED Same counter, Same basketDifferent Color Temperature and CRIHigher Color Temperature High Color Temperature Warm Color Temperatureapprox. 4000+, low CRI <70 approx 3500K, Low CRI 70 approx.3000K, High CRI >90
Binning• To insure a uniform consistency of color temperature and CRI, LED chip manufacturers “bin”• Chips are sorted into a variety of bins• Manufacturers select the width and breathe of bins
Brightness• Wattage means energy consumed, NOT brightness• Brightness is measured in lumens• 60W incandescent lamp emits 800 lumens• 13W Fluorescent emits 800 lumens• LED are directional, so similar measurements are not viable or meaningful
Optics• Good Optics bring out the best in a good LED chips• LED’s emit light in a directional pattern• Reflectors and lenses are critical to place light where needed in many applications• Retrofitting LED can be challenging for this reason
Electronics• LED’s are run on DC power• Precise control of voltage and current is needed to optimize the LED life• Intensity is current driven, not voltage• Dimming requires sophisticated electronics to merge into a system
The Real Cost of LED Lighting• Cost of electricity• Cost of system• Cost of maintenance• Lifetime total cost comparison
Energy Savings• Wattage is energy consumed• Electricity is billed in kilowatt hours (kWh)• 60 watt is 0.060 kilowatts• Multiply the hours used x the kilowatts x the cost per kilowatt hour (11.58¢ is national average.)
Cost of ElectricityYear Average Retail Price for Increase over previous Residential User year2002 8.44¢/kWh *prior to 2002, prices were somewhat stable2003 8.74¢/kWh 3.55%2004 8.95¢/kWh 2.40%2005 9.45¢/kWh 5.58%2006 10.31¢/kWh 9.10%2007 10.64¢/kWh 3.10%2008 11.36¢/kWh 6.77%2009 11.55¢/kWh 1.67%2010 11.58¢/kWh 0.26%
2010 Average Cost by StateTop 10 High Average Bottom 10 Average Residential Cost Low Residential CostHawaii 28.10¢/kWh Idaho 7.59¢/kWhConnecticut 19.29¢/kWh Washington 7.75¢/kWhNew York 18.56¢/kWh N Dakota 7.76¢/kWhNew Jersey 16.58¢/kWh Kentucky 7.89¢/kWhAlaska 16.43¢/kWh Utah 8.24¢/kWhNew Hemp 16.33¢/kWh Wyoming 8.31¢/kWhRhode Is 15.85¢/kWh Arkansas 8.39¢/kWhMaine 15.73¢/kWh W Virginia 8.48¢/kWhVermont 15.56¢/kWh Oregon 8.49¢/kWhMass & Calif 15.16¢/kWh S Dakota 8.50¢/kWh
Lets Compare an Actual Kitchen Installation• Six Fixture Project (LED vs. Xenon)• Power Supply• Interconnect System• Lamps• Electricity• 40,000 hours
The LED Cabinet InstallationFixture Wattage Quantity Sugg. List Total12303NI 7W 6 198.00 1188.0012350BK switch 1 75.00 75.0012342BK Interconnect 5 18.00 90.00 cables12353BK Wire module 1 180.00 180.00Replacement Not needed 0 0.00 0.00LampsTotal 42 Watts $1533.00
Comparative Cost of ElectricityCurrent System Explanation LED System216 Watts 42 Watts0.216kW Kilowatts used per hour 0.042kW8640kWh Multiply 40,000 hours of 1680kWh operation by kilowatts used$902.47 Multiply kilowatt hours used $176.06 by Virginia state average cost of 10.48¢/kWh$49.57 Assuming no change in the $9.64(yearly cost @ 6 cost of electricity - $726.41 (yearly cost @ 6hours / day) ($39.93 savings / year) hours / day)
Total Life (40,000 hrs) CostCurrent System Explanation LED System$867.00 Fixtures & Switch $1263.00$115.50 Power Supply, Wires and $270.00 Cables$230.40 Replacement Lamps $0.00$902.47 Electricity $176.06$2115.73 Total $1709.06 LED life cost is $406.67 less
Cost is Only One Point• A decision to switch from incandescent to LED is foolish, if the light output is bad• A decision to switch will be unsatisfactory if the color of light is wrong
Comparing Photometric Data Not all LED are created equal!An LED is notan LED is not an LED!
Pendants and Indirect Pendants along with recessed lighting
Where Should I Put Lighting • Under cabinets • Over cabinets • Inside cabinets • Under counters • Toe kicks • Under tables • Under benches • UL listed as a portable light
Selecting Cabinet Lighting• Placement – in and outside the box• How many• Where they go• Which type to choose• Wiring/Connection concerns
How Many Should I Install?• Avoid dark spots• At least one per cabinet• Make certain length is commensurate with size of cabinet• Less light can be used inside, under and over cabinets
Where Do They Install? • Modular – Allows for front mounting – Better light at working space • Direct Wire – Mounts along the back edge of the cabinet’s underside – Less light at the front • Plug-in – Requires GCO
Which One Do I Choose?• LED• Xenon Low-Voltage• Xenon Line (120) Voltage• Halogen• Fluorescent
LED• + Pros + • - Cons - – Long life 40,000 – Price hours – Must understand – Energy Efficient Color Temperature – No/Low and CRI to effectively Maintenance choose the correct – VERY cool unit operation – Vulnerable to – Smaller size on some models overstated performance – Can be Energy Star listed
Xenon – 12V• + Pros + • - Cons - – Long life 10,000 – Warm (not hot) hours operation – Warm (not hot) – Transformer (typically operation included) needed for – Moderate price operation – Very good light – 1” minimum depth levels – Moderate price
Xenon 120V• + Pros + • - Cons - – Price – Low lamp life (2500 – Direct 120V wire hours) connection. No – 1 ¼” minimum depth transformer included – Lightweight
Halogen• + Pros + • - Cons - – Moderate price – Hot operating – Good light levels temperature – Usually needs more than 1” to operate at correct temperatures
Fluorescent• + Pros + • - Cons - – Long life – Must understand – Energy Efficient Color Temperature – Lowest Price of and CRI to effectively most cabinet lighting choose the correct options lamp – Can be Energy Star listed
Suggested List Price (5 -22” fixtures + any/all accessories needed)• $1800 – LED Modular System• $1200 – LED Direct Wire Units• $907 – 12V Xenon Modular System• $697 – 120V Xenon Modular System• $660 – 12V Xenon Direct Wire Units• $594 – 120V Fluorescent Modular System• $405 – 120V Xenon Direct Wire Units• $360 – 120V Fluorescent Direct Wire Units
LED MR-16 RETROFITS DO NOT LAST LONG IN MR-16 FIXTURES THE HEAT CANNOT DISSIPATE
Be Careful LED MR16’sMay Not Perform as Promised • Lumen equivalencies are overstated • Application specifications do not match the demands of landscape lighting • Temperature restrictions are not conducive to fixtures
Questions to Ask Your LED Supplier• What is the Color Temperature & CRI of the Chip?• The chip is rated for 40,000 hours, what about all of the other circuitry and components?• What is the lumen output of the fixture on the countertop? Is it adequate for normal kitchen functions?
LED Lighting…• …will change the way we light our living spaces, whether indoors or outdoors.• …is going to be as exciting as any transition that has taken place in the home in years.
Questions• I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have• While I’m here, please feel free to stop me and ask any questions