Back to the future of 1987 with 21st-century lamp

A prototype LED light bulb from Cree Inc. delivers more than 1,300 lumens at 152 lumens/watt (LPW). This is somewhat of a milestone because it exceeds the performance goals set by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) for the 21st Century Lamp, the third category in its L Prize SM competition.

The DOE recently made an award in the first category of the L Prize competition to light-maker Philips for a solid-state lamp that could replace a 60-W incandescent and product more than 90 lm/W while consuming less than 10 W and putting out more than 900 lumens, all while lasting more than 25,000 hours with more than 90 CRI and between 2700 and 3000 K CCT. The third category of the competition, the 21st century lamp, has yet to be fully defined in terms of factors such as CRI, CCT, and lifetime. But the DOE has said the winner must demonstrate over 150 LPW.

The DOE also has a second L Prize category for a PAR 38 Halogen Replacement Lamp. This was recently put on hold pending adjustments to the requirements.

Cree says it is shipping fixtures at 110 LPW today and calculates that if fully deployed, LED lighting at 150 LPW could bring a 16.5% reduction in the nation's electric energy consumption, returning it to 1987 levels.

Cree says it was able to get this level of performance by optimizing LEDs, optical elements, drivers and power supplies. As an efficiency comparison, a traditional 75-W incandescent light bulb produces 1,100 lumens at only 14.6 LPW.

Cree says it verified the performance of its prototype bulb at third-party testing lab OnSpeX which also confirmed the lamp consumes only 8.7 W. The lamp uses Cree TrueWhite Technology to deliver light with a CRI of 91 at a warm white color of 2800 K.

Cree says this project benefits from technology developed under DOE-funded contracts, which are part of Cree's ongoing collaboration with DOE to advance the successful adoption of energy-saving solid-state lighting.

Cree Inc.,

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