Although LED technology frames the current development and future of lighting, there is still much ignorance about how to identify quality luminaires are. An expert explains how.

By AVI Latin America

One of the industries that has taken advantage of the development of LED technology is the lighting. For the known benefits, but mostly for control options, manufacturers focused on product research on this technology.

In the process of development and research, a Colombian has excelled from the Philips company. Juan Bernal is co-founder of Team Design-In, which from Holland supports lighting manufacturers using components of the company in the development of their products.

The work of the Design-In group began four years ago after an analysis found that the adoption of LED technology was not being as fast as expected. We spoke with Juan Bernal about his experience and some details of the development and operation of the LED lights.

1. How ends a Colombian researching and developing LED technology in the Netherlands?
After finishing my undergraduate Bogota I came to do a master's degree in Product Design in the Netherlands, very focused on engineering. When finished, I joined when a research department in Philips and four years ago I was invited to be part of a development group of LED products, which was born the Design-In group, after interaction with customers and meet their needs.

2. What is your job?
After a series of interviews with customers, we identified that one of the main barriers to LED technology was the technical part. An LED operates more like a computer chip and that a light bulb. In all companies that have worked they have identified who have more experience in ballasts that accommodate the new technology.

Our work is like this: if a company has a luminaire for a particular application and want to return LED, we support the process of research and development, based on reuse parts of what they already have, and the costs of the new luminaire is reduced. We also assist in the design, when it has already tested the market and is known to exist and can be functional.

3. Who have benefited from this group?
The Dutch group began supporting the work of the manufacturers in Europe. Thanks to the good results within a few months, another for the Chinese market in that country and then another created in the United States. From Holland to LED lights manufacturers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East is supported.

one year ago we include developers of Latin America, the compatibility of technologies, and working together with the US group. In the region are in the first stage of the process, a 95% of received ideas are adapting traditional lighting to LED technology.

4. LED lighting has shown duration and control benefits, among many others. There are some different specific features that are popularly known you stand out?
It is a more efficient power generation technology. Its long-lasting if it is well used. The LED light does not radiate heat, which allows not invested much in refrigeration systems.

It also reduces the deterioration of some material in the case of stores lighting, because the LED has no UV or infrared influencing deterioration of pigments and product quality.

5. How is the life of a LED lamp and how to measure this?
The LED has a life ilumiación between 30 and 45 thousand hours working. There are many LED manufacturers say works by 100 thousand hours. It is very important to check the fine print. Some companies measure this until the module stops running, other according to a minimum light output.

An example to understand. Our products ensure 50 thousand hours, this means that we guarantee that until 50 thousand hours products will give least 70% of the initial light if given less consider it a failure. There are manufacturers that reduce this level to 50 or 40% and so a higher percentage would be gained.

6. LED lights contain lead, arsenic, and twelve more elements that can be toxic, how far is the risk that issues this technology?
Not all LEDs are exactly the same. Like any electronic component must be carefully handled. It might as well say that a cell phone or a computer are also hazardous to health. But certainly it does have less polluting than traditional lights elements.

7. How true it is that LED lamps have not yet been able to achieve a high level of lighting to be used in some professional installations?
I would divide it in different applications and specifications procducto. When it is said that the LED does not meet certain levels of illumination, I think there is right now very few applications in which LEDs can not reach the same as a traditional source in amount of lumens emitted, as in restaurants, shopping malls , runners, which are required to 2.000 4.000 lumens light source. The same thing happens on the roads.

8. How should you measure the quality of the LED light?
The quality of light depends on the application and lighting design has been made. The CRI should be an average, but not tell the whole story. It is therefore very important that the quality of light is defined under the conditions of the application and based on the CRI as a benchmark. Today there are modules with CRI 80 or 90.

The advantage of LED is that you can adjust the light spectrum according to the application, having a higher saturation of red and green colors as needed.

9. The market is saturated with LED lamps, good and poor quality and different prices, what should you consider choosing a LED lamp?
First you have to take into account the clarity of the terms: the lamp is replacing a bulb, but the module is a bulb of many lumens. The paper supports many things, so care must be taken in conditions that are guaranteeing the longevity of the product. It is important to make a visual test to measure the quality of the product against the sun.

10. How does this compare?
The sun is the benchmark for how colors are perceived. If you want to know how good a light source, how a product compares with sunlight and then under the light source being tested looks. So what colors they identify the LED product is not identify are. Eyes what they see in the end is the energy being reflected by the product and turn the power comes from the light source. When the LEDs tend much to blue, they are cheap to produce because they do a lot of work to convert blue and white do not require refrigeration.

There are some manufacturers who oversaturated colors for greater CRI. As an average, when redder or greener average climbs sets. But a good quality of light does not depend on having saturated colors, they do see the red throwing coffee or white to pink. It depends on having a good balance of colors that are perceived.

Richard St.
Author: Richard St.
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.


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