A growing number of people are buying LED luminiares ( Lamps, bulbs) - Great-
but choose wisely . Learn how to discern LED quality from poor offerings.
My advice, ask questions to get answers to the key pertinent questions:
Which diode is being used in the product, which model or itteration chip?
Which electrloytic capacitor is used ( if any) is the lamp using AC/LEDS or DC/LEDs ?
Is the lamp you select right for the application - there are many performance
variables such as color temp (CCT) there is the consideration on chromatic fidelity,
typically shown as CRI ( this is the wrong metric, the use of CQS is the appropriate one)
Look to Caliper results and consumer reports type assessments, if you know
what your looking for performance wise - examine the LM- 79's ( few do)
Is the product from a big 4 concern or a mid or lower tier manufacturer?
This goes to the value of it's warranty - many of which hold little value
to consumers due to their wording, limitations, and legalese .
Predicate your determination of value by looking at both
photometric and radiometric measures- ( luminance quality + energy use)
Patronize electrical supply houses and lighting specialist for better quality
than big boxes ( in most instances) Do your due diligence and the product
should last for a decade plus.
Also with an eye on the growing trend of coupling SSL with lighting controls,
look for LED luminiares that are advanced & ready for interoperabilty, addressability !
AC LED's? I've not ever seen them. I've seen 2 LED's in one case called and "A/C LED", but not a true A/C LED. Cost of LED's needs to drop before they gain widespread acceptance, the general public won't pay $20 for one light bulb.
My associates in SSL would definitely disagree- many of us in the biz are selling thousands- and often
tens of thousands worth of products each month. Currently we have 2% of the market -by 2020 we'll
have 90% + of the lighting market( total lamps sold - all form factors included).
It's simply math - it depends on many variables but most savvy business owners get it - and as the
availabilty of great performing LED lighting choices increase the value of LED lighting will increase also.
The subset of LED luminiares that use AC/LEDs is also growing - there are many AC LED chip
makers ( it's growing) many of the most highly regarded dice makers have both AC as well as DC chips-
the beauty of the AC /LED equiped luminiares is that they don't require a constant current driver and
they don't use electrolytic capacitors- I recently tore apart one of those $10.00 ecosmart LED A-19
You may have seen these at home depot- they cost $10 and are eligible for a $8- $10 rebate per bulb.
- the dynamic of post rebate pricing refutes the "the're to expensive arguement"
So this mediocre - rebranded LSG product purports to be a
40 watt equivalant lamp- WELL IT no longer works after just 18 months ( less than 10, 000 hours) - the tear
apart revealed the flaw: a nonfunctional electrolytic capacitor ( a typical weak link in such designs).
The products with poor engineering and product design are the bane of the SSL community -
We dread folks getting the "yugo" version of SSL- THE'RE getting sales , BUT then folks are judging all other LED luminiares by their bad experience. Its especially true in LED lighting purchases - ya get what ya pay for !
The likelyhood of getting burned by a poor performing lamp goes way down when you buy products with an
educated eye and discriminating performance expectations.
Yes I've seen the $10 ecosmart LED lamps @ HD. They also have a different 40w ecosmart that has a flat shaped "bulb" for $16, same lumen output. I was wondering why such a price difference, now I know why. We don't have the $8-$10 rebates in our area that I've seen. People simply buy the CFL which offers the same lumen per watt as the LED's, but the lamp costs 1/4 the price.
The electrolytic cap has been a problem for CFL lamps also, not just SSL. Oddly they rarely fail for the full size electronic ballasts used in T8/T5 fixtures. I think the problem is the the capacitors have become too physically small to dissipate the heat effectively for the load they experience. A hot capacitor lives a short life which isn't helped by putting the lamp in an enclosed fixture.
What REALLY needs to happen is LED FIXTURES need to be manufactured instead of focusing on retrofit lamps. If the fixture is designed for LED from the start it opens up lots of design options in the process. The difference in fixture price could also be brought down. People may pay $100 for an LED fixture that includes the LED's vs. $80 for a standard fixture than put a $20 LED retrofit bulb in it.
As I am a huge proponent of OLEDs it goes without saying I agree with
what you say - Oleds offer desigh capabilities that standard form factor & even ropes or ribbon formats lack. There will definetely be an
increase of all forms of solid state lighting. some traditional - some
enhanced,its got to be seen to be believed. There are outstanding examples
of the coolest stuff at LED trade shows - LED integrated in to all
sorts of different platforms with 1000's of design possibilies -
There are some really cool new developements in SSL
Even standard form factor LED offers many design possibilities you cant get with CFL or Incandescent. This is what will launch LED's, providing features/benefits that aren't currently available with other technologies. With mass production prices will eventually come down to where price per lumen can be competitive with CFL.