Singapore, 9th February 2011
The problem with LED’s has mostly been the inability of retrofit lamps to actually perform to the level of its famous predecessors. There have been many attempts to make LED versions of the incandescent and the halogen lamp and until recently most did not made the mark. So called LED replacements did comply in size (like LED’s fitted into an MR16 halogen reflector), but the performance was far from comparable in terms out light output and colour qualities. Today however the leading brands such as Philips, Osram and the like have managed to improve their technology to create replacement LED lamps that do closely match the incandescent bulb and halogen reflector lamp.
I tested some out today in a real life situation (hotel mock up room) where we replaced 60W GLS with its LED equivalent (12W Philips MasterLED) and it was impossible to tell the difference …if anything the LED version looked better! Light output, colour temperature and most of all the light distribution (lighting effect) looked identical. We decided not to notify the owners of the change when they will visit the room tomorrow, letting them believe it is still incandescent. What better way to get approval!
Even the 10W LED Masterled in 2700K, replacing the traditional 50W MR16, looked very good with very similar beam characteristics. While the new “Xicato” technology offers very different and even more powerful alternative LED solutions in traditional applications, we can now say that the leading manufacturers in LED have arrived at a level where retrofit has become a real opportunity. With prices dropping and life expectancy stabilising, the return on investment calculations start to look attractive to developers and property owners.
In Light Watch today I would however caution against the LED craze. There is a place and time for everything. Too many manufactures try to profit from the “green train” by offering LED substitutes. Unfortunately many are untested and quickly put together in an existing housing to make a quick buck and cash in on the craze. I attach a picture that I made today of an typical average floodlight that had been quickly converted (or so it looks) into an LED version. Unfortunately the quality is arguable and whether these “LED fittings” contribute to the overall appreciation of LED by the general public remains an even bigger question…
Light Watch 27: LED floodlight conversion