Looking through an onion glass
Jakarta, 17th October 2013
You may wonder where I am going with this heading… 🙂
I am in Jakarta today and tomorrow to attend to project design coordination meetings and one of my discussions was with a decorative chandelier manufacturer. While I generally do not involve too much in the actual material finishes and aesthetic aspects of decorative lighting items, I do get involved in the technology of lighting (and maintaining) them. While we as lighting designers are all full on into LED technology he surprised me by saying he was still sticking to tungsten halogen lights for most of his creations, even though there is nowadays an LED retrofit lamp for practically any conventional light source, including GU 4 types.
His reasoning being that he felt that the halogen still provides more brilliance and sparkle. Looking into the light sources I can see his point as the focal point of most retrofit LED still is more diffuse and hence do not produce the punctuating sparkle when lighting crystal chandeliers…Another obvious aspect that contribute to the sparkle of crystal in my opinion is the colour quality. Where Tungsten halogen has the 100% colour rendering capacity, LED still lacks behind with the LED on average being in the 80% range. While these may seem trivial differences I am sure it comes out “shiningly” obvious when you compare an halogen versus a LED lit crystal chandelier. Where LED does work is when you use the raw little LED chip components, directly from the PCB as that provides as well an “uncensored”, very focussed, light emission. Since the lights are hidden behind the crystal (onion) glass, not too much of an issue.
Finally we also discussed the reality of today that unfortunately the tungsten halogen lights are gradually being phased out which for long term maintenance and warranty may cause a problem, should the lights no longer be available in the market. This was confirmed by his statement that he had found it more and more difficult to source tungsten halogen light sources and not only that, prices (probably because of scarcity) had gone up in some cases double the price! How times are changing!
Light Watch 4-177: Playing with crystal…