Controls for Solid-State Lighting

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This study predicts new hybrid lighting applications for LEDs. In hybrid lighting, LEDs provide a low-energy "standby" light level while another, more powerful, efficient light source provides light for occupied periods. Lighting controls will allow the two light sources to work together through an appropriate control strategy, typically motion-sensing. There are no technical barriers preventing the use of low through high CRI LEDs for standby lighting in many interior and exterior applications today.

The total luminous efficacy of LED systems could be raised by increasing the electrical efficiency of LED drivers to the maximum practically achievable level (94%). This would increase system luminous efficacy by 20-25%. The expected market volumes for many types of LEDs should justify the evolution of new LED drivers that use highly efficient ICs and reduce parts count by means of ASICs. Reducing their electronics parts count by offloading discrete components onto integrated circuits (IC) will allow manufacturers to reduce the cost of LED driver electronics.

LED luminaire manufacturers will increasingly integrate the LED driver and thermal management directly in the LED fixture. LED luminaires of the future will likely have no need for separable lamp and ballast because the equipment life of all the LED luminaire components will all be about the same (50,000 hours).

The controls and communications techniques used for communicating with conventional light sources, such as dimmable fluorescent lighting, are appropriate for LED illumination for energy management purposes. DALI has been used to control LED systems in new applications and the emerging ZigBee protocol could be used for LEDs as well. Major lighting companies are already moving in this direction.

The most significant finding is that there is a significant opportunity to use LEDs today for standby lighting purposes. Conventional light ing systems can be made more efficient still by using LEDs to provide a low-energy standby state when lower light levels are acceptable.

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