Cree, one of the world leaders in LED-for-lighting technology, is bringing a new product to market that could help rapidly increase the adoption of LED lighting. LEDs are complicated, the drivers to control them, the optics to focus them, even the bodies to house them have to be specially designed for heat management. These are all things that the manufacturers of lighting fixtures are not used to thinking about. They just take the light, plug into into a power source, and it's supposed to work.
That's why Cree is going to be producing the LRM4 line of LED modules. Everything is included, so the folks designing and manufacturing the light fixtures don't have to be experts in semiconductors to make it work.
The LRM4 is also feature Cree's new "TrueWhite" lighting technology. By combining specially tuned red and yellow LEDs (you can actually see them in the image above) Cree is able to match the warm light from a 65 watt incandescent bulb quite well. Other advantages over fluorescent lights include longer lifespan (over 12 years before the bulb dims more than 70%) full dimming capability and even higher efficiency.
Of course, the disadvantage is likely to be the price, which Cree wouldn't disclose in a recent interview.
The lights are directional, so they're only suitable for directional lighting applications like in-ceiling lighting and desk lamps. The modules will be built into various designs by manufacturers and then those products will be available for sale "soon," likely first at specialty lighting stores.
Finally, I had to ask Cree about traditional bulb applications and whether this high-quality, high-brightness, surprisingly awesome technology might make it's way into multi-directional, Edison socket formats they replied, "Those are coming. You will see those come over the course of the next year to two years"
written by Todd Horst, April 08, 2010
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