A new LED display lamp has appeared in the exhibition halls this year. The Sunlight2 MR16 lamp from LTF Technology threatens to take good-quality display lighting by storm.
If we think back to the early days of the LED, the constant drumbeat from the lighting community was: ‘The LED will never match the light from a tungsten halogen lamp – it’s the best light ever.’ And that became the mantra for an entire design community. But life has just got tougher for those lighting fundamentalists because the latest LED developments from LTF Technology show that the LED has probably not only matched but exceeded tungsten halogen performance.
The standard for good-quality lighting performance has long been set according to the parameters of a tungsten halogen lamp. With the advent of this latest generation of LED technology, where are we now?
Let’s look at those parameters from the standpoint of the Sunlight2 MR16 lamp from LTF Technology.
Colour accuracy: The Sunlight2 MR16 lamp delivers CRI:96.4, with a red value (R9) of 96. That’s top of the class for LED performance and makes it all but indistinguishable from tungsten halogen lamps.
Dimming accuracy: The Sunlight2 MR16 lamp is a ‘dim-to-warm’ lamp. This means that it is designed to ‘run down’ the Planckian (black body) curve, maintaining its CRI value in the process. At 100 per cent output, the lamp delivers light at 3000K, dimming down to 1800K.
Light beam control: While most tungsten halogen display lamps suffered from light spilling around the edge of the reflector, the optics of the Sunlight2 MR16 are designed to deliver the light performance as specified in the data sheets (currently available with 24° and 38° beam widths).
Physical size: The Sunlight2 MR16 has been designed as a direct replacement for the familiar tungsten halogen MR16 envelope. Not all LED MR16 replacements can claim that.
And there are other benefits that the LED has brought to light performance that the tungsten halogen lamp could never hope to match.
Heat generation: With a 50W lamp generating almost 100 per cent of that energy as heat, the tungsten halogen was always a fire risk, regardless of how well a light fixture was designed. The Sunlight2 MR16 is rated at only 8W.
Power conversion: Tungsten halogen lamps struggled to get above 20 lm/W. It was an impressive performance in the 1980s, but the world has moved on and demands a far better, and more socially responsible, performance. The Sunlight2 MR16 delivers 450 lm, making a power conversion of 60 lm/W (confirmed by independent testing).
Lamp life: Running at 100 per cent, some versions of the tungsten halogen lamp managed to offer 4,000 operating hours. If you were prepared to lose light output then life could be extended – but at the cost of lighting levels. The Sunlight2 MR16 has a rated life of 30,000 hours.
Wellness lighting: Tungsten halogen lamps weren’t the worst for ultraviolet emission, but the infrared content was always troublesome. The Sunlight2 MR16 has zero UV emission and zero IR emission with minimal blue emission, delivering highest-quality light output with near zero flicker. A truly high-quality and healthy light source, pleasing to the eye for every application.