Thoughts from LightFair - pt. 2

Variable Wattage LED

This is the second blog chronicling some of my observations from LightFair 2011. See part 1 here.

MSi variable wattage LED - iPAR-38

There was no shortage of LED lights at LightFair, and after walking around the hundreds of booths, it became hard to find something that stood out, but the variable wattage LED from MSi was pretty neat.  The MSi bulb uses what they call a Powerband, which is a plastic ring with a metal contact that surrounds the top of the bulb.  By moving the ring around to 1 of 3 different contacts, you can change the wattage of the bulb to 10, 12, or 16.  This is great for large customers who may use many bulbs, but may require different light levels in different places.

Lemnis Lighting Pharox LED and  Solar powered LED/Battery

The Pharox LED was one of the first bulbs available to residential consumers, so I was excited to stop by their booth and see what they had to offer.  They offer two versions of their LED on their website, a 6 watt LED that can replace a 60 watt incandescent bulb and a 5 watt LED that can replace a 40 watt incandescent.  The only downside to these bulbs is that they seem a little expensive.  Their Pharox40 bulb is $35 on their website, while the 40-watt incandescent replacement LED bulb I purchased from Home Depot is only $17.97.  The EcoSmart A19 from Home Depot consumes more watts, at 8.6 watts compared to 5 watts for the Pharox bulb, but the EcoSmart bulb puts out 429 lumens (In case you're wondering, if they put out the same about of light and you paid 10 cents/kWh for electricity, it would take about 37,000 hours before the lower wattage consumption of the Pharox LED paid for itself over the EcoSmart bulb) .  Unfortunately, Pharox doesn't show how many lumens their Pharox40 bulb puts out, which makes me wonder if they are trying to hide something?

Lemnis Lighting also had a cool little solar powered LED/Battery called the Pharox Solar Kit.  The product uses a small solar panel connect to a globe that has a few LEDs built in.  There is a battery in the globe that powers the LEDs.  Alternatively, you can use the battery and the built in USB port on the globe to power other devices.  It's a cool product, but I'm not sure if there are many practical applications other than emergency lighting and power.  But based on the amount of natural disasters that seem to be happening these days (or maybe it's just enhanced media coverage of these disasters) a product like this could be a nice addition to your bomb shelter.

Lighting Facts by U.S. DOE

With all the new LEDs hitting the market, there is going to have to be somewhere that consumers can go to compare their options.  Luckily there is, and it's called Lighting Facts by the U.S. DOE.  From the Lighting Facts About Us page:

Similar to a nutrition label, the Lighting Facts label provides a quick summary of product performance data. By introducing transparency to the lighting supply chain, the label guards against exaggerated claims and helps ensure a satisfactory experience for lighting buyers. Luminaire manufacturers who take the pledge agree to use the label to disclose performance results in five areas—lumens, efficacy, watts, correlated color temperature (CCT), and color rendering index (CRI)—as measured by the industry standard for testing photometric performance, IES LM-79-2008. Additional metrics related to reliability, product consistency, construction, and other parameters may be considered in future editions of the label.

Lighting Facts also has a great search tool to help you find solid state lighting that matches your criteria.

The Pharox60 bulb actually has a Lighting Facts label that you can see from their website, which can be seen below:

However, the Pharox40 bulb didn't have a Lighting Facts label on the website, which makes me wonder if Lemnis knows their Pharox40 bulb isn't as good as their Pharox60 bulb?


I was able to go to Lighting Fair because I just got a job with Groom Energy selling energy solutions to the commercial and industrial sector and Groom's CEO Jon Guerster has a great summary of LightFair 2011 on the Groom Energy Blog.

LEDs were out in force and the prices are dropping every year.  It still may be a few years before homeowners start flocking to LED bulbs, but it's coming!




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Do they need to specify some more decimal places for "Watts" on that label? My immediate thought on looking at it was that the manufacturer failed basic arithmetic - since with 6 watts and 60 lumens per watt the total output should be 360, not 336. Then I realised that they probably had some rounding errors. 336 divided by 60 is 5.6W - which if you insist on using only whole numbers of watts will round up to 6.
Nice... I'll be happy to get more quality LEDs in my home. I bit the bullet a while back and got 5 Lighting Science PAR 20's from Home Depot for the track lights in my kitchen, since I could not find any decent PAR 20 CFLs. They're good but not super-great; totally acceptable though. If something better/cheaper comes along they can go in the basement and I'll upgrade the kitchen. I did the math on them with saved energy vs. lifetime and thought wow, these things really pay off ... then realized I was calculating it over 40 years. I might still be saving money when I'm dead!
ckmapawatt's picture
Eric, you know living sustainably makes you live longer right?
You may actually be right! (other than the heightened mortality for urban bike riders...)

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