Cree Builds A Better LED Light Bulb With WaveMax Technology

Philips took at aim at the consumer LED lighting market last week with low-cost, 60W LED bulbs that will be available at Home Depot in May. Priced at $4.97 for a twin-pack, there’s really no reason for homeowners to pass up on the chance to lay their hands on an economical and efficient way of lighting every room in the house.

Durham, NC-based Cree, however, is going in a different direction with the introduction of a new LED product line that is geared towards office environments. The new lighting fixtures use Cree WaveMax Technology which provides a “revolutionary combination of control, uniformity and efficiency.” The new fixtures are able to achieve 90 percent optical efficiency and more precise optical control thanks to Cree DiamondFacet optical elements.

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Cree LN Series

The LN Series is aimed at replacing the long, overhead fluorescent lighting fixtures that we’ve all grown to hate over their years. While fluorescent tubes are able to throw off lots of light, the light quality is usually rather garish and we just can’t get past the incessant buzzing. LN Series fixtures can be suspended, like fluorescents, but take on a slimmer, more futuristic design aesthetic. Light output (110 lumens per watt) is maximized through the use of thin, angled acrylic panels for optimum indirect/direct optical control.

In addition, the LN Series is compatible with Cree’s SmartCast lighting control platform. Using ambient light and motion sensors, the lighting fixtures can adapt their output not only to light levels provided by natural daylight, but also by detecting when people are actually occupying a room (Vacancy Detection). This allows the LN Series to be up to 70 percent more efficient than traditional linear fluorescent lighting.

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Cree IG Series

Cree is also tackling fixtures installed in parking garages with the IG Series LED luminaire. Also featuring WaveMax Technology, the IG Series is over 80 percent more efficient tan traditional metal halide lighting and has a payback period of less than two years given typical 24-hour-per-day usage.

“Cree is surpassing assumed boundaries of LED technology, driving breakthroughs that fundamentally transform the way light is experienced,” said Norbert Hiller, Cree EVP of Lighting. “With WaveMax™ Technology, we are delivering our most intelligent light yet, enabling the future of highly-efficient, modern building designs to become today’s reality, while accelerating adoption of better LED lighting at greater value.”

To be frank, I’m elated to see that LED technology is quickly moving to supplant older lighting standards; especially fluorescent. I jumped on the fluorescent bandwagon early on and was “burned” by bulbs that took 30 seconds or more to reach operating temperature and failed within months instead of the year that they were rated for. Now that my house is about 95 percent LED lit, I’m a much happier camper.