Category Archives: Durable LED Lights

How LED Tech News is Shaping Our New Industrial Lights

We’ve slowed down on updates recently, and that’s because all hands are on deck here at LED Waves HQ! We’ve got tons of American-made industrial LED lights coming down the pipeline – undergoing design tweaks, in situ testing, and even re-naming! (It’s hard nailing down impactful, relevant names for our unique products.)

While we can’t reveal too much about these new products, we did want to take a moment on this Social Media Day to let you know what’s going on in the greater LED world. Everything in this industry is related: All advancements, no matter where in the technology and in the supply chain, lead to better performance and lower prices on LED lighting everywhere.

Case in point: Taiwan is stepping up their bulb standards, with the Ministry of Economic Affairs requiring manufacturers to test all new bulbs coming to market starting July 1st. Taiwanese manufacturers will be fined a minimum of NT $0.2 million (US $6,669.33) if found in violation of this mandate. This measure protects consumers against the mislabeling and confusing labels that had gone unchecked in the LED industry.

This doesn’t relate to LED Waves directly, as we haven’t imported any new bulbs from the East since we launched our American-made LED bulbs in 2012, and our specialty lies in higher end, commercial and industrial lighting anyway. But if other manufacturers – particularly those with historic strongholds in the industry – are held to a higher standard, consumers will be better informed about lighting technology, have better user experiences, and are more likely to adopt earth-friendly LED lighting in other walks of life.

Pictured: the driver that comes with each dimmable Midtown LED Recessed Light
Pictured: the driver that comes with each dimmable Midtown LED Recessed Light

In related news, IHS Technologies reports that 25% of all driver revenues in 2013 went towards LED light sources.

A driver is an component that regulates the current from a power source to an electronic device. Since this can cover such a huge range of consumer products – especially those experiencing rapid growth (Do you know anyone who hasn’t bought a new phone, tablet, or computer in the past year?) – these LED driver sales paints a promising picture in the adoption of this advanced lighting technology.

This topic was on the minds of many at LIGHTFAIR International earlier this month.

LFI2014 Bigshots
We can only imagine what was on the minds of THESE trade show crashers.

With record-breaking numbers of attendees seeking out LED lights and exhibitors selling them year after year, it’s become clear there’s no question if LEDs will achieve worldwide adoption, but when. This year, some were even wondering why: Is this technology really the go-to solution? With some industries – particularly agricultural settings – traditionally reliant on incandescent lighting for inherently incandescent qualities, are LEDs really capable of penetrating all lighting applications? With our upcoming line of rugged, industrial LED lights, LED Waves is setting out to answer these questions with a resounding YES.

New Rio Grande Waterproof LED Light Strip Increases Lumens Per Dollar

new rio flexible waterproof led light stripLED Waves is pleased to announce some exciting new upgrades to our brightest flexible light strip. The Rio Grande Waterproof is now available in longer 5 meter spools (approx. 16.4 feet) with bare wire ends. This is welcome news to our many lighting design customers who use the Rio Grande in bigger and brighter projects!

Previously available in only 3 meter spools, the 5 meter Rio Grande Waterproof Flexible LED Light Strip features the same powerful LEDs, spacing, and overall technical specs. You can cut, connect, and control these strips the same way you would with the original.

There are a couple of slight changes, however, that only add to the quality of this popular LED strip. First, we improved the waterproof sleeve on the Rio Grande, using a new silicon blend for better light transmission from all sides – while maintaining its IP65 protection.

We also improved the Rio Grande price! By ordering longer lengths and larger quantities of these strips in 2700K and 4000K (the most commonly used CCTs for our LED strip lights), we got great rates on our stock, which we’re passing onto our customers.

The Rio Grande is now more affordable than ever at $119.95 per 5 meter spool. With up to 1,014 lumens per meter, it’s the best & brightest value in LED light strips. Call us at 1(800)986-0169 for custom cutting and sealing or other special orders.

Earth Day 2014 LED Lighting Sale

Our Earth Day sale is now underway, with Free Shipping sitewide, PLUS 15% off our exclusive LED lights made in the USA!

Earth Day 2014 LED Lighting SaleThere is no minimum order value to be eligible for these Earth Day offers; any order shipping within the continental USA automatically qualifies for free FedEx Ground shipping. Enter coupon code EARTH at checkout online to activate the 15% discount on all applicable sale items. These offers expire on Sunday, April 27th 2014.

We’ve discounted our American-made products because, in addition to the energy-efficiency they share with all our LED lights, they also represent our most cost-efficient options. Each one is designed, assembled, quality control tested, and shipped from our one office in Brooklyn, New York. This eliminates steps in the supply chain that result in higher priced products one would expect from a company as small as LED Waves.

Image by Stern via Click to read more on why close involvement with our supply chain is a win-win.

At the end of the day, the more affordable, high quality LED lighting that is commercially available, the faster and farther this green revolution will grow.

Stay tuned for spotlights on applicable sale items – plus other sustainability tips and trends – throughout this sale. Our offers last through the 27th but the sooner you order, the more likely you’ll have your new LED lighting setup in your home or business in time for Earth Day on April 22nd. Here’s to a greener future!

An Ounce of Prevention for Facility Managers

FM inspectionsRecently, LinkedIn’s Facility Managers Group swapped workplace horror stories in an illuminating  discussion titled, “Stories of Neglect: What have you seen as a Facilities Manager that has been a result of poor maintenance or complete lack(there)of?” We noticed that a recurring theme in the responses was mass shortages of lighting due to failing fixtures that went unreported. These shortages can pose a huge danger for litigation and human life in general.

In these cases, those responsible for facility-wide inspections were often contractors who were unfamiliar with lighting terminology and standards – cleaning professionals, for example. Since many of the LED lights supplied by LED Waves are designed specifically for commercial and industrial buildings, this was of particular interest to us. How can lighting be effectively monitored by untrained personnel?

With filament-based lighting technology – halogen/incandescent – failure is pretty straightforward; the bulb suddenly burns out after a few thousand hours and stays dark until a maintenance worker gets around to replacing it. With gas-based, ballasted lighting technologies, however, failure can be trickier to diagnose.

LED vs MH vs HPS L70By industry standards, a luminaire is considered failed once it produces less than 70% of its initial output (thus the “L70” references you may see on lighting literature). The ballasted lighting technologies most commonly seen in large buildings – fluorescent, HID, sodium, metal halide – decrease in lumen output exponentially shortly after being installed. (Fluorescent lights are especially bad, strobing and changing color noticeably as they near the end of their useful lives.)

Like the above lighting technologies, LED lights decrease their lumen output over time. Unlike the above, however, they don’t hit the dreaded 70% mark for 30,000 to 50,000 hours of operation – so inspections by qualified personnel, using proper equipment, can be scheduled fewer and farther between.

As LED lighting and controls get smarter, these inspections may fall out of human jurisdiction altogether in our lifetime – freeing up time for facility managers to prevent other stories of neglect.

Lincoln Tunnel Gets LED Lighting Upgrade

LED Waves wants to know: Have you driven through the Lincoln Tunnel lately? Did you notice the new LED lighting in there? The tunnel now features 2,300 new LED lights studded along its 8,216 ft length.

These LED lights are part of a $2.1 million project upgrading the lights at all Port Authority properties, which also includes the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the Journal Square PATH station, the George Washington Bridge and the Holland Tunnel. The Lincoln Tunnel retrofit alone will save $283,000 a year in energy and maintenance, contributing to a total of $1.3 million in expected savings for the Port Authority.

The new industrial LED lights also improve visibility with higher CRI white light, transmitted in more focused beams. What do you think?

Inside Lincoln Tunnel
imabe via New Jersey Journal

Now, if only they can do something about the traffic.

via The Jersey Journal

TFF Challenge – LED Henlight Update

The Thought for Food Challenge Summit took place this weekend in Berlin, and UC Davis team Henlight (featured here by LED Waves last week) took home the grand prize!

image via

The team’s LED light boosts egg-laying during less productive times of the year by mimicking optimal daylight qualities. “Farmers should receive roughly 40% to 80% more eggs during periods of shorter day length than they would without using the supplemental lighting,” Henlight’s Silva said. “For a small flock of 10 birds, that can mean up to 40 extra eggs per week during the autumn  and winter months.” (via WorldPoultry)

Chickens are among the most sustainable livestock to raise, with a high feed-to-meat conversion rate. Combined with the small size and energy impact of the solar powered LED light, Henlight’s innovation will make a huge difference where it’s needed most in our exponentially growing global community. LED Waves extends a giant fist pump to the winning team.


LED “Henlight” to Help Feed the World

Following recent advancements in LED lighting for swine comes news of similar applications in the poultry world.  A trio of scientists from UC Davis has applied the energy efficient technology to a small, solar-powered lamp designed for raising chickens. The Henlight team will fly the coop this week for Berlin, Germany, for the 2013 Thought for Food Challenge Summit.

Thought for Food focuses on feeding the world’s growing population, which is expected to reach 9 billion people by 2050. Challenge finalists are judged on their abilities to raise awareness and create lasting solutions to the global food crisis. Teams demonstrating practicality, “scalability” and economic feasibility, will receive investment funding for their product from the Berlin summit.

Henlight conducted market and behavioral research with lighting in rural areas around Zambia. Their findings informed the creation of an LED light that encourages hens to lay more eggs – more consistently – throughout shorter (typically less productive) days of the year. The lamp’s solar panel and small size makes it a viable solution for poor farmers in off-grid, and developing communities.

Chickens are relatively easy to raise, and offer a high feed-to-meat conversion ratio. “From the rural, smallholder farmer to the urban homeowner to the poultry giant — far more people are able to participate in the poultry industry than in any other type of livestock production,” Henlight member Emily Sin pointed out. The team’s sustainable lighting product therefore holds huge potential to help feed communities on a wide scale. LED Waves wishes them success at the Berlin summit, and beyond.


IP65 LED Flood Lights – What Does It Mean?

IP65 Owl outdoor LED wall pack imageYou may have noticed an IP65 rating on each model of the Owl™, our new line of LED wall packs. This rating system helps determine the appropriate environment for equipment by telling you what can and cannot get inside to potentially damage the electronics; IP stands for Ingress Protection.

finger probe for IP testing
Calibrated to simulate a human finger, this probe is used to test ingress protection against solid objects.

The number immediately after IP refers to the protection from of solid objects entering the system. A zero signifies no protection; anything can enter. The numbers that follow range from 1 (50mm – hands and tools can fit in there) to 6 (completely protected, even from dust particles).

The second number refers to the protection from liquids entering the system. Again, zero offers no protection at all. A 1 means the item is safe from condensation or drops of water falling vertically from above – what Forrest Gump may refer to as “big ‘ol fat rain”. On the other side of the spectrum, an 8 allows the equipment to be fully submerged in water for extended periods of time.

[Consult our guide LED IP rating guide for what each number in between signifies.]

Rated IP65, each Owl Pack™ is ingress protected from (a) even the tiniest of dust particles, and (b) average jets of water from any direction – some water can even get inside without harming the electronics. This protection makes an outdoor fixture completely weatherproof – making the Owl Pack™ a safe, rugged LED replacement for any building exterior cutoff light.

The Midtown 2.1 LED Recessed Light Fixture

The latest news from our Brooklyn manufacturing facility is an update to our most popular LED recessed light. The redesigned Midtown 2.1 is more than meets the eye – in fact, since the external housing and LED board are the same, it won’t meet most people’s eyes.

In alignment with the rule of thermal management applied to all LED Waves’ USA-made products, we added length to the slender blades on the heat sink of the Midtown. This increased surface area provides more vehicle for heat to travel away from the electronics, increasing the life of the entire LED light.

This redesign does slightly increase the height of the complete product, but we thought it was a fair trade for the 5,000 more hours of operation you get out of the Midtown 2.1. Here’s a look at the two downlight fixtures side by side:

The electrical components haven’t changed, so wiring the Midtown 2.1 is also exactly the same – ETL certified for line voltage; 12v driver and dimmable LED power supply needed for dimming installations.

LED Waves will continue to stock the Midtown 2.0 for the time being to meet demands for those who’ve come to rely on its lower profile. Call us at 1(800)986-0169 to confirm quantities for your next large order.

Mac ‘n Cheese, LEDs ‘n Warranties

Why do we use an extrusion process to make the heat sink for our LED high bay? The same reason that macaroni & cheese is delicious.

A closer look at the heat sink on the Andromeda LED High Bay.

Our in-house LED OEM team designs the heat sink for each of our products to have the most surface area. From the spindly fins of 3D printed aluminum on our American-made halogen replacement bulbs, to the extruded body on the Andromeda LED high bay, it’s easy to see that maximizing surface area also maximizes space for air flow. As all electronics emit some heat, and heat is the leading cause of premature failure, it’s essential that LED lamps optimize channels through which hot air can move away from the light source.

The unique design of the heat sink on our LED high bay can only be rendered by extrusion. That means it’s produced by pushing high quality aluminum through a die to give it a desired cross section – sort of like a high detailed 3D stencil. This is how macaroni (and any other novelty pasta shapes) is made. The result? More exposed pasta – on the outside AND inside of the noodle – primed for cheese coating!

Other manufacturers of LED lights use mold-casting to make their heat sinks. This is similar to how ravioli and other flat pastas are made: the details on the material produced is limited to those of the mold. This process is simpler and less expensive, but yields fewer surface area-creating features.  And, for cheese saucing as well as heat dissipating purposes, this is a bad thing. That’s less vehicle for Bechamel/hot air flow!

Left: Extruded macaroni - perfect for slathering in cheese sauce. Right: Stamped croxetti - lovely plain or tossed with herbs and butter, not a good vehicle for cheese.

Instead of cheesy goodness, however, this added surface area gives our products better thermal management. With reduced heat stress on the electronics inside, our LED lights are more certain to last. Like other LED lighting manufacturers, we will repair or replace a product of ours that fails within its 5 year warranty. Unlike the others, however, our production team takes all possible measures to make sure that doesn’t happen.