Category Archives: LED Lights Made in the USA

Owl Pack Outdoor LED Flood Outshines in Product Teardown

The Owl Pack Outdoor LED Flood Light collection‘s high quality construction and best in class components are a source of pride for us at LED Waves, so it is gratifying to know that these features do not go unnoticed by tech-savvy consumers.

This was the case in an in-depth product teardown performed by Bowfishing Country community member tjones96761. The Oklahoma-based reviewer purchased the 50 Watt Owl Pack along with several other LED lights for boats – and found that our flood performed head and shoulders above the rest.

With each step of the investigation, the reviewer was as impressed by the Owl Pack as we were by his evident passion and deep understanding of LED lighting. He details our assembly in words (edited for clarity) and pictures:

On Construction
Made of “…HDPE plastic to save weight. Weighing in at a scant 5.4lbs, it’s about 35% lighter than (the competitor) at 8.5lbs. 5.4lbs is considerably lighter than any of the Chinese lights I’ve come across… All the fasteners are secondary backup holders. All the pieces snap/hook together. The glass snaps into the plastic holder(s) in the housing, then the outside frame snaps to the housing… Everything is a very close fit and very tight. VERY nice setup.”

image by tjones96761 via Photobucket
image by tjones96761 via Photobucket

On the LED
“The emitter is a real live Bridgelux chip, not a B-Lux, or Bridgelux-like from China, but the real deal. Bridgelux has a quick connect terminals that doesn’t require solder, very cool. Also extremely small, US quarter… for size reference. FYI, all the Vero series chips have the square scan code thingy for ID on them. Don’t know if this was done on previous older chips or not, but anyone claiming to be using Vero chips will have this scan tag if they’re real.”

image by tjones96761 via Photobucket
image by tjones96761 via Photobucket

On Thermal Management
“You can see the copper heat transfer tubes… This is meant to pull heat to the far edges and utilize the whole heat sink. I think it’s working. The unit is running at 115°F after 1hr, the lowest of any light I’ve seen… (T)he heat sink is sealed to the plastic housing around the chip. In addition to the sink being snap/locked in place, it is also epoxy glued in place and sealed.”

image by tjones96761 via Photobucket
image by tjones96761 via Photobucket

On Value
“(T)he price is spot on. It’s smaller, lighter, and brighter, with the Bridgelux Vero chip – the chip that all others on the market strive to be… If you’re gonna go big, then BY GOD GO BIG. Don’t go shopping for a Porsche and come home with a Camaro. If you want a Camaro, that’s cool; just don’t pretend it’s a Porsche. This is a Porsche, gents, no doubt.”

We’ll take that.

Read the full post for more pictures and details on other components, plus a glimpse of the reviewer’s cheeky green pedicure – the result of a prank gone a bit too far.

While the Owl Pack’s 5 year warranty advises against disassembly, we are proud that it stood up to such scrutiny. And, of course, we are delighted that another LED Waves customer is pleased with his purchase!

Appreciating Lumen Depreciation

You might have heard the terms “lumen maintenance” or “lumen depreciation” or (if you’re more advanced) “L70” in reference to lighting – particularly LED lighting. These terms have to do with lifespan, which is particularly important for lighting for commercial, municipal, educational, healthcare, or industrial applications, where short operating lives come at a higher premium.

Like the metal halide (MH), high pressure sodium (HPS), and fluorescent/compact fluorescent (CFL) technology typically used in these settings, LEDs decrease in brightness over time. L70 is a calculation of when the output of a light source dips down to 70% of the initial lumens – after which point, the bulb or luminaire is considered no longer useful, and should be replaced.

L70 values for LED lighting are determined by testing samples at different temperatures for thousands of hours, then multiplying the damage exponentially. LED drivers/power supplies generate heat, and if not managed properly, they can dramatically accelerate lumen depreciation. This is why we place such heavy emphasis on the heat sinks and other thermal management systems on all products designed and assembled by LED Waves.

Lumen-Maintenance-Curves.allThe above chart maps the typical trajectory of lumen depreciation across many professional-grade lighting technologies compared to LEDs. L70 at 50,000 hours is the baseline for everything we carry; however, most of our newer industrial products such as LED high bays are rated to last two to ten times longer.

(Note that halogen/incandescent bulbs fail suddenly, or catastrophically, rather than slowly fade in brightness. This is because their light comes from filaments, which simply burn out, rather than from the gas-based chemical reactions of the ballasted lighting technologies, or from the electricity conducted through solid state Light Emitting Diodes.)

The slow lumen depreciation of LEDs is significant for several reasons. The most obvious one is that it supplements energy savings towards a return on investment. By saving on bulb replacements and on maintenance workers’ time – which is an especially important consideration for the workplace – LED lights pay for themselves. And the advertised lifespan of, say, a fluorescent T8 tube, is not as relevant if one third of it is spent transmitting dim, flickering light.

Photo by Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

Secondly, lumen maintenance is worth noting when comparing the brightness of different lighting technologies. People are slowly disabusing themselves of the idea that Wattage measures brightness, and instead they are looking at lumen counts.

However, the advertised lumen output of a MH, HPS or fluorescent bulb is not an accurate indication of how bright it will be, since that value declines so drastically and so quickly. Occasionally, fluorescent lighting suppliers advertise a mean (average) value in addition to initial lumen output. When this is not available, one should determine their own value based on their needs and capabilities. For example, if you replace bulbs at the L70 mark, the lumen output at 85% initial lumens (or the halfway point between 100% and 70%) may provide a more accurate picture of how bright a fluorescent, MH or HPS light source will be.

Thus, exact matches in lumen output or advertised lifespans are somewhat irrelevant when comparing other light bulbs with LEDs.
Navigating this information may be a little confusing at first, but satisfyingly powerful with just a little bit of research. And our experts here at LED Waves are happy to help you make the proper lighting evaluations and choices along the way.

LED Wall Pack Costs Less Than Traditional HID

For as long as we’ve been in the business, we’ve seen LED lighting and components fall in price as the technology advances and as competitors get edged out of the industry. As a luminaire manufacturer, it’s been our honor to transfer these savings directly through to our customers in the form of affordable LED lighting.

The launch of LED Waves’ EZ40® line represents a significant development in the cost trajectory of LED technology: Retailing at $125 a unit, the EZ40 LED Wall Pack is more affordable than most wall packs using traditional HID bulb technology!

With its energy efficiency (97 lumens per Watt at 44 Watts) AND its 5-year warranty, the EZ40 LED Wall Pack is a total no-brainer of an LED upgrade for small projects. And for larger projects that are eligible for discounts by quantity, rebates, or other incentives; you might be looking at an instant ROI, right out of the box!

ez40 led wall pack
Retails at $125 per unit (or $128 with cutoff hood, pictured)

Check out the product page to learn more about the EZ40 LED Wall Pack, including the patented retrofit connector that assures a dramatically longer operating life compared to any other wall pack technology – even other LED E40 bulbs!

Genesys LED T8 Tubes On Sale

Clear and Frosted Genesys LED T8 Tube Light image
Now 50% off with free FedEx Ground shipping within the continental USA. Enter code WAVES at checkout to apply.

LED Waves is pleased to announce that the 20W and 38W Genesys 3.0 LED T8 Tubes are now 50% off!

We’re as proud of the performance of these tubes as we were when they were first added to our line of exclusive products made in-house in the USA. We’re phasing them out as more of our customers are specifying complete 1×4′ or 2×4′ LED panel lights for new constructions. However, the Genesys is still a high quality, money-saving lighting solution for those who want to retrofit existing fluorescent fixtures with LEDs.

Such a significant price drop is to be expected as advances in chip manufacturing continue to drive costs down, making LED lighting more competitive with traditional lighting technologies. COO Ayn couldn’t help but remark on the current day low price of the Genesys, compared to the Challenger: the first 4ft LED T8 we carried, which retailed at over four times the cost!

4ft LED T8 Tubes 2010-2015Whatever their prices may be, we stand by every product sold by LED Waves. In fact, we haven’t gotten a single return on the Challenger, in the 5 years since we sold that product. Those early adopters love their investment, and we think you will, too, when you shop today at LEDWaves.com!

An LED Merger Mystery

Some of the biggest, brightest names in the LED business may be merging – and while it’s unclear how this would affect the global lighting industry, we can already tell its impact on LED Waves‘ OEM operations will be huge.

Philips announced their intention to spin off Lumileds – which covers LUXEON, the line of LEDs built into the Illinois PAR30, the New York 3.0 PAR38, the Genesys 3.0 T8 tube, and a growing number of more industrial LED lights we are developing – into a separate company, after making an impressive $1.91 billion in sales last year.

Will Philips Lumileds enjoy more success than this other spinoff?

This news coincided with Cree announcing their intention to grow through strategic acquisition. The makers of the LEDs in our Midtown recessed lights, Andromeda high bay, the California MR16 and other bulbs made in the USA by LED Waves; Cree is a direct competitor to Philips Lumileds, having shown comparable success with $1.4 billion in 2013 sales.

Our Cree LED PAR30 alongside our Philips LED PAR30.
Our Cree LED PAR30 and our Philips LED PAR30.

What this merge would mean for affiliated LED lighting OEMs such as ourselves in terms of administrative operations remains unseen. However, with strengths on both sides – Cree is known for envelope-pushing innovation and efficiency (their bulb was the first to break the 100lm/W efficacy barrier), while Philips stands out for providing the quality and consistency large scale lighting specifiers need (Lumiled’s “Freedom from Binning” policy was a game changer for us all) – we foresee only great things to happen with LED technology itself.

via Trefis

 

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.

Midtown 2.1 LED Recessed Light Now in Clearance

Due to market response, we are liquidating our stock of the Midtown 2.1 LED Recessed Light. It is now 20% off in our Clearance section – making it a better value than ever!

Like its lower-profile predecessor (the Midtown 2.0, which we’ll continue to stock) the 2.1 is made in the USA with Cree XT-E LEDs. Each 9W fixture replaces a 50W halogen spot, and comes with your choice of dimmable or non-dimming LED driver. Built to last, we recommend the 2.1 for any down light application with ~3.5 or more inches of clearance above the ceiling.

As a Clearance item, the Midtown 2.1 will not be restocked once our current units sell out. For real-time availability for large quantity orders, call us at 1(800)986-0169.

Owl Pack™ Outdoor LED Flood Series Now DLC Qualified

You asked and we delivered: the Owl™ Outdoor LED Wall Pack series has made it to the DesignLights Consortium Qualified Products List! A resource for the commercial, industrial and public building sectors, the DLC QPL is comprised of retrofit and replacement lights eligible for rebates through energy incentive programs.

Owl Pack LED flood DLC listed LFI14Make sure to check out the entire series for your next building project, as every Owl Pack model – from 10 to 200 Watts – has made the cut for the DLC QPL in the Outdoor Wall-Mounted Area Luminaires category. (Note that some LED floods qualify driven at 120 VAC only, and the others qualify at both 120 and 277 V AC. Speak to a representative at 1-800-986-0169 for voltage compatibility for your specific DLC project.)

The DLC-qualified Owl™ Outdoor LED Wall Pack series is on view this week at the LIGHTFAIR International 2014 trade show & conference – along with yet another upcoming outdoor light we’ve been developing. If you’re at the show, stop by booth 2237 at the Las Vegas Convention Center for a sneak peak! If not, stay posted here for more details on this exclusive new product coming soon.

Updates to LED Waves’ Standard & 5-Year Warranty

Recently, a major issue caught our attention of us here at LED Waves by way of the LEDs & Lighting group on LinkedIn. In a discussion thread titled “LED Warranty small print – what should you look out for?” lighting professionals shared their experiences, good and bad, dealing with manufacturers’ warranties.

We learned of suppliers and manufacturers who refused to honor (what we assumed were) very basic instances requiring warranty service:

  • if some, but not all, LEDs did not light up (“Hey, you’re still getting SOME light out of it.”)
  • if the luminaire’s light output deteriorates up to 50% within their stated hours (Same as above. Note: the industry standard says that a lamp is spent after 30% deterioration of initial lumens.)
  • if a luminaire’s bundled electronics – the LED driver, for instance – stops working. (“We didn’t make that part, so it’s not OUR problem.”)
  • if the product wasn’t registered at every point along the supply chain (“Yeah, we made this, but you didn’t buy it directly from us; take it up with that guy.”)

… and so on. We were surprised to hear these horror stories, probably because (a) since so many of our clients are lighting designers and facility managers, they cannot accept this level of non-service in a warranty – and we must abide by that; and (b) as both an LED lighting OEM and a direct supplier, we have to take responsibility for our products at every point from design, assembly, to burn-in testing before they reach your door. We can’t pass the responsibility of basic warranty service off on anyone else.

5 year warranty
We promise, our fine print is not very fine at all.

In light of this, we decided to update our warranty. Read our amended standard warranty statement, as well as the extended 5 year warranty applicable to our LED lights made in the USA. Note that since we’re an Original Equipment Manufacturer that also sells directly, any LED Waves purchase is automatically covered by our warranty without having to register your purchase.

TL:DR: The terms of our warranty are the same on our end. In the extremely rare case of product failure, we will provide the same level of service our high end lighting professional customers have come to expect. But with our new explicit wording, we’re hoping that all our customers (old and new) will understand the protection they’re getting from the LED Waves warranty – the protection you deserve.

Watch Our New Video LED Product Showcases

Big news for our social media followers: LED Waves has launched a Youtube channel! Thanks to our friends at Hiccup Media, we were able to hit the ground running with a whopping eight video showcases.

The LED Waves Youtube channel offers an exciting new way to engage with viewers who are interested in switching to LED lighting. Our videos can also be viewed throughout LEDWaves.com on their respective product pages:

These eight videos – the first of many to come – focus mainly on our line of LED lights made in the USA. Subscribe to see coming content, including step-by-step installation guides for our retrofit lights, a video tour of LED Waves’ OEM facility, and even more product showcases as we grow our line of American-made LED lights!