‘Impossible’ development in LED lighting industry

25 Mar 2014

A UK company with a speciality lighting technology arm, Zeta, have succeeded in developing a low power LED form bulb, know as the Life Bulb. Commissioned by the Department of Energy and funded through a small business research initiative grant, the aim was to produce an energy efficient LED light bulb, approx 10W, with very specific requirements, that would have the potential to eventually secure a sizeable portion of the 60W lighting market, a market that is estimated to have a global value of $60billion.

Deemed initially as wishing the impossible, a feasiblity project concluded that every aspect of design and production would be problematic. However, the idea was actively pursued, driven by the desire for efficiency, both in luminosity and in system efficiency concerning heat loss with LED – a key feature being to provide a large surface area using convection as a method of obtaining thermal capabilities to permit LED life figure.

LEDs are normally only 25% efficient in this area, although gradually improving, is still far from satisfactory, as explained by the company’s technical director, the 60% being lost needing to be managed as heat, pulled out of the LED to avoid loss of longevity caused by excessive temperature. “That is where heat management of the Life Bulb is critical,” stated Mr Vijaykumar.

Using the whole of the surface area of the bulb, maintaining the form factor intact, convection cools the LED and the drivers within the system. CFS software was used to add power specifications, materials and particular conditions. The resulting design comprising of a large surface area with air vents, has become a patented feature of the newly born Life Bulb. LED bulbs’ traditional problem with dimming was cleverly ironed out by increasing resistance in the driver.

Having completed this once perceived technical impossibility though, Zeta’s managing director admits the revolutionary product is far from ready to be turned into a commercial one, and the company is working on a yet more intelligent version of the prototype that can be used via regular consumer mobile technology.

You can read more about this marvelous product and others at their website http://www.zetaled.co.uk/led-lighting-products/led-lifebulb/

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