Toast, soon – Cree white LED produces 131 lumens per watt — FYI

MANHASSET, N.Y. — Cree Inc. said it has produced a white LED with efficiency of 131 lumens per watt, confirmed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“This is the highest level of efficacy that has been publicly reported for a white LED and raises the bar for the LED industry,” said Scott Schwab, Cree general manager, LED chips, in a statement.

Semiconductor suppliers have racing to produce higher efficiency white LEDs as the industry seeks energy-efficient alternatives to conventional lighting. In March, Japan-based Nichia Corp. reported it had developed a white LED rated 100 lumens per watt.

Last September, Cree (Durham, N.C.) said its white XLamp 7090 Power LED was capable of producing 86 lumens per watt.

Lumens-per-watt is the standard used by the lighting industry to measure the conversion of electrical energy to light. As a reference, conventional incandescent light bulbs are typically in the 10 to 20 lumens per watt range, while compact fluorescent lamps range from 50 to 60 lumens per watt.

  1. Dave Ladd says:

    1 – New Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) circuitry is making it possible to provide controlled current from much larger voltages with very low losses in the controller circuit. Series regulators and resistors add losses. It kills the overall efficiency of the fixture no matter how efficient the lamp is if the regulator is hot.

    2- These PWM devices can very efficiently provide dimming funcionality.

    3 – Lighting companies are mixing LEDs to get the color temperature they want. Add in some amber, blue, red, even UV for effect.

    4 – Hey, LED means much less mercury. Compact Flours contain Hg. Incands introduce about the same (studies show) from the additional coal burn required to power them.

    LEDs last longer use less energy and introduce considerably less Hg into the soil/atmosphere.

    Sign me up!

  2. Swaroop Bhushan says:

    City of Ann Arbor, MI has already retrofitted 1600 downtown streetlights with LED lamps. Ann Arbor will be saving $100,000 per year and more importantly reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 267 tonnes CO2e.

    Their cost analysis shows that each LED replacement lamps pays for itself in approx 3.3 years.

  3. Voice_of_Reality says:

    I read #5 and i had to reply.

    Street lamps switched to LED would cost MORE energy. Street lamps are mostly sodium lamps (yellowish) and they are more efficient than LEDs.

    And the idea of switching the whole house to 12vdc is also not particularly smart. It would decrease the efficiency of appliances, and increase the internal wire losses (there is a reason why overhead high voltage lines are in fact very high voltage).

    And the idea to legally mandate the end of the incandescent is also stupid. LEDs wont work as oven lights, wont work in high quality photography, and other specialty situations.

    Using Red-Green-Blue LEDs to simulate white light is also not as efficient as using “white” LEDs. Case in point, the 130 lumens/watt at the top of this article is for a “white” LED, not a Red, not a Green.

  4. Yehuda Draiman, Energy Analyst says:


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    By doing a thorough audit of the facility it is not unusual to estimate energy savings at well over 50% of the kW used and give you a much brighter and healthier facility.

    • Obtain an accurate representation of the existing ballast & lamp types; room, fixture and fixture placement measurements; light levels; and an accounting of other related existing conditions such as wall, floor and ceiling colors (to establish reflectance estimates where an increase or decrease in existing light levels may be recommended) and any pre-existing damage to surfaces, rugs, lenses, etc.
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  5. lee says:

    Well it all sounds great, but lets get real, do you think that us users who use less power would save money? If we all went energy saving we may help the planet but the energy company would then increase prices any how to make up their loss.

  6. ECA says:


  7. Sérgio Santos says:

    If a separate circuit was made using car bateries or dc cells, with a electronic control system, then with a fotovoltage panel to charge de bateries, also with electronic control with alternate cells in service for a house ilumination system using Ultra light leds, i think ilumination would be very simply free, free. The downfall is only the convencional light to be substituted with a larger quantity of leds to obtain the same lumens per watt. Note that a led uses aproximately only 90mW but is necessary about 80 leds to obtain 800 lumens, witch is the same as a 40Watt convencional lamp. I think this has not yet happened due to be a revolution in the market, not good when money envolved.

  8. Michael says:

    Everyone is all excited, but NO mention has been made about the Color Rendition Index of this “super LED”. It hardly matters if it puts out 131 lpw, if the light is abominable. LEDs still have a ways to go before they can compete with best linear fluorescents which can put out almost 90 lpw, AND have excellent color rendition.

  9. wetnap says:

    still waiting for one of these super leds to show up at retail at a reasonable price!

    damn press releases:(

  10. nwimpney says:

    #38 Yeah, The typical CRI listed for a Luxeon K2 cool white is 70. I think that’s probably in the ballpark of a poor quality fluorescent tube.

    Generally most white leds are blue with an orange-yellow phosphor. They tend to do a mediocre job illuminating red and green objects.

    I think the Red+Green+Blue method could work better, though it probably will be less efficient.

    To be fair though, most high CRI tubes tend to have less light output than cheap ones. This is mostly due to the fact that lumens are weighted to a model of the human eye, where yellow and green are picked up much brighter than red and blue.

    This is the reason the orange sodium street lamps are so efficient.

    I have to strongly disagree with everyone who thinks incandescent lamps should be banned, though.

    1. Incandescent bulbs are very good in extreme conditions. You can’t use LED or fluorescent in an oven, and they respond very differently to cold temperatures. A standard bulb is fine in the cold. Fluorescents are hard to start, and give less light until they warm up. LEDs generally get brighter, and white ones tend to give more blue light, while the yellow light from the phosphor doesn’t increase to the same degree. CFLs (and presumably leds) shouldn’t be used in enclosed lights, because the heat build up kills the electrolytic caps that are usually in their switching circuits (in the power supply section)

    2. Incandescent bulbs are a linear load, and can be built to operate at the correct voltage, without an additional power supply. (Lots of loss in the supplies/regulators, generally)

    3. Incandescent bulbs take much less energy to produce. A typical bulb is about 1kWh to build IIRC, conservatively, a cfl is 10 times that. LED’s probably similar, due to supporting electronics.

    4. CFLs are bad where they’re frequently turned on/off for short durations. (Bathroom light, etc) They often give poor light for a short time, and their lifespans are usually quite poor when they’re used this way.

    5. Mercury (for CFL) I’m not going to get all alarmist about this one.. The amount is small, but still worth keeping in mind.

    6. LED, and Fluorescent tend to flicker. (Especially led) The phosphors can be made slower which tends to help with fluorescent, but with LED there’s still going to be some colour dependent flicker, since the blue light is flickering, even if the phosphor isn’t.
    A smoothed DC supply will give better light, but will add extra power loss, and noise.

    I could go on forever, but I think the point is clear. High efficiency lighting is awesome, and everyone should use it where it’s appropriate, but banning incandescent is a really bad idea. Also, my apartment has electric heat, so any energy “savings” in the winter is completely null. My heating will go up an equivalent amount, and environmentally speaking, it’s worse, since energy is required to produce the “energy saving” stuff.

  11. kw says:

    Lower the cost of LED technolgy in the US and it will evolve over night.

    Why is the mark up in the states so high compaired to the overseas prices of LED components?

    Because its new to the U.S., GREED inflaits the price and slows the progress as usual!!!!

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