Back to the future: Signify increases the energy efficiency of LED lamps

Nov. 9, 2023
Lest we forget, the benefits of LED replacements are not all about IoT and other modern lighting trends.

With the lighting industry’s emphasis on all things IoT, circular, and circadian, it’s easy to lose sight of the original hallmark of LED illumination: the energy efficiency of lightbulbs. This week, Signify issued a strong reminder of the basics, increasing the efficiency of LED lamps across a range of uses.

The world’s largest lighting company added models to its Philips brand Ultra Efficient (UE) line for use on roadways as well as in retail, hospitality, and home environments. Eindhoven, Holland–based Signify said the new models increase energy efficiency over existing Signify Philips-branded LED products by between 43% and 50%, depending on the model.

The new editions all have an “A” energy efficiency rating under the European Union eco labels that came into force in September 2021, when “A” replaced “A++” as the most energy-efficient designation, causing many existing products from Signify and other vendors to cascade down as low as E and F. It was around that time that Signify started adding Ultra Efficient models, beginning with some home LED lamps.

The company has continued to beef up its UE stable since then. The most recent additions include a replacement for conventional high-intensity discharge (HID) street lamps. Signify said the new Philips MASTER LED SON-T UltraEfficient is 43% more efficient than its previous LED HID replacement offering.

Signify also added new lamps for indoor use commercially and residentially that all qualify as “A”  in E.U. energy ratings, whereas Signify previously topped out at “B.”

The new models include Edison-style lightbulbs in various shapes such as traditional, candle, and globe — some of which are dimmable. They offer 50% greater energy savings than Signify’s previous products. The new offerings also include GU10 spot lamps, with 45% greater efficiency.

Signify did not reveal pricing. LEDs Magazine has inquired. Typically the company attaches a premium price tag when it offers a big leap in efficiency. The new products have been available in Europe since September; Signify has only now announced them. LEDs is awaiting answers on availability in other geographic areas.

In the E.U.’s September 2021 reconfigured labeling scheme, the top rating of A requires 210 lumens per watt (lm/W), B means 185 lm/W,  and C 160 lm/W. The designations run down to G at 0 lm/W. The less stringent old system topped at A++ at 120 lm/W, while A+ meant at least 120 lm/W and A ran at 50 lm/W. That system bottomed out at E’s 0 lm/W.

Meanwhile, Signify and the lighting industry in general continue pursuing IoT, circular economy, and circadian entrainment ambitions. Watch for more soon on these subjects from LEDs.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.