Philips introduces LED BR30, says 100W-equivalent A21 to ship Dec 1

Philips Lighting has announced a new LED BR30 that dims to a warm 2200K and an LED T8 retrofit tube with an external driver, and said that it will be first to market with the previously announced 100W-equivalent A-lamp.

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Philips Lighting made a number of LED retrofit lamp announcements that span the range of A-lamps to LED-based T8 tubes. The company said that its 22W A21 EnduraLED lamp that delivers 1780 lm will be in major retail stores December 1 at a price of $55. Philips also announced a new dimmable LED BR30 that transitions from 2700K to 2200K as light output decreases. In the T8 area, the company says it has a new lamp that uses an external driver and that it's among the first LED tubes to achieve DesignLights Consortium (DLC) compliance.

A21 retrofit lamp

Philips was one of several companies that announced LED-based 100W-equivalent lamps back in the time frame of LightFair International in May. GE Lighting struck first but said that its Energy Smart product wouldn't ship until well into 2013. Philips is delivering on its promise to ship the 100W-equivalent lamp this year.

The 1780-lm output of the Philips EnduraLED A21 lamp is significantly brighter than the typical 100W incandescents that are generally in the 1600-lm range. Moreover, most of the announced competitive LED lamps are in that lower range. The A21 size of the Philips product is slightly larger than the standard A19 size. GE has pledged that its lamp will be in the A19 form factor.

The Philips design comes in at 22W, 1W less than originally announced. A Philips spokesperson said that Energy Star testing is underway and that the company expects to have the lamp qualified in Q1 2013.

DimTone BR30

The new LED BR30 lamp targets commercial applications including retail and hospitality and will be available from Philips Lighting distributors in November. Philips calls the product DimTone because it mimics the dim-to-warm color temperature change of incandescent and halogen lamps. Most dimmable LED retrofit lamps maintain the same color temperature when dimmed, although we have seen a number of products announced over the previous six months with a dim-to-warm feature.

Generally the color change is achieved by including one or more red or amber LEDs in a lamp design and changing the relative drive current to those LEDs at lower power levels. For now Philips hasn't said how the new BR30 works, but just said that it was based on "Philips next-generation driver technology."

Based off the description of how the BR30 operates, the lamp may use Cirrus Logic's two-channel CS1630/31 driver IC that would be able to control white and red LEDs separately. Philips had used Cirrus' single-channel driver IC in an earlier lamp.

LED T8 tube

Philips provided little in the way of detail on its new LED T8 retrofit tube, other than the claim of DLC compliance and the detail that the tube relies on an external driver. Most LED T8 tubes, including existing Philips EnduraLED tubes, integrate the driver in the tube and require that the ballast in a fluorescent fixture be removed from the circuit.

The new Philips tube will rely on a Philips Centium driver. The tube/driver combination will deliver a system efficacy of 104 lm/W, says Philips. The company says that the tubes will save 17% in energy relative to widely used 32W fluorescent T8 tubes and ballasts.

The Philips product could be the first retrofit tube to receive DLC compliance. The database of listed products that was posted on October 22 showed no approved LED tubes.

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