Sharp and Panasonic boost brightness in LED retrofit lamps

July 15, 2010
Sharp introduced upgraded LED retrofit lamps for standard A-lamp and E17 compact applications while Panasonic has introduced new luminaires that can serve as a T8-fluorescent-fixture replacement.
The Japanese lighting market is getting new brighter LED-based solid-state lighting (SSL) products from both Sharp and Panasonic. Sharp has both new compact E17-base lamps that set new brightness levels and a lower-weight standard E26-base (A-lamp) offering. Panasonic, meanwhile plans to offer both in-ceiling and suspended luminaires that target the commercial-office market that today uses fixtures based on dual T-8 fluorescent tubes.

Sharp's new E17-base offerings include both the compact DL-JA51N daylight-white and DL-JA42L warm-white models. Sharp claims the daylight-white model is the brightest such compact LED lamp on the market in Japan offering 500-lm output at 5W, and delivering an efficacy of 96 lm/W.

The company also announced two new E17-base products that target chandeliers. The DL-JC2Bl comes in warm white with a clear cover and delivers 230 lm. The DL-JF2BL comes in warm white with an opaque cover and delivers 240 lm. Both dissipate 4.3 W.

For the new E26 lamps that fit standard incandescent sockets, Sharp is touting a lighter weight design relative to prior models rather than higher brightness. The DL-LA41N daylight-white and DL-LA32L warm-white models weight 85g -- 50% less than earlier models. The lighter weight most likely comes as the result of a new thermal design because metal used as heat sinks in LED retrofit lamps is responsible for the bulk of the weight of such products.

LED fixture targets fluorescent applications

Panasonic's new LED fluorescent-replacement luminaires are 52% more efficient than the company's earlier products according to the Nikkei Tech-On! blog. Back in March, Panasonic announced its intention to launch an addition to the Everleds product line this summer, and apparently that launch is here.

The new fixture delivers 6800 lm output at 65W, and an efficacy of 104.6 lm/W. That efficacy compares favorably with the 68.8-lm/W efficacy that the company achieved with a similar product announced last September. The new products exceed the 85.3-lm/W efficacy that Panasonic has achieved in its Fluorescent fixtures. Shipments are scheduled for August.

The subject of T8-replacement products has been a popular one as there are many such fixtures in the market that could benefit from LED-based T-8 tubes. It doesn't appear, however, that the Panasonic luminaire uses tubes so despite the efficacy advantage over fluorescents, the product won't address the huge installed based in need of simple plug-in upgrades. But lighting designers working on new installations and major upgrades may find the new LED fixtures a superior choice to fluorescents.

At the present time it's no clear when wither the Sharp or Panasonic products will be offered outside Japan.