Cree announces brighter LED streetlight to replace 400W HID fixtures

Dec. 10, 2013
The LEDway High Output LED streetlight delivers more than 25,000 lm and includes a field adjustable feature that allows municipalities and utilities to precisely meet solid-state lighting (SSL) application requirements to ensure minimum energy consumption.

Cree has added the LEDway High Output (HO) family of LED luminaires to its streetlight product portfolio, enabling the company to sell more broadly into the market for retrofitting 400W HID (high intensity discharge) lights. A feature that allows for nine adjustable output settings allows customers to set the output between 60% and 100% of 26,800 lm in the field and realize commensurate energy savings by precisely matching the light-level requirements of the installation at hand.

The LEDway HO family uses the LED and optic technology that Cree first delivered in the XSP series in April 2012. The products use fewer larger LEDs relative to the LEDway SeriesE along with a one-piece optic with multiple total internal reflection (TIR) lenses molded into the optic. The result is a lower-cost design. The tradeoff for Cree is that it doesn't offer as many beam patterns in the XSP and LEDway HO products as it does in the SeriesE, according to product marketing manager Ahmit Bhojraj. For now, the LEDway HO is offered in Types 2 and 3 patterns.

Still, the new design allows Cree to more easily serve the 400W-retrofit space. The SeriesE tops out at just under 25,000 lm. The LEDway HO products deliver a maximum of 26,800 lm at a 5700K CCT, and 25,000 lm at 4000K with a system-level power consumption of 274W. "Now we have a more convincing argument in terms of light output," said Bhojraj about replacing 400W HID sources.

It's the adjustable output feature that at first seemed rather simplistic but may end up being the most important feature of the new series. Essentially, the installer can select one of nine output levels using a simple potentiometer. The feature allows the output to be turned down to as little as 15,000 lm.

To illustrate the benefit, Cree provided a theoretical installation — lighting a high-traffic roadway in which the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) RP-8 document specifies a minimum light level of 1.7 fc. Cree showed data sheets for two unnamed competitors' LED products in which 206W and 213W fixtures fell just short of the required light level and the next step up in the product lines were 280W and 309W products. In contrast, the LEDway HO series set to 86% of full scale could deliver the required level with power consumption of 214W.

About the level adjustment feature, Cree product manager Don Brandt said, "It allows you to right size the product to the application." Brandt said that with new construction products, designers/specifiers can choose pole spacing and mounting heights that allow a product selection to exactly match required light levels. But in retrofit scenarios, that is the bulk of the market, municipalities and utilities are stuck with existing poles and need the flexibility to adjust the fixture.

The total value proposition is the combination of lower upfront cost enabled by the larger LEDs and one-piece optics combined with minimal energy usage and the convenience of stocking a single product to serve in a variety of scenarios. At first, you would think that installing a product at 60% of its maximum capability would be wasted dollars since a lighting manufacturer could realize that capability with fewer LEDs. But Brandt said that higher-volume purchases and the simpler logistics of stocking a single product can more than cover any cost penalty. Brandt added, "We're offering more value to the end user."

Cree also said that soon it will bring the adjustable feature to serve in lower-lumen applications. The company hasn'’t said exactly how it will bring new products to market, but we'd expect an XSP-style design with the adjustable driver to serve in the range of 7500–15,000 lm.