GE Lighting has announced the Lumination DI Series of LED-based downlights that are available in 4- and 6-in. round and square versions with a broad choice of CCT, CRI, and beam spread. The flexibility comes courtesy of the use of solid-state lighting (SSL) modules as the base of the product that is compatible with the Zhaga Consortium Book 5 specification.
The GE downlight announcement is the second instance this week of a company announcing a major recessed downlight product family based on a modular light engine. Earlier, Lutron announced the Finiré family based on Xicato LED modules. While the modular technologies GE and Lutron chose are quite different, the benefits in each case include the ability to design and build one basic fixture and offer many variations through the choice of the light engine — a topic we discussed recently in a feature article on modular SSL.
"With lumen package options from 1000 to 4000 lm, the Lumination DI Series truly is the ideal LED alternative to everything from 13W CFL to 100W metal halide downlights," said John Koster, GE indoor LED product manager. The company also offers CCTs ranging from 2700K to 4000K, and the choice of narrow, medium, and wide beam patterns. In the case of the DI Series, GE is using modules with a CRI of 90 because the target application is lighting high-end retail, hospitality, and office spaces.
In the GE Lighting case, the products use the Infusion modules that rely on phosphor-converted white LEDs whereas the Xicato modules use remote-phosphor technology. GE developed the Infusion modules in house after having acquired the original technology from Journée Lighting back in 2009. GE has continued to evolve and expand the family having introduced new modules in the Gen3 family back in September.
The other elements that differentiate the GE design are the Zhaga compatibility and the fact that Book 5 defines a mechanical design that can be installed with a twist-and-lock motion that is akin to changing a lightbulb. "At the heart of the design is the Infusion DLM downlight module, which uses a unique color-mixing technology to deliver 90+ CRI and very high R9 at all lumen levels and color temperatures without sacrificing efficiency," said Koster. "Better yet, the socketable module allows for easy upgrade as LED technology advances, ensuring the lowest total cost of ownership. Customers will finally be able to upgrade or service just the LEDs — tool-free — without having to change the entire downlight."
Indeed, the Zhaga compatibility would presumably mean that you could even upgrade the feature with a module from a vendor other than GE. For now, however, neither GE nor any other competitor has had Book 5 modules formally certified for compliance by a test lab. The complexity of the mechanical design has prolonged the certification process relative to other Zhaga books that define non-socketable light engines, which require tools for installation. Still, GE expects to achieve certification for its modules.