Bridgelux announces Décor series COB LEDs with optimized CRI and GAI performance

Oct. 29, 2014
The new Vero Décor chip-on-board LEDs from Bridgelux delivers what the Lighting Research Center has called Class A Color for demanding applications such as high-end retail and museums.

The new Vero Décor chip-on-board packaged LEDs from Bridgelux deliver what the Lighting Research Center has called Class A Color for demanding lighting applications such as high-end retail and museums.

Bridgelux has announced the Vero Décor Series Class A chip-on-board (COB) LEDs at the Hong Kong Lighting Fair. The packaged LEDs deliver top performance in terms of CRI and Gamut Area Index (GAI), enabling products based on the LEDs to illuminate white and color items in an ideal manner.

Bridgelux has partnered with the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in developing a product line with high GAI performance, a metric developed by the LRC. Indeed, the LRC has developed a loose definition for what it calls Class A Color and the LEDs are being marketed as delivering on the concept.

"Class A Color has been broadly tested and tuned to ensure the most pleasing blend of naturalness and vividness based on subjective human perceptions," said Jean Paul Freyssinier, senior research scientist at the LRC. “A majority (75%) of those tested from around the world agree that Class A Color light sources provide the best color rendering and optimum saturation levels. It’s consistent lighting that won’t disappoint."

Class A Color has three elements. Sources that meet the definition must have CRI above 80 and GAI in the range of 80 to 100. Moreover, sources at 4000K CCT and below should be below the black-body locus to match LRC research with humans that indicate minimal tint at a chromaticity below the locus. The LRC detailed much of the research behind Class A Color in a 2012 Strategies in Light presentation.

The LRC has long argued that the industry needs two metrics to characterize color performance. The researchers say CRI is a measure of light quality whereas GAI measures color saturation and strength. And note that CRI can penalize an over-saturated source despite the fact that applications such as retail may value such characteristics.

Bridgelux will offer the Décor series in 3000K to 4000K CCTs. That is the range where the LRC recommends chromaticity below the black-body locus.

"The launch of our Décor Series Class A LED arrays is a game changer for Bridgelux, our customers, and the industry,” said Brad Bullington, CEO of Bridgelux. "Light has the power to influence how people behave, what they purchase, their productivity, and their mood. Our new human-centric approach harnesses that potential to help our customers create custom light experiences that deliver great aesthetics and a tangible financial impact."

Bridgelux is taking liberties with its use of the term human-centric in describing the new COB LEDs. Human-centric lighting almost always refers to a light source in which the CCT is varied at different times of the day in a manner that may enhance human wellbeing. We recently had an article that discussed that science, which is still developing.

Clearly the Bridgelux products do not meet the prevailing definition of human-centric lighting. Nevertheless, the color performance could prove enticing to humans. And that can lead to improved sales in retail applications.

Bridgelux is not the first company to embrace one or more of the Class A concepts, although Bridgelux is the first to use the Class A designator. LED module manufacturer Xicato has been shipping its Vibrant family since mid-2013. Those modules deliver high GAI but Xicato has not indicated performance below the black-body curve. Earlier this year, Philips Lumileds announced the CrispWhite COB LED family that delivers below-the-curve chromaticity, but the company has not offered a GAI rating for the LEDs.