Stories of Panasonic’s new EverLED lamp are making their way around the intarwebs in the last week – in October (the 21st to be specific), Japan will see the release of Panasonic’s new line of household LED incandescent replacement lamps. Panasonic is selling this new LED source as one that will last 19 years if used an average of about five and a half hours a day. One one hand, awesome! On the other, will there be a department to substantiate fraud claims if this doesn’t work? And how on earth have they tested this claim? I’m no rocket surgeon, but is this all based on mathematical estimate?
First, what does an average of five hours a day equal? It means about 40,000 lamp hours. Take that how you will. 40,000 hours is 40,000 hours no matter how you spin it. But – when you claim 19 years on an average of five and a half hours a day, what happens when you run the lamp constantly for 500 hour stints at a time – or even 72 hour runs on average?
Don’t worry, I’m not poo-pooing Panasonic’s EverLED lamp. I’m actually excited to see it in action. We’re testing one of EternaLEDs’ HydraLux-4s in our apartment for testing, and it’s doing great, and provides a good light. I’m a lighting designer – I am critical AND loving!
The Panasonic EverLED has some interesting efficacy numbers – keep in mind that these numbers are without a luminaire – just the lamp on its own:
- The LDa7D-A1 model, equal in output to a 40W incandescent, has an efficacy of 82.6 lm/W
- The LDA4D-A1 model, equal in output to a 30W incandescent, has an efficacy of 85 lm/W
These numbers are very good – they basically make the EverLED models about 40 times more efficient than an incandescent lamp (a rough number is about 12 lm/W for a 40W incandescent). But what do you think the number one issue keeping consumers away from LED lamps is currently?
If you guessed price, you’re right on the money. The EverLED is going to cost about $40 bucks (or 4,000 yen), and at this time is only available in Japan. Similar LED lamps are upwards of the same price range. When you can buy a pack of incandescent lamps for under two dollars, what’s giving the low-income families incentive to buy something that costs the same as a tank of gas?
Check out some images, and the press release from CompoundSemi:
September 10, 2009… Osaka, Japan–Panasonic Corporation, a leader in electronics technology and innovation, today unveiled bulb-shaped LED (light-emitting diode) lamps, the latest addition to its EVERLEDS LED lighting products. The new line-up consisting of eight types of bulbs offers the industry’s most energy-efficient(1), lightest(2) and smallest LED bulbs(3). They also include the industry’s first compact type LED bulbs(4) and dimmable lamps. By offering a variety of energy-saving, long-lasting, environmentally-friendly LED lamps, Panasonic encourages consumers to replace traditional incandescent lamps to address climate-change issues.
The new line-up includes 4.0 W (LDA4L-A1 and LDA4D-A1), 6.9 W (LDA7L-A1 and LDA7D-A1) and 7.6 W (LDA8L-A1/D and LDA8D-A1/D) standard type (E26 base) LED bulbs and 5.5 W (LDA6L-E17-A1/D and LDA6D-E17-A1/D) compact type (E17 base) LED bulbs. Available in “Daylight” and warm “Lamp” colors, they will go on sale in Japan on October 21.
The new products use Panasonic’s own heat dissipation technology to increase the bulb’s energy-efficiency. Generally speaking, LED’s luminous efficiency increases as temperature decreases. So it is important to lower and optimize the temperature of an LED package to achieve higher luminous efficiency. By applying alumite treatment to the surface, Panasonic successfully increased heat dissipation to lower the temperate of the LED package.
Combining this technology with the design which tightly joins the LED package and the casing, the company has achieved the industry’s highest energy efficiency in LED bulbs(1).
Also, when used as a downlight, the 6.9 W standard type LED bulbs deliver the brightness equivalent to 60 W incandescent bulbs5). That means it can save up to 2,000 yen per year on energy bills. The 4.0 W standard and 5.5 W compact LED bulbs produce the output comparable to 40 W incandescents and the 7.6 W standard LED bulbs have the brightness of 60 W incandescents when used as a downlight(6).
Panasonic also made the new LED bulbs the lightest2) in the industry by making the casing thinner and reducing the amount of aluminum used in the product. The standard size E26 base bulb weighs only 100 g and the compact size E17 base bulb weighs 50 g.
Further, Panasonic employed its own thermal analysis technology to optimize the heat dissipating configuration (heat sink) to create the most compact E26 base LED bulbs in terms of length and outer diameter. The new LED lamps, including the industry’s first E17 base LED bulbs, will easily fit into existing fixtures with which other replacement bulbs did not physically match.
The E26 base LED bulbs have a long lifespan of up to 40,000 hours. That means they last for about 19 years when used for 5.5 hours a day. The E17 base LED bulbs have about 20,000 hour life span. The new LED bulbs also feature a durable glass globe using glass manufacturing technology Panasonic accumulated over the years. They emit virtually no UV or IR radiation. The 7.6 W standard type and the 5.5 W compact type LED bulbs are dimmable from 10 percent to 100 percent.
(1) The standard type LDA7D-A1 LED bulb, which produces the brightness equivalent to a 40 W incandescent lamp when used without fixtures, has luminous efficiency of 82.6 lm/W and standard type LDA4D-A1 LED bulb, which produces the brightness equivalent to a 30 W incandescent lamp when used without fixtures, has luminous efficiency of 85.0 lm/w, as of September 10, 2009.
(2) As a standard type LED bulb, as of September 10, 2009.
(3) In terms of length and outer diameter.
(4) As a compact type LED bulb (E17 base) which produces the brightness equivalent to a 25 W mini-krypton when used without fixtures.
(5) Direct lighting when used with the LB72630Z fixture by Panasonic Electric Works (PEW).
(6) Direct lighting when used with PEW’s LB72106 (4.0 W LED bulb), LB72630Z (7.6 W LED bulb) and LB74059 (5.5 W LED bulb) fixtures.