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Monday, November 9, 2009
feature story
New GE LED Module Simplifies Lighting, Makes Luminaires Upgradeable and Serviceable

Simple clockwise twist mates the LED module to the fixture housing for necessary thermal, electrical, and mechanical connectivity

GE's LED module shown with Journée Lighting's Azara™ LED Luminaire
GE LED module
GE LED module
GE's LED module shown with Journée Lighting's Azara™ LED Luminaire

General lighting with energy-efficient long–lasting LEDs in directional applications such as recessed downlights, tracks, pendants, and sconces, will become as easy as changing a standard light bulb early next year. A new technology "twist" from GE Consumer & Industrial—a small puck–shaped LED module that gives lighting designers and end users the ability to easily upgrade LED lighting as technology advances—addresses the inflexibility of integrated LED luminaires now used in commercial and consumer settings.

The new module‘s ease of installation, a clockwise twist motion, contrasts sharply with current integrated LED luminaires and LED modules that are not easily replaceable because they require mechanical fasteners to couple the LED package to a heat sink, and a plug to make the electrical connection. With the new GE offering, the necessary thermal and electrical connections are made with a simple twist of the module into its socket.

"It is as easy as changing a light bulb," said Steven J. Briggs, vice president of marketing and global product management with GE Consumer & Industrial‘s LED business, Lumination, LLC. "Leading lighting designers and architects are on the record with concerns about integrated LED fixture upgradeability and serviceability. Some won‘t specify an integrated LED fixture. This is GE‘s answer. It‘s future–proof and market–ready."

Lumination purchased the next–generation LED module technology from Journée Lighting, Inc, a California–based LED fixture designer and manufacturer. "In the hands of GE, we believe this consumer–friendly modular LED technology will rapidly accelerate the wide–spread adoption of LED lighting as a preferred light source across the world," said Clayton Alexander, CEO of Journée Lighting.

GE‘s replaceable LED module allows fixture makers to remain current with the latest LED performance in a GE–reliable solution. "Our fixture customers want to focus their efforts on total system performance," added Briggs.

Leaders of GE Consumer & Industrial in the U.S. and Europe are already presenting the new module to luminaire manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and the lighting design community. "Early customer feedback has been a combination of relief and excitement," noted Andy Davies, senior LED product manager for GE‘s operation in Europe. "GE customers around the world appreciate that we've knocked down the hurdle of inflexibility that‘s inherent with integrated LED luminaires."

The new fully dimmable GE brand LED module will debut in Journée Lighting‘s award–winning Azara™ and Pentas™ track light luminaires in early 2010. In addition, GE is making the module available as a component for various LED luminaire manufacturers.

One lighting luminaire can support a variety of different LED modules with varying color temperatures, beam angles, and light levels. An added level of lighting design flexibility is enabled with the LED module‘s wattage–adjust switch that gives end users three different light level/wattage options.

Modular platforms versus integrated platforms

LED technology advancements are coming faster than ever. LED chip manufacturers seem to announce improvements in efficacy every few months. With the new GE LED module, end users get LED lighting that over its life can be considered state–of–the–art in quality, efficiency and control. Because critical components such as the LED driver circuitry and chip are contained within an easily replaceable module, a component failure doesn't require the costly replacement of the entire fixture.



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On the Hill/Around the Nation

11.09.09
Federal Outdoor Lighting Standards Consensus Reached: For much of the past year, NEMA has spearheaded negotiations with stakeholders from the lighting, manufacturing, utilities, and energy-advocacy community to reach a consensus agreement on federal outdoor lighting standards. This agreement will, for the first time, set efficiency standards for pole-mounted outdoor lighting products. On November 3, 2009, NEMA President and CEO Evan Gaddis participated in a press conference with five members of Congress on Capitol Hill announcing this agreement. NEMA promotes energy-efficient technologies and policies to increase use of these technologies.

EPA Issues Proposed Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule: On October 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that brings the agency closer to regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from major stationary sources under the Clean Air Act. The proposed rule governs how the EPA applies emissions control requirements under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration program to GHGs and sets a major source threshold of 25,000 tons per year of GHGs, as measured in CO2 equivalents. EPA is accepting comments on the proposed rule through December 28, 2009. Extensive information on the issue is available at www.nam.org/epa. NEMA opposes regulation of GHGs under the Clean Air Act, believing that the issue is more appropriately addressed through new legislation.

Smart Grid Investment Grants Awarded: On October 27, President Obama announced $3.4 billion in cost-matched awards to modernize the nation’s electric grid. The award topics include increasing grid efficiency, integrating disparate systems, and building a domestic manufacturing base. The grants were funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and authorized in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Award recipients will be required to share their project progress on a public Department of Energy (DOE) Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse. NEMA drafted the original authorizing language, advocated for stimulus funding, and shaped the Department of Energy selection criteria for these grants. NEMA has been also been selected to serve on the DOE clearinghouse steering committee.

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