When you think LED T8, and T12 replacements, you see a familiar tube shape paired with an LED array—and if you are a distributor or electrical contractor, you’re all too familiar with the pitfalls of this marriage between fluorescent and LED technologies: high capital cost, light output levels that fall below acceptable standards, and in the worst cases, burn outs due to poor thermal management, electrical incompatibilities or both.
LED Living, a manufacturer located on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, launches its market changing Claris LED Retrofit Kit with a fresh LED approach to T8 and T12 replacement. Its unique design allows for quick installation without the all too familiar shortcomings of an LED tube. The Claris LED Retrofit Kit is one of the only UL certified LED retrofit kits of its kind, where once installed, the housing retains its UL.
LED Living's CEO, Oliver Szeto explains: “LED and fluorescent technologies require different approaches. While the tube shape is integral to fluorescent lamp performance, LEDs are only inhibited by it. It’s time to Think Outside The Tube™.”
Oliver Szeto is both the founder and lead innovator behind the Think Outside the Tube™ technology driving Claris LED Retrofit Kits. Inspiration for the fresh approach spans from over two decades of experience leading LED mechanical, electrical, and optical engineering for sister company Metaphase Technologies, Inc., a high-end machine vision and specialty LED fixture manufacturing company with over 4,000 application-specific LED products.
The tube free concept behind the Claris LED Retrofit Kit centers around two of LED Living's patent pending technologies: Rapid Thermafuse Technology and isotropic diffusion.
Rapid Thermafuse Technology allows LED Living to utilize existing troffer housings to effectively thermally manage their LEDs.
“Recycling the housing as a heat sink with Rapid Thermafuse technology is a big part of why this kit is so successful,” explains Jasmin Molina, Director of Sales, “With effective thermal management, we can drive the LEDs at their optimal drive current, allowing for maximum light output and efficiency, and ensuring that the LEDs will last the full breadth of their lifetime, and more importantly, that they will meet or exceed the light output of T8 and T12 tubes, while cutting user’s energy consumption up to 67%.”
Isotropic diffusion, a patent pending technology designed to maximize Quality of Light™, is the second element of the Claris Retrofit Kit that sets it apart.
The pinpoint glare of individual LEDs has been a major setback in the integration of LED technology into an everyday working environment. High brightness LEDs can cause visual discomfort, and leave the same blotches in your vision that one experiences after looking at a camera flash—an effect most employees find intolerable.
Patent pending isotropic diffusers eliminate this uncomfortable glare, and allows for a more conventional look.
At LED Living's headquarters in Bensalem PA, Oliver Szeto notes with pride that “People walk under these lights, and have no idea it is LED technology up there and not fluorescent.” He does get comments, however, that the room is more cheerful.
“Before, my storage facility was a bit creepy,” says Drew Capelli, facilities manager for Capelli Group in Glens Mills, Pennsylvania. “You had these rows of fluorescent wrap lights, and a lot of them flickered. The new LED retrofits work great with my occupancy sensors, and the light seems friendlier. No flicker either.”
Besides the obvious advantages in lifetime and energy savings, color rendering, is a great plus to LED technology (Claris Kits feature 83CRI). Colors appear more vibrant, and around 4000K, the light renders similar to the illumination of a sunny day.
But what most Americans want to know is, “how much does it cost?” Traditional LED tubes, due to the high cost of their manufacture, offer paybacks way over the five year mark. But the ability to utilize existing housings as a heat sink allows for a price point on the Claris LED Retrofit Kits that sits just fine with distributors and end users alike. Depending on a buildings hours of operation, and the fluorescent technology they are replacing, energy savings associated with the Claris LED Retrofit kit can payback the cost of installation and kit in as little as 1.5 years.
“There are some situations, where the building owner is only turning the lights on for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, where payback can stretch to 3, 4, 5 years, but most of the time we are finding that we fall under the 3 year mark,” explains LED Living's national sales manager, Adam Gernerd.
With an average payback of 3 years or less, 83 CRI, unprecedented performance, controllability, and the flexibility to retrofit 2×2, 2×4 and 1×4 housings, the Claris LED Retrofit kit is geared to revolutionize how we think of fluorescent tube replacements.
“The Claris LED retrofit kit delivered as promised,” according to Kenneth Cooke, chief engineer for Behringer Harvard. “It made a significant improvement in lighting quality compared to our existing T8 and T12 fluorescent lamps. In fact, our light levels have doubled and our energy consumption has been reduced by at least 50%. We found the kits to be straightforward and easy to install. And, as our existing fixtures are located in hard to reach spaces, we are very pleased that there will be no further need for replacing lamps and ballasts.”
Now is the time for a technology that optimizes the use of LED technology in the retrofit environment to hit the market, with new legislation that outlaws the manufacture of T12 and some of the less efficient T8s coming into effect. With roughly the same time and simplicity of a T5 conversion, the Claris LED Retrofit kit will be a premier LED alternative to the cost and maintenance headaches involved in changing lamps and ballasts.
LIVE BRILLIANTLY, LIVE BRIGHT. LIGHTING FOR LIFE.
About LED Living:
LED Living is the commercial lighting sister company of Metaphase Technologies Inc., the industry leader in engineering & manufacturing innovative LED application-specific luminaires based just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1992, Metaphase has over 18 years of experience incorporating, and in many instances—designing the best technologies on the market to provide cutting-edge LED solutions for even the most demanding of industrial & military applications. Our in-depth knowledge and innovative engineering continues to drive the rapid advancement of lighting science. LED Living is committed to meeting and exceeding all industry standards as a leader in the lighting revolution.