Induction Lighting

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November 29, 2011

Benefits of Induction Lighting

  • Long Life – 100,000 hours
  • Color rendering – 85 CRI
  • Color Temperature – 2,700K-6,500K
  • Energy Efficient – 85+ Lumens per Watt
  • Lumen maintenance – 70% of its light output at 100,000 hours
  • Maintenance costs – go 10 years with out a change out
  • Instant on Capability – Can be used with photocell or motion sensor
  • High Output – 70W to 400W
  • No flickering, No Strobing, No Noise
  • Minimal Color shifting
  • Starting temperatures as low as -40 degrees fahrenheit

Operating Principles Induction lighting is founded on technology that is essentially different from conventional gas sources or incandescent lamps. Instead of electrodes used in gas release lamps or the glowing filament of incandescent, light generation is by ways of induction – the transmission of energy by way of a magnetic field – combined with a gas discharge.

  • Electrical Transformer Principle The principle is similar to that of an electrical transformer (Figure 1.). An alternating current (Ip) in the primary coil induces a corresponding alternative magnetic field in the core and the surrounding space. This magnetic field creates a current of the same frequency (Is) in the secondary coil. The larger the frequency of the alternating current, the higher the overall efficiency of the system, and the more compact the system will be.
  • Induced Current in the Lamp Bulb The energy source in the induction lighting system – are equal to the primary coil of the transformer – is the lamp’s induction coil, which is driven by the high-frequency electronics in the HF generator. The secondary coil is represented by the low-pressure gas and metal vapor inside the lamp bulb (Figure 2.). The induced current triggers the acceleration of charged particles in the metal vapor. These particles strike, causing excitation and ionization of the metal vapor atoms, and increasing the energy level of the free electrons from these atoms to a higher, unstable state. As these provoked electrons fall back to their stable, lower-energy state, they emit ultraviolet radiation. This falls on the fluorescent coating inside the lamp bulb, resulting in light to be emitted.

Ultra-long lifetime The ultra-long lifetime of the induction lighting system is attributable to two primary factors:

  1. There are no filaments or electrodes as in conventional lamps that are open to the effects of heat and high electrical potential, and as a result are subject to deterioration of performance and finally termination.
  2. Because the induced magnetic field can easily pass through the glass wall of the lamp bulb, no throughput wires are needed as in incandescent or discharge lamps, where the glass/metal junction is another susceptible failure area.

Low Radiated Energy Levels The high frequency power supply to the main coil at 2.65 MHz – well outside normal broadcast and communication radio bands – guarantees highly efficient energy transmission between the induction coil and the gas and metal vapor filling of the lamp bulb. Radiated energy levels close to an induction lighting system are no higher than from a distant radio transmitter, while the UV radiated power is no more than that of a standard fluorescent lamp of the same power.

System Components The induction lighting system contains of three main components (Figure 3.), each of which can be replaced separately if service is required:

  1. The lamp bulb or discharge vessel (Figure 4.) is a closed glass bulb containing a low-pressure insert gas filling with a small amount of mercury vapor. The walls of the vessel are coated on the inside with a fluorescent powder of any of the modern three-line phosphor types, providing a slection of color temperatures (3500K, 4100K, 4700k and 5000K). The discharge vessel is fixed to the power coupler by the lamp cap with a “click system”. These two components generally never need to be disassembled because of the long lifetime of the system.
  2. The power coupler transfers energy from the HF generator to release the discharge inside the glass bulb, using an antenna that comprises the primary induction coil with its ferrite core (Figure 5.). Other parts of the power coupler are a plastic that support the antenna, a 40 cm coaxial linking cable that carries the current to the HF generator, and a heat conduction rod in combination with mounting flange. The mounting flange causesthe lamp system to be mechanically attached to the luminaire, and removes waste heat to a heat sink that forms part of the luminaire.
  3. The HF generator (Figure 6.) produces the 2.65 MHz alternating current supply to the antenna. It contains an oscillator that is tuned to the characteristics of the primary coil in the antenna and the 40 cm coaxial connecting cable. The HF generator also includes preconditioning and filtering circuits to correct fluctuations in the voltage and frequency of the main power supply, and to prevent distortion from feeding back into the mains. All the generator electronics are stored in a metal box that provides screening against radio frequency interference and serves as a heat sink. The maximum permissible testpoint temperature is the other determining factor that contributes to the system’s long lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the induction lamp system and how does induction lighting work?
A: The induction lamp system uses a revolutionary technology of light generation that combines the basic principles of induction and gas discharge. Void of electrodes this new technology delivers an unprecedented 100,000 hours of high quality white light.

Q: What are the components of the system?
A: The system is comprised of three components; the generator, the power coupler and lamp. The power coupler transfers energy from the HF generator to the discharge inside the glass bulb using an antenna that contains the primary induction coil and its ferrite core. The power coupler also has a heat conducting rod with mounting flange. The mounting flange allows the Induction lamp system to be mechanically attached to the luminaire.

Q: Why Induction Lighting?
A: Induction lamps offer an amazing 100,000 hours life making it virtually maintenance free. It offers crisp white light with 80+ CRI and a choice of 3K, 4K, 5K and 6K color temperatures. The high CRI light makes colors look brighter, more vibrant and more attractive. It produces up to 80 lumens of light for each watt of energy. This 80 LPW efficacy makes it as energy efficient as high CRI metal halide systems. Induction lamps offer high reliability and instant on and off. With less heat output.

Q: Do induction lamps need a dedicated fixture?
A: Yes. Due to operating and thermal requirements the system needs to be properly installed in a suitable fixture.

Q: Can running a lamp interfere with computers or any other electronic device?
A: No. It runs at a low 210KHz and complies with FCC rules with no interference under normal circumstances.

Q: Will the induction lighting system interfere with telecommunication equipment?
A: No. The FCC standards are in place to protect navigation and radio communications. The system will not interfere with portable or cellular/mobile phones.

Q: Is the light output of an induction lamp affected by low temperatures? High temperatures?
A: The lamp’s amalgam fill technology and the heat conduction rod in the center create stable light output over a wide range of ambient temperatures, maintaining at least 85% of nominal lumens from -30° F to 130° F (for an enclosed fixture with heatsink). Induction lamps can start at temperatures as low as -40° F.

Q: Does operating position affect output?
A: No. The universal operating position does not affect the performance of the induction lamp system.

Q: Is the induction lamp system vibration-resistant?
A: Yes. The fact that induction lamps have no electrodes make them more reliable in high-vibration and gusty applications. The induction lamp system has proven its durability in bridges, tunnels, and signage applications.

Q: What, if any, is the effect of voltage supply fluctuations on the performance of the induction system?
A: Due to the built-in pre-conditioner in the HF generator, which provides a well stabilized internal supply voltage (a wide operating voltage range of +/- 20V) to the HF generator, the light output, consumed power and system efficacy (efficiency) of lamp system vary by less than 2% as a result of mains voltage fluctuations. There is no noticeable effect (visual or measurable) on the color performance (color temperature, color rendering, etc.) due to supply voltage fluctuation.

Q: Will induction lighting fade or damage materials?
A: The amount of ultraviolet light generated by an 80W lamp is roughly equivalent to that of a regular fluorescent lamp per 1000 lux. The permissible exposure time (PET) is +40 hours per 1000 lux, generously above the norm (24 hours per 1000 lux). The damage factor for materials is rated at a low 0.3 so induction lamps can be used in open luminaries without any front glass.

Q: How far can the HF generator be remotely mounted from the power coupler/discharge vessel assembly?
A: The length of the coaxial cable connecting them (15″). Because the cable forms part of the oscillating circuit of the HF generator, the length of the cable cannot be modified.

Q: At the end of life, must all components be replaced?
A: All three components are separately replaceable, however, induction lights are almost always supplied as a three-component system, even for relamping. End of life usually means the generator must be replaced, and at the time, it is usually recommended to replace the bulb, as phosphor degeneration at 100,000 hours lowers lumen output up to 37%.

Q: Why is induction lighting technology worth more?
A: Induction lighting systems offer five to ten times the life of HID systems for only two to three times the cost of the HID lamp and ballast. In almost all cases the payback in maintenance savings will more than offset the additional cost of the initial system.

Lamp Comparisons: Deco Lighting’s Induction systems lasts up to 10 times longer than HID systems while providing superior lumen maintenance. After 60,000 hours, our systems still produce 80% of their original lumen output. Improve safety, improve quality of light, save energy, and reduces maintenance cost.

About the author

Alcon Lighting was created by professionals with experience in energy efficient lighting sales, manufacturing, distribution, and design. By keeping current with the latest trends in lighting and interior design, Alcon Lighting strives to carry products that will be the focus of your warehouse, office and home’s décor.

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