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GE Module Coming in 2010 Makes LED Luminaires Upgradeable and Adjustable

GREENBUILD-- LEDs are everywhere at Greenbuild 2009. GE is showing some upcoming products that help designers earn LEED credits with light-emitting diode (LED) luminaires.

LED lighting is big at Greenbuild this year, and dominates GE's exhibit. On display are two categories of LED luminaires that make it easier to gain LEED points for energy-efficient lighting.

Related article:

"Commercial LED Lighting in a Nutshell"

Screw-in replacement LED lamps

GE is showing off an LED replacement lamp that fits existing screw-in Edison sockets. One 7-watt LED lamp replaces a 100-watt incandescent by screwing into the same socket, and delivers about the same amount of light.

GE's MR16 lamps will be one watt, which represents a significant drop in wattage and heat output from the very popular accent lights they're designed to replace. GE also will launch PAR replacements along with the other LED lamps, all scheduled for availability in the first quarter of 2010.

Modular LED luminaires

LED luminaires often have their LED elements permanently mounted. Replacing a failed luminaire, or changing to a different wattage, means changing the whole fixture. When LED elements are replaceable, it often involves tinkering with clamps and wires -- it's a problem when there are dozens or hundreds of luminaires in a building.
LED light photo on EnergyPriorities.com

GE LED module will reduce maintenance costs for commercial LED lighting, when the product becomes available in early 2010. (GE photo)

With a new GE offering, a puck-shaped LED module can be changed or adjusted without tools. So the fixture, like the sleek brushed-aluminum design I saw in the GE booth, doesn't have to be replaced if the LED components fail.

Lisa Bagwell, Specification Engineering Manager for GE C&I, showed me how easy it is to unscrew the lens and slip out the LED light module. Pop in a new module and replace the lens. It could easily be done on a ladder, without tools.

LED light photo on EnergyPriorities.com

GE LED module contains the LED chips and driver circuit. It can be changed in a few seconds by unscrewing the lens on the fixture. A switch on the side sets the wattage level. (GE photo)

The module is pretty much idiot-proof. When you insert it into the fixture, it couples both the electric and the thermal connections on contact.

The LED module is switchable between three wattage settings, so you can adjust the brightness without swapping LED elements.

GE is working with fixture companies now, so there will be a selection of them when the GE modular LED becomes available in the first quarter of 2010. The first manufacturer is Journée Lighting. The products will be available through GE.