Energy Focus LED Lighting Innovations
Energy Focus works hard every day to provide premier LED retrofit technologies to the world. To create the most innovative lighting products, we use a variety of resources from grants to suggestions, patents and more.
The Military M1 Intellitube
In 2011, Energy Focus was awarded four successful DARPA projects that resulted in four military tough and energy efficient LED luminaires being installed in the U.S. Navy fleet. Energy Focus recognized the need for a sailor-proof retrofit LED lamp to replace the ubiquitous 2’ T12 fluorescent lamps that were the mainstay light source since the 1960’s.
The M1 Intellitube serviced this need perfectly. Its advanced integrated driver is able to install into any compatible fixture and operate on an existing fluorescent ballast. The upgrade was literally as easy as changing a light bulb. The M1 was one of the first “dual-mode” products as it was also able to run directly from line voltage, in a direct wire installation. In this case, fluorescent ballasts and starters are completely removed and power routed directly to the socket. This type of installation improves performance, reduces the number of failure-components installed, the number of inventory spares necessary to replace them, and removes the deadweight that both represented.
The M1 produces over 120lm/W when the LED field was struggling to make 80lm/W cost-effective. At this level, it cut energy consumption in half and made the return on investment time to less than one year. More importantly, the M1 dramatically reduced necessary maintenance. The high vibration shipboard environment limited the failure of a fluorescent tube down to just to 90 days. The expectation of the M1 was to extend this to three years.
Currently, there are over 500,000 M1’s installed. The M1 has far surpassed this expectation, with less than half of 1% reported returns. This innovative LED tube saves the Navy $19 million dollars in fuel, every year.
Energy Focus is proud to serve the mission of the United States Navy. To learn more about Energy Focus’ work with the U.S. Navy, read our case study here.
Flicker-Free LED Lighting Innovation
The Navy recognized the negative impact of light flicker on the quality of life of the sailors, and at their request, the M1 reduced the >80% flicker present on the magnetically ballasted fluorescent systems to 15%. We’ve taken this further on our commercial product line, reducing the flicker output and having it be verified by UL to produce less than 1% flicker.
Flicker in LED lighting occurs as a result of modulating the current to electric light sources. Flicker can induce seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy, contributes to headaches, eye strain, and fatigue, and can negatively impact those on the autism spectrum.
Single-End Direct Wire
In 2013, Energy Focus began recognizing the commercial potential of the internal driver technology. The revolutionary internal driver is able to deliver high performance and reliability with a simple retrofit of fluorescent fixtures. Energy Focus introduced the first of its direct wire lamps at 100lm/W performance. Direct wire still represents the simplest, safest, and most sustainable method of retrofit in the market.
To help bridge the adoption of tubular LED retrofit in 2015, Energy Focus brought its dual-mode technology from the Navy M1 product into the commercial mainstream. The commercial Intellitube® is compatible with a wide range of fluorescent ballasts, while also supporting internal driver for direct wire installation. This gives customers the option for a ballast-free, low maintenance future should their ballasts fail. The Intellitube® has patented technology to avert the risk of installation hazards that can encounter while offering outstanding performance in both modes. This new technology won the Intellitube® the 2015 Illuminating Engineering Society Innovation Award.
Network Ready and UL Verification
In 2016, the Network Ready prototype combined standards-compliant dimming controls with our internal driver technology, offering energy savings and advanced controls capability with the simplicity of tubular retrofit. These products won Energy Focus the 2016 FEMP Jump Award and 2nd place for the 2017 PennWell Sapphire Award.
This same year, Energy Focus became the first U.S. TLED lighting manufacturer to be UL verified flicker-free output. The importance of flicker in LEDs led Energy Focus to work on the technology in their LED lamps to bring the Navy’s flicker concerns to the public in a commercial format.
The RedCap® Emergency Battery Backup
In 2017, the RedCap® Emergency Battery Backup was created. This innovative technology addresses a much-needed issue with retrofit lighting, that is a simple to deploy, cost-effective, and is an aesthetically compatible emergency lighting solution. The RedCap® builds on the flicker-free, integrated driver technology to further integrate the batteries, charger, discharger, and power out detection into the tube. Installation is as easy as direct wiring both sockets, and it is compatible with any existing wiring configuration. The technology for the RedCap® won the 2017 PennWell Sapphire award and 2018 Illuminating Engineering Society Progress Report Award.
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