Universal LED Tubes: Detailed Descriptions of Design, Technologies and Markets
The LED industry has been successful in providing retrofit solutions for most incumbent light sources. This has led to a rapid ledification of many lighting segments and thus contributed to very significant energy savings around the globe. One of the remaining challenges is to retrofit fluorescent tubes, which, once achieved, will bring, besides energy savings, a very important contribution to the eradication of mercury from the environment, one of the goals of the RoHS regulation. The origin of this challenge is the huge number of different ballasts installed in the field to operate fluorescent tubes. This not only leads to differences between retrofit projects, but even more challenging is the fact that as a result of regular maintenance there can be substantial differences between the ballasts found within one and the same retrofit project.
Over the last 5 years we have developed and brought to the EU market a cost effective universal solution with unsurpassed ballast compatibility, which offers to installers the user friendly universal retrofit solution they are looking for. The heart of this solution is to use the ballast, be it magnetic or electronic, as the supply of energy to the LED’s and to configure LED’s and LED tube electronics accordingly. We complement this with a robust, purely mechanical solution to address the safety requirements for a universal tube. In this presentation we will describe the electronics and mechanical aspects of this solution in detail and show its validation on hundreds of different ballasts. Next the go to market strategy which we implemented with our partners is described. Learnings in the market will be shared. Finally, the outlook of applying this solution to the US market and of SMPS switching at very high frequency for universal LED tubes will be presented.