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Décor Series™: Bridging Past and Future

“The past is a candle at great distance: too close to let you quit, too far to comfort you.” This quote from Amy Bloom’s novel “Away” represents the current battle taking place in the ancient city of Rome, Italy. A fight that is based on the transformation of the city’s street lights from high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps to light emitting diode (LED) technology.

HPS street lamps flood the streets and sidewalks of Rome with a golden tint that invokes a sense of nostalgia that has become deeply rooted to the capital of Italy. The government of Rome, however, is pushing to have HPS streetlights retrofitted with LED technology, because LEDs provide greater energy savings, longer lifetimes and improved security. Residents and municipality officials are resistant to switching to LED due to the inherently cool blue light of the LED replacing the relished amber glow of the HPS lamp. They fear this will not only negatively impact tourism, but the overall ambiance of the majestic city.

Rome is not the only city to be burdened with this conflict. In 2012, University of California, Davis surveyed 200 California cities and out of 1.1 million street lamps in operation 76% still utilized HPS lamps.  The global lack of conversion from HPS to LED is surprising because of LED’s economic and environmental benefits. 

The solution to the trans-global street lighting debate lies in the fact that the LED is a digital technology; it’s pliable and moldable to meet desired outputs. The inherent blue LED can be coated with different phosphor mixtures to produce a broad spectrum of colors, such as the amber glow coveted by Romans. Bridgelux has recently released Décor SeriesTM Street & Landmark, an LED Chip-on-Board (COB) solution that is a direct replacement for HPS lamps. The Décor SeriesTM Street and Landmark LED COB matches the color point of HPS lamps while incorporating the benefits of advanced LED technology.

Similar to HPS, there are other lighting applications where the inherent blue light of LED has hindered its adoption. Another example are the ceramic metal halide lamps (CMH), which are very common in retail applications due to their high color rendering and pure white color. Objects under the illuminance of a CMH lamp tend to be more attractive to consumers and therefore increase retail sales.

CMH lamps, however, have several drawbacks including short lifetimes and long start-up times.  Many retails owners are pushing lighting manufacturers to produce an equivalent LED solution to CMH lamps. Bridgelux has developed  Décor SeriesTM Showcase, an LED COB solution that is a direct replacement for CMH lamps. Décor SeriesTM Showcase provides instant, pure white light that matches the color point of CMH, while providing higher efficacy and greater reliability.

If you have any questions regarding Bridgelux’s Décor SeriesTM Street and Landmark or Décor SeriesTM Showcase, please contact your local Bridgelux sales representative.