In this blog post series of 3 articles, our technical sales Tero Nurmi will tell you about the new EU regulations which will take part on 1st September 2021. In this blog series first Tero will tell you, what are these two different regulations: Single Lighting Regulation (SLR) and Energy Label Regulation (ELR). After that, Tero will go deeper into the subject of how this really affects the lighting industry.
What is ErP?
ErP is the abbreviation of Energy-related Products. It also refers to Energy-related Products Directive (ErP) 2009/125/EC that replaced the old Energy-using Products Directive (EuP) in November 2009. The original EuP was taken into use in 2005 to fulfill the Kioto agreement requirements for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
The ErP broadened the range of products that were covered in EuP. Earlier only directly energy-consuming (or using) products were covered. Now ErP directive also covers the products related to energy. This could be for example water-saving taps, etc.
The idea is to cover the whole product supply chain: design stage, production, transport, packaging, storage, etc.
Products that comply with this new ErP directive are recognized from CE -marking. In this case, the CE -mark covers product safety and energy efficiency requirements.
How this relates to lighting?
If we take the new directive, ErP EU 2019/2020, we can divide it into two groups concerning ecological design requirements:
Separate Control Gears
These requirements can also be applied to luminaires. The luminaires are so-called containing products that contain a light source(s) and control gear within the luminaire.
The development has gone further: now these ”ecodesign” principles are applied to the smallest possible units that can be considered as light sources. In this text, we do not go too much into details. I’ll explain everything more precisely in the further blog posts.
In December 2019, the European Commission published two different regulations: Single Lighting Regulation (SLR) and Energy Label Regulation (ELR). The former is also called Ecodesign Regulation for Lighting. SLR defines performance requirements, which are product-specific, for energy-using and energy-related products, while ELR includes labeling requirements for selling the products in the EU market.
There is a general state of mind that both these regulations, SLR and ELR, will apply from 1st September 2021.
SLR and ELR, and especially their application to LED light sources, will be handled more elaborately in forthcoming posts.
We talk a lot about energy saving in general lighting, but somehow we have forgotten that in LED strips. In this blog post, I will present a new aLED product: The aLED KIDEFLEX LED strip. It’s a new kind of LED product that can save energy up to 84%.
Energy-saving in the LED Strips
In the regular lighting market, it is always very important to think about the energy efficiency of the lighting fixture. However, in the age of LED stripes, I think we have forgotten that. Just a couple of years ago we all wanted to change the light bulbs to LED bulbs because of the energy saving. Now we are decorating residential and commercial buildings with hundreds of meters of LED strip. That isn’t always the most ecological option as their regular wattage per meter is 10W and they can go up to 50W/m.
Often, we are making lighting designs that produce too much light. This way we are making lighting pollution as we use more light that we need. For instance, porch or balcony lighting doesn’t need 1000lm/m. 250lm/m is enough for a beautiful and energy-saving solution of decoration.
A New Life Changing LED Product
At Arrant-Light Oy green thinking is very important to us. This is why we wanted to design modern LED strip with super high efficiency and differ the ones in the market. Now we are coming out with the first professional high efficiency CRI90 LED strip.
aLED KIDEFLEX LED strip is a new type of LED strip. Here are some of the great features of the strip:
Super high efficiency – efficacy is >145lm/W @3000K
Ultra even light – up to 160 LEDs/m
The best color quality – color rendering index CRI >90
Consistent quality – MacAdam 3-step
Super durable attachment – uses high-quality 3M tape
aLED KIDEFLEX LED strip’s efficacy is >145lm/W @3000K. Regular LED strips’ efficiency is approximately 75lm/W. That means that our LED strip can produce the same amount of light with two times less power. Saved power equals saving energy and money. Let’s get more into that.
aLED KIDEFLEX LED strip is now available in:
250lm/m – 1.6W/m
500lm/m – 3.5W/m
750lm/m – 5.25W/m
1000lm/m – 7.0W/m
Color temperatures from 2700K to 6500K
Do you need
lumens or watts in lighting?
That is one basic question what we need to think. Many LED strips are marketed only with the power per meter. There are LED strips from 3W to 44W per meter and you should try to pick from them the best for your application.
What you really need is lumens. You need to think about how much light do you need in your application. For instance, decorative, indirect and general lighting needs a whole different amount of light. Many lighting guides stick to how much power do you need in certain places. The power of the LED strip tells really nothing about how much light you are getting as it’s all depending on the efficacy.
Let me give you some examples.
Example 1: Save energy in decorative lighting
In the picture above we are comparing two LED strips: a regular LED strip and the new aLED KIDEFLEX LED strip.
For decorative lighting, 250lm/m is enough. That gives you a beautiful atmosphere that you are looking for decorative purposes. However, the common thought is that 10W/m is the power you need. That’s way too much and you are wasting energy.
As you can see, our LED strip has high efficiency, so we can produce 250lm with only 1,6W. This means that you can save 42W energy in only 5 meters.
Example 2: Save energy in indirect lighting
In the picture above, we are again comparing our aLED KIDEFLEX LED strip to a regular CRI 80 LED strip. In this example, LED strip is going to be used in indirect lighting. This means that we will need more lumens. Therefore, 750lm/m is the right amount of light.
As our LED strip has very high efficiency, two times more compared to regular ones, we can produce the same amount of light almost with half power. In other words, you can save only in 5 meters 23,75W power.
Example 3: Save energy in new residential buildings
In previous examples, we only talked about 5 meters. Now let’s compare LED strips in the bigger picture.
In the picture above, you can see a calculation of energy-saving in a brand new home. Right now we are building new modern homes that can use 500 meters of LED strip to decorative lighting. This means that, If you change the regular 10W/m LED strips to our energy-saving option you can save 4200W/h. This is a lot more ecological choice. In addition, saved energy equals to saved money. This means that you can save over 1000 euros annually in electricity bills in the European electricity price level.
In conclusion, small change can make big difference.
How do you know how much light do you need?
Let’s go through some examples about how much light do you need in certain places.
Decorative lighting – 250lm/m
250lm/m is great for decorative use, such as floor moldings, handrail, stairs and balcony railing. 250lm/m gives you atmospheric lighting without wasting too much energy and it doesn’t make the decorative light too bright.
More illuminating decorative lighting – 500lm/m
500lm/m can be used almost in the same applications as the 250lm/m, but when you want a little bit more light or you can use it as indirect lighting if the need for light isn’t high.
Indirect lighting – 750lm/m
750lm/m is great for indirect lighting. For instance, in bathrooms (Note! aLED KIDEFLEX LED strip needs profile when used in bathrooms. We have over 100 different LED profiles in our product range.)
General lighting – 1000lm/m
1000lm/m is great when needed a lot of light. For instance, in the kitchen below the cabinets, or in the offices. 1000lm/m gives you a lot of light and helps you work with detailed work tasks.
In conclusion, you need to think about how much light do you really need. And remember, in the examples above we are only talking about 5 meters. It’s really a short distance in LED strips. The reality is that homes and industries are using dozens or hundreds of meters of LED strip in their applications. This means a huge energy-saving option when changing to a high energy-efficient LED strip.
Download a brochure about aLED KIDEFLEX LED Strip by subscribing to our newsletter below.
It is the time of the year again where we can wind down and enjoy this year’s achievements with family and friends. All our customers and partners are part of the Arrant-Light family. Without you all, we would not exist.
There were lot of happenings in 2019, but to Arrant-Light Oy the highlight was our company celebrating its 35th Anniversary in November. I clearly remember, when my father Tarmo started contemplating about founding his own company and ended he up taking that brave leap. He always had the drive to develop and bring the most efficient, advanced and long-lasting products to the markets and the customers. By founding his own company, he was able to carry out his own visions and ideas and further them on his own terms.
We continue to strive to uphold the teachings and traditions he has given us. This is one of the reasons why we have been able to maintain the relationship with some of the customers and partners from the very beginning. This reflects well, how to us, the customers, their needs and satisfaction has always been a priority in everything we do.
We have channeled our Christmas gift funds to charity this year again. Through the SaveThe Children -foundation, we are supporting the youth education and through the Scout District we are donating the opportunity to attend the Otava 2020 camp in Turku Archipelago next summer to a few children from less fortunate families.
Once more, I would like to thank all our customers and partners for a successful year and on behalf of myself and the company to wish Happy holidays and success for the coming year 2020.
To us, it’s very important how the components that we import have been packed. Our aim is to minimize the excess packaging waste, to avoid plastic and to design a packaging that is user-friendly, easy and effortless to handle. The same goes with our components as well. In this blog post, I will be explaining 5 ways, how we minimize the amount of waste in our packaging and make them easier to use.
1. No excess plastic
It’s easy to use bubble wrap to protect the products for shipping. How ever, we prefer to favor alternative methods, so the packaging will produce the least amount of waste. For the past few years, we have brainstormed with our suppliers on how to minimize the amount of plastic in packaging. For example, from now on, our products will not be packed in individual plastic bags.
2. The packaging materials must be easy to recycle
Sometimes cardboard packages have been stapled with metal staples, which makes recycling more difficult. We opt to use plastic- or paper tape to secure them instead.
3. No wasted space in packages
Transporting air across the globe is very un-ecological and expensive. That is why we want our packages to contain the products, and not packaging waste and air. This is an efficient way to reduce shipping costs. We also ask our suppliers to pack the drivers directly into boxes, without individual packaging.
4. No excessive waste
The use of strain relieves in drivers divides the opinions and to some luminaire manufacturers, they are just waste. Therefore, it is possible to choose to order the majority of our drivers with or without the strain relieves. This is another way to reduce the amount of waste.
– the solution for easier storage
As well as the packaging materials, we have made our products more user-friendly with stickers. For example, our aLED-cooling element cartons have stickers on the side with a picture of the product and the key information. These make storing easier when the products are easily found.
Arrant-Light Oy is the new official distributor of the Lifud-drivers in Scandinavia and Russia. The Lifud drivers we import has customized packaging without excessive plastic. The original plastic trays have been replaced with cardboard option, and the drivers are not individually packaged. This way the luminaire manufacturer doesn’t need to worry about the high quantity of waste from the packaging materials of the components, therefore speeding up the production process.
Do you want know more about the Lifud drivers and what we have in our selection? You can visit www.lifud.com to see the whole selection. Send a request about the products to email@example.com or by calling +358 20 246 2300
Have you read our blog about the sustainability of our components? You can read it here.
It has come again the time of the year when all jobs have been done and it is time to spend a peaceful and relaxing Christmas holiday with our families.
Past year has been globally very unstable and time of the big changes. It feels like everything has changed and we are starting to live in the other world than we are used to do. One of the biggest news has been alerting information of global warming and how fast the climate has already changed and will be changing. We as companies and persons working at the lighting business, we are in the positions where we can do a lot to make our products more efficient and require better quality. That way we can make our part to moderate climate change and help the Earth to save. Our future choices can be a big and important part of this huge and needed change in the world.
We at Arrant-Light Oy have done this year a lot of work to find out how we can make our products more efficient and give them longer lifetime. We have also done many studies and investments what comes to the packing materials. We should think of how we can make them better recyclable and how we can avoid using the unnecessary plastic on it. It is a benefit of all of us, that we try to use every day higher quality, higher efficient, and eco-friendly parts and components in our products. I hope that in the future we can have together open discussion of these topics and make together our products all the time better and better and that way get them meet today’s environmental requirements.
As many years earlier, we have used our Christmas present funds for the Save the Children Organization. Donated funds will be used for local young people who need economical support to finish their studies and help them to go forward in their life. It is again our pleasure to thank all of you for the past year 2018 and for the good co-operation.
I wish You a peaceful Christmas Holiday time and all the success for coming Year 2019.
OLED means Organic Light Emitting Diode. It works in similar way than (semiconductor) LED. Both need positive and negative charge carriers to generate electrical current and finally generate light.
It is a surface light source based on organic material layers. LED, on the other hand, is a point light source that is based on semiconductor materials. But the operation is based on the same principle.
OLED as Surface Light
The large-area LED modules, that are covered by opal diffuser, are basically similar light sources as OLED panels. Without this diffuser, these LED modules also are point light sources because of small SMD LED diodes they have on their surface.
OLED panels are surface light sources by nature. They give uniform light.
The benefits OLED:
Its light has spectral power distribution very close to sunlight.
Color rendering index (CRI) of 90.
Produces no glare
Produces very little heat(<35°C),
Doesn’t produce any UV and therefore it doesn’t cause blue light hazard risk.
Panels are thin and lightweight.
Simple light: panels don’t need many accessories unlike LED, such as heat sinks, diffusers, or other optics. It only needs the power source and the light source itself.
Spectrum of OLED
Structure of OLED
The OLED structure consists of layers. These layers have different purposes.
There are basically THREE different kinds of layers that have some purpose. Of course, you need anode and cathode terminals to bring electricity from outside world to the panel. As an example, LG Display uses Aluminium as cathode material and ITO (indium tin oxide) as their anode material.
Electrical current flow guidance: Electron Transport Layer (ETL), Hole Transport Layer (HTL) and Hole Injection Layer (HIL). These layers are used to transport charge carriers in optimal way to the light generation layer, EML. But also, they have to be optically suitable for light generated in the EML layer so that as much light as possible is extracted from the panel.
Third type of layer: Encapsulation. The encapsulation layer is used to protect inner optically active layers from any outside harm that could deteriorate the operation of the panel.
This kind of set of layers is called a stack.On top of the stack is the encapsulation layer.
For example, LG Display uses two-stack structure for 3000K and 4000K OLED panels and three-stack structure for 2700K panels. Because there are more stacks in 2700K version, the overall voltage over the panel is a bit higher.
One major problem with the organic materials is that they are very sensitive to oxygen and moisture. This means that OLED panels need to be protected – as even a single water or oxygen molecule can harm the panel.
The encapsulation layer also protects from minor physical impacts. If this encapsulation layer deteriorates it will affect the optical layers. Usually strong glass is used for rigid OLED panels. But flexible panel is gaining more and more popularity. Flexible panels use plastic.
The major drawbacks of OLED panels are:
Easy to break
At the moment, most panels use glass substrates. These substrates are very fragile and are easy to break when not handled with care. This will improve in future as technology develops and plastic substrates will gradually replace glass.
You can’t use the panels in temperature of under 0 degrees of Celsius. This will obviously place some constraints for the use.
It is very probable that the cold endurance will get better in the future as the technology develops.
OLED is still very young technology and it can’t produce very large amounts of light. It also loses to LED in luminous efficacy.
Q: How OLED panel is attached on the surface/profile that is used in the luminaire?
A: The panel can be attached in many ways, but most common way is to use adhesives. The screw connection is not recommended for panels.
Every panel manufacturer should have a list of adhesives that are not allowed with their products.
Q: How the to handle OLED panels?
A: You must handle them with care. At the moment most panels use glass substrates and because the panels are very thin, they break very easily. In the future, plastic substrates will replace the glass substrates. This will obviously decrease the risk of breaking the panel.
You can find more exact instructions on handling the panel from the datasheet of the panel.
Q: Can you bend the OLED panel because it is so thin?
Bendable Panel in Luminaire
A: You can’t bend the glass substrate panels.
Plastic panels are ok to bend. There is a limited bending radius that can be found from the datasheet. Within that limit, you can bend the plastic panels almost endlessly.
Q: How you connect the OLED panels if you want to light many panels at time?
A: You can drive many panels by connecting them electrically in series. So you have the same current going through each panel and you get the same luminous output for each panel if they are the same products. Thus you can drive for example 4-panel luminaire with one driver as long as the voltage range of the driver allows you to do so.
Q: Which temperature range is allowed for OLED panels?
A: Basically, OLED lighting can be used only in indoor lighting at the moment. For example, LG Display informs in the datasheets of their panels, that operating temperature has to be over zero degrees of Celsius, and this applies also to storage temperature. Only transport temperature can be lower than zero degrees of Celsius, but only for a limited time.
Typical recommended operating temperature range is 0..40°C.
Q: What kind of new application can be done with OLED?
A: One interesting application is so-called transparent connection. In this case the panel is attached inside a glass plate. The current/power is then provided to the panel through metal mesh transparent conductive film.
In this blog post we concentrate on how to design a LED lighting package as a whole. And what different aspects you will have to take into account when selecting a light source and a driver.
I decided to write this as a case example so that the post is more concrete.
Most of the luminaire projects starts with the need for certain amount of lumen needed out from the luminaire. Then there can also be requirements for the shape and size for the light source. Color temperature, color rendering and lifetime expectancy might also be critical, but those are topics for a blog posts of their own.
So in this case you have specified that the luminaire needs to achieve:
Lumen output 2000lm
Color Temperature 4000K
Lifetime 50 000 hours (LM70 for the whole luminaire)
Linear light source. Max length of 120cm
With these specifications, the finding of the suitable solution shouldn’t be a problem.
There are, however few things that have to be taken into account when looking at the data of LED modules:
Lumen output: Some of the lumens from the light source will be lost due to the optics. The amount of lost lumens is around 10%. Therefore, you should look for light sources that can give you at least 10% more lumens than you need.
The shape of the light source. Do you have a minimum size for the light emitting surface? The luminaire in this example can be built with modules around 30cm in length, but that would probably not be perfect fit your luminaire. It would leave a lot of empty space and the light distribution wouldn’t be even.
With those two in mind, you would need a light source that gives you roughly 2200lm and fills the whole 120cm evenly. That could be reached with for example 4 modules with lumen output of 550lm and length of 30cm or with two modules with 1000lm output and length of 60cm.
Selection of LED Drivers
For the case study presented above, you still have one more step to go: choosing a LED driver. Esko already wrote a good guide on this, so I’m going to be brief.
Before we can start, you have to specify one thing: How many LED modules do you want to drive with one LED driver? Only one module or several modules in series?
In this example you would probably want to drive all the modules with just one driver. This might be the case with all luminaires. In more complex lighting systems you might use several drivers. To find a suitable driver you will need to:
Check the current that you want to drive your light source(or sources) with.
Check the voltage of your light source (or sources) and check that it fits the driver’s voltage range.
You should always leave some room for the voltage as there might be some variations in the diodes. Check that the driver has around 10% lower minimum voltage and 10% higher maximum voltage than your light source.
So there you have it in brief. If you need more help or would like to leave a comment, please leave a comment or contact me!
You can also use our free tool to build your luminaire.
We discussed earlier about general characteristics of LED drivers and how to choose a suitable constant current LED driver for your application. Now, I’m going to tell you how to choose a right LED driver for your constant voltage application. As told in the previous posts, LED drivers are divided into two different categories: constant current and constant voltage drivers. But that is not the only thing you have to take into account when selecting the driver. In this post, we are focusing in constant voltage drivers.
Constant voltage drivers are generally used when you need a stabile voltage fed to your LED. You can check the datasheet of your light source whether it needs constant current or constant voltage. If it says for example 12V or 24 V, then it needs constant voltage. And for example 350 mA or 700mA means that you need a constant current driver. Constant voltage driver (power supply) keeps voltage constant (e.g. as 12 V DC), but feeding current varies according to the load (the higher the load the bigger the current)
Datasheet of Constant Current and Constant Voltage LED Module. The circled value tells you does the module need constant current or constant voltage.
With these easy step-by-step instructions, you will find a suitable driver for your luminaire or signage application.
Step one: What voltage does your LED application need?
As already mentioned, you should find the voltage that your LED needs, from the datasheet or from the product itself. For example if your LED needs a voltage of 12 V, you should find a driver with 12 V DC output voltage. If LED demands 24V, you should find a driver with 24 V DC output voltage. So that is pretty straightforward.
Step two: How powerful driver do you need?
The power consumption of the LED application can also be found from the datasheet or from the value label in the product.
Remember that if using multiple LED components, you have to find a driver that can feed all the LED components in your luminaire (in parallel connection).
GE Lightech 12W, 12V LED driver
Step three: What current range you need from the driver?
Again take a look at the datasheet and check the current of the LED application. If you have multiple LEDs, you should add the current together. Then you should find a driver with a current range that your LEDs fit into. On the other hand if you have checked well the power you need then your driver will give enough current to get your LED application burn on the right level.
And in some constant voltage LED applications the current is not mentioned at all, only the voltage and the power. Then you can skip this part.
Step four: Do you need dimming? And what type of dimming?
A need for dimming is mainly dependent of the specification of your LED application. If you don’t need dimming, a normal on/off driver is enough for you. If you need dimming, there are many different types of dimming, but that is a topic for another post. But e.g. in signage applications dimming is not normally required.
Step five: What are the physical dimensions the driver has to fit into?
You should also consider if there are some limitations for the physical dimensions of the driver. These will obviously have an impact on your driver selection. You will generally find the physical dimensions of the driver from its datasheet.
Step six: is the driver placed inside the LED application or outside (built in or independent version)?
If the driver is placed outside the LED application without any fixing the driver should be classified as an independent version. This means that the input and output cables of LED driver have strain reliefs to secure safe cable connections in case of any pulling force.
Step seven: What kind of environment the LED application is used in?
Where is your LED application designed to be used in? If it is designed for indoor use, then you probably won’t need to think about IP-classification so much. Of course if the luminaire is used in a room with a lot of dust or moisture, this has to be taken into account.
And for outdoor use check that the product is approved for min IP67 area.
GE Lightech 200 W 12V, IP67 driver
IP20 class drivers it means that this driver can be used in indoor lighting applications but hardly stands harsh conditions in outdoor lighting unless the luminaire itself is waterproof thus protecting the driver.
But when designing a luminaire to outdoor use, then you should check that that the driver has good enough IP-class.
Usually IP67 drivers are heavier in weight, driver electronics is molded in many cases with plastic (e.g. potted) and the electrical throughputs of the wires both on primary voltage and the secondary voltage side are sealed with required protection against moisture.
Step eight: Approvals, is the driver suited for European or American standards?
Does the driver have any approvals? And are the approvals for Europe (ENEC), America (UL) or for another area? This can generally be found from the datasheet of the driver. In most cases it is the benefit of both the customer and supplier that drivers are certified for that area where they are used.
ROAL Strato CV 24V with ENEC and UL approvals
So there you have it. With these steps you should be able to find a suitable LED driver for your application. If you don’t, please leave a comment or contact me directly.
I am very pleased to be writing this letter to our customers and partners – and to thank all of you who have trusted us over these past 30 years, helping us to sustain and grow the company.
The history of Arrant-Light Oy dates back 30 years to when my father, Tarmo Mäkinen, founded the company in 1984. The company initially focused on long-life fluorescent lamps and light bulbs, and very early on began offering a group replacement service for large companies. In the 1990s, the company expanded into supplying lighting components to luminaire manufacturers. Today, Arrant-Light Oy is a specialised supplier of lighting components, with LED components and related drivers, optics and accessories forming the largest product group. From the very beginning, the company has been driven by a principle of delivering best-in-class products that are easy to use and have a long service life.
Arrant-Light Oy currently delivers over 20,000 components a day to 11 countries and is the market leader in white LEDs in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, with a more than 40% share of the market. Most of our customers benefit from a 24h delivery of stocked items.
With 30 years of experience under our belt, we are well placed to bring our customers the latest products with the highest efficacy. We engage in continuous research and development with our current suppliers and partners, and we will also be announcing the addition of new suppliers and interesting brands later this year.
To celebrate our 30 years in business, we decided to redesign our company logo. The new logo
Logo for the new aLED brand
will be followed by the introduction of aLED, the new brand name for Arrant-Light Oy’s own LED modules and other components. The aLED brand will also include a number of carefully selected products from our partners. aLED is a guarantee of quality and reliable delivery at a competitive price.
Our website at www.light.fi has also been given a makeover. The site is now even easier to navigate, and our aim is to increase the amount of easily available information on the site to make it a useful resource for professionals. Why not take a look at the new website!
I would again like to thank everyone for the past 30 years. I am confident that we can continue to provide You with the best service and products in the market. Development is an ongoing process.