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LED technology lights the way for Heat Analysis

17 April 2015

This week, EU Directive 2011/65 came into effect removing high-pressure discharge lamps from our streets. All mercury vapour lamps, mercury hybrid lamps and many sodium vapour lamps are no longer permitted to be placed on the market in the European Union.

Formby street lighting - the 'before' shot

It resigns an era of poorly lit car parks and orange glowing streets to the history books as the market demands more efficient and economical solutions. Customers affected are now looking for LED retrofits as a smart solution to their existing installations or replacing their lighting stock entirely with new designs and technology. 

Fortunately, the UK lighting industry is well ahead of the game and an evolution in technology means many forward-thinking companies are designing with LED technology using Solidworks and heat analysis systems.

NT CADCAM customer Holophane Europe recently paved the way with a revolutionary design in its ultra-slim V-Max luminaire. The V-Max system was installed as part of an extensive replacement of street lighting in the seaside town of Formby, Merseyside.

The previous system had used high-density discharge 35W SOX lanterns with a total circuit wattage of 58W. By switching to the V-Max luminaires – running at a total circuit wattage of 19W and pre-programmed to a dimming regime that reduced light by 75 percent (12W) between midnight and 6am – Sefton Borough Council was able deliver savings of up to 76 percent.

According to Holophane, the past six years has seen a huge shift towards LEDs and controls, which has led luminaire manufacturers to adapt their portfolio accordingly. Now more than ever, low cost, better performance new products and a faster time-to-market are expected. And many lighting manufacturers such as Holophane are relying heavily on the latest design packages, such as Solidworks, to achieve this.

The Lighting Industry Authority (LIA), which represents more than 250 UK lighting manufacturers, says the desire for compliance amongst these companies is very high indeed. “The Lighting industry welcomes legislation which encourages the adoption of more efficient technologies and saves energy but does not wish to see the quality of lighting suffer as a result.

Holophane street lighting in Formby - the 'after' shot

Lighting is in a unique position of being able to provide considerable energy savings while delivering an improved lit environment. In many cases it is technology driving change rather than legislation; for example, there is legislation requiring a reduction in mercury content of fluorescent lamps but the technology of choice is LED which contains no mercury. “The LED revolution was set to happen anyway as we seek not just energy savings but a more intelligent system approach to lighting,” says an LIA spokesperson.

NT CADCAM is helping many lighting companies such as Holophane achieve smarter design cycles and more energy efficient products using the latest CAD technology. For example, with any design changes all components, assembly drawings, wiring diagrams and instruction sheets can be updated automatically in Solidworks.

While Solidworks Flow Simulation offers dedicated tools to accurately simulate the thermal performance of LED designs. Features include accurate representation of LEDs and contact resistance such as solder and mounting the LED to the PVC board.

NT CADCAM’s Terry O’Reilly says when designing for LED technology, heat management is key. “The more heat you dissipate, the longer the product will last, " he adds. "Using Solidworks Flow Simulation we can visually map the path of the heat generated from LED lights, helping us to create a design that dissipates the heat far more effectively and can increase the life span of our products.”

With the EU phasing out all inefficient lamps by 1 September 2016, NT CADCAM’s CAD solutions are playing a vital part in helping companies streamline their portfolio and ultimately reduce the energy consumed by electrical devices.

Osram, a leading light manufacturer, predicts over a third of the electricity used worldwide for lighting can be saved by these regulations and protect the environment by significantly reducing CO2 emissions. 

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