Is Plasma the next LED?

Not many are aware, though there's a new light on the block for high output instances that might just make your jaw drop. Light Emitting Plasma (LEP) is a new technology being used in situations demanding high light output with super-efficient standards, and high quality of light.

Light Emitting Plasma, is an innovative solution designed to bring clean, natural lighting to a whole new level. This patented technology, developed by LUXIM, is a high intensity light source that offers bright, full-spectrum illumination in an energy saving and low maintenance package. LEP is used in large scale, high lumen applications, and is ideal for municipal, industrial, stadium, and street & area lighting.

Benefits include:

  • Superior Light Distribution: Create optimal light distribution from a single, directional point source
  • Natural Illumination: Enhance visibility from a full spectrum plasma arc (up to 95 CRI)
  • Uncompromising Energy Savings: Reduce energy usage by 50% without sacrificing brightness levels
  • Worry Free Reliability: Eliminate failure modes and lumen degradation found in most lighting
  • Seamless Controls Integration: Connect to any lighting controls via built in control gear

The LEP emitter is constructed of a small electrode-less quartz lamp encased by a ceramic resonator. This novel construction emits light, from a small area, in a forward direction into a lambertian pattern. The point source like characteristic provides many advantages in a luminaire’s optical performance. A smaller source reduces the amount of optics needed to achieve the required level of glare cutoff and illumination, while ensuring excellent uniformity, by design. In addition, the directionality feature significantly improves luminaire efficiency. Since all of the light is already directed toward the area needing illumination, there are no optical losses from light going in the wrong direction. In most applications, LEP luminaires can achieve greater than 90% optical efficiency into the desired light distribution.

What makes the operation so unique?

The Science Behind LEP lighting consists of two primary parts:

  • Emitter: A lamp embedded in a ceramic resonator
  • Radio Frequency (RF) Driver: Both a solid-state amplifier andmicro-controller

A radio-frequency signal is generated by the solid-state RF driver and is then guided into the ceramic resonator through a low loss coaxial cable. The structure of the resonator concentrates the RFfield delivering energy to the fully-sealed lamp without electrodes and filaments. The highly concentrated electric field ionizes the gasses and vaporizes the halides in the lamp - creating a plasma state at its center - resulting in an intense source of white light. Inside the back of the lamp, a diffuse yet highly reflective material is used to reflect all of this light in a forward direction. The color of the light is tailored by the fill chemistry inside the lamp to provide a naturally white and high color rendering light.

LEP or LED?

While LEP is a category of solid state lighting, it is not an LED. The main difference being the use of the solid state device; LEP uses the device to generate RF energy which powers the plasma light source – LED uses the device itself for light generation. Some of the similarities include the directionality of the light output, component reliability, and control systems integration. The main difference between the two Is performance. LEP provides higher lumen density (200X greater), and a full color spectrum without phosphor conversion – resulting in superior performance in higher lumen applications.

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