Induction Lighting was first introduced in the 1890’s by Nikola Tesla, but was mostly ignored as the incandescent lightbulb made by Thomas Edison was pushed to the forefront. 1967 saw the first patent for a commercial “electrodeless lamp.” 1992 – 1996 saw products emerge from GE, Philips, and Osram-Sylvania. Today, induction presents a slew of benefits that exceed any filament-based lighting system currently available.
One main benefit of induction lighting is its extraordinary life. Both the Osram-Sylvania ICETRON and the Philips QL lamps are rated to burn continuously for 100,000 hours. This equates to over 11 years of constant burn time. Replacement of the lamps is virtually non-existent, cutting down on both equipment and labor costs. Because they are a “fire and forget” technology, induction lamps were initially used in “rough” service applications such as:
– Cold storage
– Elevator shafts
– Nuclear reactors
– Subway tunnels
These harsh environments have proven that induction lighting is a bulletproof technology that will function as advertised while being exposed to an extremely broad range of climates.
Along with the long life span is the fact that induction lamps use approximately 50% less energy than an equivalent HID lamp. A typical parking garage fixture uses a 175 watt metal halide lamp that actually draws 208 watts. This can be replaced with a 100 watt induction fixture that will only draw 89 watts.
This long life, high energy efficiency, and survivability is due to the fact that the lamps do not have an electrode/filament inside the bulb itself. Instead, coiled wires are used to produce the electromotive force to excite the electrons. This lack of an electrode ensures minimal negative impact on the lamp due to vibrations and extreme climate.
Aside from these mechanical advantages, induction lamps have the added benefit of producing a very pure light. The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a scale, 1 – 100, that quantifies a light source’s ability to accurately reflect the colors it is illuminating. The CRI for Induction is 85, meaning the colors that are seen under an induction light are the actual colors of the object.
Because of its durability, induction technology previously had an extremely high initial cost, thus making it financially unavailable to the average business. Today, the costs have been reduced almost 50% to a viable price point, making them readily accessible for most any commercial/industrial application.
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