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Tiger Lights Blog

  • Industry Research – 2015 Review

    We continue our industry research review and take a look at some key occurrences within the LED industry in 2015.

    2015 was supposed to be the year when LED lighting would really start to take off. Prices for lamps were already under £7.14 ($10), with some even under £3.57 ($5). Industry experts intimated that the industry would grow by around 85% unit growth for LED lamps with 45% revenue growth.

    LED luminaires also had healthy growth at 28% unit growth and 21% revenue growth. Industry predictions of strong packaged LED growth for 2015, especially in lighting, seemed justified.

    So what happened? Because nearly everyone in the top 15 LED manufacturers declined in revenues.

    Firstly, price declines were massive – way bigger than anyone anticipated. With the crash of the China market in the second half of 2015, we saw a lot of companies exit the LED market - it’s thought some 4000 LED companies in China exited in 2015 and had a “going out of business” closing type sale that forced other manufacturers to also lower their prices. In lighting, mid power LEDs saw price declines of 30-40% and high power LEDs saw price declines of 20-30% in the second half of 2015. Some companies reported having to decline business simply because they could not compete on price.

    Secondly, the smartphone market saw an unexpected slowdown as did the tablet market. This negatively affected players who normally saw healthy or at least stable growth in these areas. If Apple decides to use OLED displays in their smartphone or tablets, this could really have a big impact on the mobile market.

    And thirdly, exchange rates had a big impact on foreign companies’ revenues in US dollars. A good example of this is Nichia– the number one packaged LED manufacturer by a long shot – saw some healthy growth (comparatively) in 2015 at around 7% if we state its revenues in Japanese yen. However, because the yen did so poorly against the dollar (at about 120 JPY= 1 USD), Nichia declined 6% in USD.

  • LED Industry Review - China And Taiwan

    In the first of our industry research pieces we decided to take a look at China and Taiwan, what we found is that the demand of LED lighting is still strong and growing. It is true that revenues in the Taiwanese LED industry decreased in 2015, but the Chinese LED industry still enjoyed growth, largely thanks to an increasing demand for LED lighting.

    Here are some interesting facts we unearthed.

    1.       LED light tubes are cheaper than fluorescent light tubes?

    A price war has been going on since 2015 for these products. It can be said that Opple fired the first shot of this war when they cut their prices significantly, but it is now clear that multiple players have joined the field of battle as well. As an example, Local brand’s ex-work price for a T8 LED tube is 10RMB, while Philips’ fluorescent T8 lamps costs approximately 12RMB, and we have even heard of prices as low as 6RMB.  

    2.       Consolidation is coming to an end?

    Mainly due to economies of scale, mid-to-small LED manufacturers are being hit the hardest from these price wars. The local news stated that 4,000 LED manufactures closed in 2015, and from what we have seen, most of these are small factories with low quality and inefficient processes. We still see mid-size players merging or being acquired by top LED suppliers and we expect the consolidation to be completed by the end of this year, which should lead to a healthier demand-supply situation in 2017.

    3.       Does China still represent bad quality?

    “Made in China” has usually been synonymous with low price and low quality. However, we have found that the industry is transitioning away from this. As an example, most LED packagers used to believe the quality of Sanan Opto’s LED chips to be bad, and opted to use Epistar’s chips instead (especially when they were looking at high power or super high power LEDs). It appears that this reputation is changing, as more and more LED packagers are choosing to use Sanan Opto’s chips.

    There are two main factors for this transition:

    1)      The most obvious, is that time has allowed Chinese manufacturers to become more adept with the production process

    2)      Some top Chinese LED packagers are aggressively looking to export their products by purchasing US or EU companies with useful IP.

    The major benefit for consumers here is that as quality of these products has increase, while the overall cost has not.   

  • The Many Uses Of LED Floodlights

    The Many Uses Of LED Floodlights

    LED floodlights have a considerable number of uses, especially when it is necessary to carry out work at a factory, for instance, in the winter when it is dark before the end of the working day. There may be a yard where fork lift trucks are operating loading lorries, or it might be that welding work is conducted outside on large scale fencing or gates that are too big to be worked on indoors.

    Sports

    Many sports are now played after dark, since fans are at work during the day, and clubs have to play in the evening or later into the night. LED floodlights enable sport to be played at any suitable time, and this has been encouraged by television. Games of football, rugby, and more, as well as athletics and cycling on outdoor tracks, can now be watched by fans as they sit down after dinner.

    The very first sport played under floodlights (although not LED lights) was polo as far back as July 18th 1878 when the Ranelagh Club hosted a match against the Hurlingham Club in Fulham, south west London.

    Cricket was first played under floodlights in England on Monday August 11th 1952 and was watched by several million people on their recently purchased television sets.

    Of course, many people who are at work during the day come home and want to participate in their sport in the evening. So local authorities will use LED floodlights to light up their tennis courts or bowling greens in order to accommodate their residents. Some people even have their own private tennis court and will floodlight it for the same purpose. Golf clubs use floodlighting on their driving ranges. Other smaller sports clubs use LED floodlights so that members can train in the evening: they may only light part of their ground and/or use portable floodlights.

    Security

    Naturally, LED floodlights can also be used for security purposes. Combined with a PIR they will instantly light up a large area when triggered by an intruder. They can be used for both residential and commercial applications and are an excellent way of deterring thieves and other intruders. In addition, they can be combined with security cameras so that individuals can easily be identified.

    Other uses for LED floodlights include public car parks which may be open until late in the evening, or somewhere like railway station car parks which may open before dawn so that commuters can get to work on time. In addition, coach and bus garages use them for their early starts, as do milk companies for their early morning deliveries.

    LED floodlights can be used anywhere there is a need to illuminate relatively large areas of ground during the hours of darkness.

  • Benefits Of LED Lighting For Commercial Use

    Benefits Of LED Lighting For Commercial Use

    There is little doubt that the development of LED lighting for commercial use is about to expand considerably, despite the fact that LED lamps are considerably more expensive to purchase than fluorescent or incandescent.

    A recent study in the US showed that commercial buildings – stores, offices, factories, hospitals, warehouses, restaurants, schools, and more - accounted for 20% of all energy consumption. Of that, 38% was used for lighting. No doubt the figures are similar for the UK.

    Commercial buildings chiefly use fluorescent lighting and this has been the case for many years. Until the arrival of LED bulbs, fluorescent lighting was the most cost-effective method of illumination. What’s more, it was considered a ‘mature technology, which means that there was little room for any further improvement of fluorescents.

    Relatively New

    However, LED technology is relatively new, but another survey in the US showed that LEDs are coming towards the end of the introduction phase of the product life cycle and are poised to enter the growth phase.

    Leaving aside the cost for the moment, there are many benefits to using LED lighting in commercial premises. Not the least of these is the energy efficiency. There is no doubt that LEDs will pay for themselves over time.

    LEDs have a useable life of five times longer than fluorescents and as much as 50 times that of incandescent bulbs. Indeed they don’t fail in the sense that incandescents and fluorescents do – they gradually become less bright and are considered at the end of their useable lifespan when they have lost 30%. They use less than a quarter of the electricity that incandescents do, and half of that used by compact fluorescent bulbs.

    No “Warming Up” Period

    LEDs switch on instantly, compared with fluorescents which take time to “warm up”. Fluorescents use a considerable amount of energy warming up and it is actually more energy efficient to leave them running all the time, which is what happens on ships in the Royal Navy.

    LED lights also emit no noticeable heat, which is a benefit in commercial situations such as kitchens where anything that can be done to reduce the heat is welcome.

    Commercial buildings have long operating hours and so anything that will help to reduce the amount of energy consumed, together with the obvious cost reduction benefits, will benefit both the planet and the operator of the building.

    In fact, the only real drawback to LED bulbs is the initial cost. It is much more than the alternatives, but once that cost has been recovered commercial operators are considerably better off.

  • Making The Switch: Changing To LED Lighting In The Home

    Making The Switch: Changing To LED Lighting In The Home

    If you have not made the change to LED (Light Emitting Diode) lamps in your home yet it is certainly time to consider doing so.

    LED lamps are much kinder to the environment and will save you a considerable amount of money over fluorescent lamps. Certainly, they cost more to buy than older bulbs, but after the initial cost is recovered there are nothing but benefits. LEDs turn on instantly, use far less electricity, and will last up to 15 years, or possibly more. They also radiate virtually no heat, they can be uni-directional or multi-directional, they contain no mercury, have no glass to break, and don’t emit UV rays which can fade coloured materials.

    On A Budget?

    How to go about changing over to LEDs if you are on a budget? The answer is to think about which lights in your home are on the most and change them first. This way you will make the most saving on your electricity bill in the shortest amount of time. Savings can be as much as 90%.

    Some people are confused by the wattage of LED lamps: because it is so low it seems that they will not emit enough light compared with what we are used to. In this case the wattage that you need is roughly 10% of that of fluorescent bulbs. So if you are using 40 watts, a 4 watt LED is about the same, 60 watts = 6 watts and 100 watts should be replaced with a 10 watt LED. A 50 watt GU10 in a spotlight or downlight should be replaced with a 4 watt or 6 watt LED.

    If you want dimmable lights they cost a little more, but you should note that it may sometimes be necessary to change the dimmer switches: a qualified electrician will be able to advise on this.

    Get The Correct Fitting

    It is likely that you have bulbs in your home in various different lamps that have different fittings, so it is important to check you are ordering the correct fitting.

    Some people consider that the light emitted from LEDs is “harsh” and in some cases this may be true. Light can be “warm” white or “cool” white and is measured on the Kelvin scale which runs from 1,000 to 10,000. The lower end of the scale is “warm” while around the middle the light will be nearly blue. Something around 2,700K will give you a warm white, and then as you go up the numbers it gets cooler.

    It may not be a good idea to rush out and change all your bulbs in one go. It is better to buy one and see if you like the light it provides before investing in more. Tigerlights will let you change the LED for a different one or offer 100% refund for unopened items in original condition if you find it does not suit you.

  • Are you looking for quality LED strip profiles?

    Here at Tiger Lights we are the experts for a wide range of LED lighting solutions. We firmly believe that LED’s are going to be the way of the future when it comes to superior lighting. In fact, there are many benefits that you get from using LED’s compared to your typical fluorescent forms of lighting.

    Most people stick to using fluorescent lighting. This is all well and good if you didn’t know the benefits of using LED’s but by the time you’ve read this article you’ll know that this is a far more efficient form of lighting than fluorescent lighting. In fact, using LED’s for all of your lighting needs is going to provide you with a major benefit that you may not have expected, and that is more money in your pocket.

    Yes, that’s correct. Using LED lighting actually means that you will save money on your power bill each year because this form of lighting uses less electricity and requires less maintenance. Think about what that would do for you each year. That extra money could help fund an extra week’s worth of Xmas holidays in some exotic location.

    If that isn’t enough to convince you then consider just how great LED’s look. They have much more functionality than fluorescent lighting and can be used almost anywhere. They can create the kind of lighting effect that just isn’t possible with fluorescent lighting. There are many forms of LED lights that you can use to create the effect that you want, and give your home that superior lighting solution.

    One of those is LED strip profiles and there are many available from us on our online store. We have been in the business of LED lighting for over a decade so we know what is best for your home, and we can offer a level of expert advice that not many others in the industry can. If you would like to know more about LED strip profiles and how they can improve your current lighting then call us today on 01925 629546 for a consultation.

  • Top 7 hidden costs of emergency lighting – Part 2

    Earlier this week, in the first of our two part blog we looked at three hidden costs of emergency lighting.  Today we round of this particular topic with points 4-7.

    Pressure to certify buildings can result in higher than normal luminaire replacement costs

    Building managers and owners are required to submit emergency lighting certification to local authorities in a timely manner. This results in time constraints for 6 monthly test reports to be provided and subsequent repairs to be undertaken for failed lights. Often these time constraints result in a premium being paid.

    “Solution”

    If the luminaire design allows for simple battery changeover, you can stock spare emergency battery packs and provide them to the testing contractor, reducing the pressure during this critical period.

    Cleaning lights

    Cleaning is vital to lighting efficiency. Light levels can decrease over time because of dirt on luminaries and a build up of insects inside the light. These factors can reduce total illumination by 30% or more, potentially falling below minimum required lighting levels.

    “Solution”

    Beyond a simple wipe down, a light fitting that is easy to remove for further cleaning if required reduces ongoing cleaning & maintenance time & costs. In addition to a simple clean, many light fixtures require holes to be drilled for cable entry points and these are often an entry point for insects. Lights that connect to a separate base do not have this problem and therefore will not need to be opened and cleaned.

    Drop in light output quality (lumen depreciation) over time

    For maintained emergency lighting systems where light output in non emergency mode is part of the area lighting, this light output will need to meet relevant area lighting level compliance requirements.

    Many emergency light fixtures have either older technology fluorescent lamps which need constant replacements or poor quality LEDs that cause light output to depreciate quickly. Often light upgrades result in “energy efficient’ lights selected that are underpowered, resulting in lower wattage luminaire replacements with light output not sufficient to meet local building code requirements.

    Impacts include a reduced amenity for the occupants and creation of a liability for the building owner. This can result in tenants leaving and insurance companies not covering claims in non-compliant areas following an accident, both of which are very expensive.

    “Solution”

    Know the light level requirements for your building or ask someone who knows – your electrical contractor or lighting suppliers. You will need to demonstrate compliance to claim government rebates. Look for a luminaire with a broad range of light outputs to give you the flexibility to suit the light to match the area.

    Check the quality of the LEDs. Luminaire datasheets will list LED chip sources where there is a reputable brand used. Look for emergency luminaires that are “approved for use” by state government energy efficiency scheme administrators as they will need to have supplied LM80 test reports to support LED performance.

    Keeping monitored emergency lighting systems up to date

    Commissioning of monitored emergency lighting systems is complex & requires specialist contractors to wire and program all light connection points into the system. When any system changes are needed, there is no simple addition or subtraction of lights. The high call out rates for any programming or wiring changes from the contractors that work with the proprietary systems are the source of complaints from building managers.

    Additions or changes to emergency lights in tenanted areas of commercial office buildings, are often not incorporated into the base building’s monitored emergency lighting system. This reduces the accuracy for emergency light testing status & cannot provide the building manager with 100% trust in the system reports.

    “Solution”

    Keep it simple. Non monitored stand alone emergency luminaires can now provide the functionality to display the test status via a multi coloured LED indicator. This results in the visual inspection being undertaken at the same time to determine the compliance status, eliminating the need for an expensive monitored system.

    If you would like to discuss our building and commercial management requirements, please call us today on 01925 629546 for a consultation.

  • Top 7 hidden costs of emergency lighting – Part 1

    Top 7 hidden costs of emergency lighting – Part 1

    It's not just the upfront luminaire cost but the ongoing cost of maintenance and testing that should also be considered. Here's our summary of the key emergency lighting operating cost areas that are sometimes overlooked.

    Whole fitting replacement at point of battery failure

    Industry practice has traditionally been to replace the whole emergency batten fittings when the light fails the 6 monthly test. It is believed that this is a cheaper alternative than undertaking further investigations that would result in having to isolate the circuit to replace the faulty component, which is typically the battery. This often results in emergency light fittings being replaced every 3 to 4 years.

    “Solution”

    Choosing an emergency light that has features such as easy removal for repair and upgrade and / or an accessible battery drawer so that battery replacement can be simply undertaken without isolating the mains power.

    Co-ordination of emergency light testing

    To prepare for the 6 monthly emergency test, building managers and owners need to advise all building occupants of disruption to normal activities in areas where emergency lighting systems are being tested, which typically involves isolating mains power to that lighting circuit.

    A range of stakeholders need to be co-ordinated including external contractors who typically conduct the test after hours, as well as security staff to supervise testing contractors who have access to tenanted areas in the building after hours.

    “Solution”

    Monitored emergency lighting systems conduct the mandated 6 monthly battery discharge tests without disrupting power but this comes at a system cost premium of 30-40%. Similar self-test functionality is now available in stand alone luminaires, which conduct battery discharge whilst maintaining normal light operation. The test status is visible via an LED indicator. This testing takes place without disrupting the normal operation of the light, which avoids the cost of notifying occupants and coordinating contractors and other service providers.

    Fixing faults in emergency lighting electrical circuits – a stab in the dark!

    In cases of emergency lighting electrical circuit trip or failure due to thermal overload, short circuit or moisture ingress, fault finding by a qualified electrician can be complicated, time consuming and costly. Often it involves the removal of light fittings and examination of electrical wiring up & down the line to isolate the fault.

    “Solution”

    Emergency lights with a smart connect base that allows for simple removal of the light fitting.  This enables lighting to be simply replaced with time-consuming fault finding done off-line.

    If you would like to discuss our building and commercial management requirements, please call us today on 01925 629546 for a consultation.

    Part 2 of this topic will follow shortly.

  • LED Lighting The Basics

    LED Lighting The Basics

    LED lighting differs from incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting in several ways. When designed well, LED lighting can be more efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting.

    LED lighting products use light emitting diodes to produce light very efficiently. An electrical current passes through semiconductor material, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs. The heat produced is absorbed into a heat sink.

    The useful life of LED lighting products is defined differently than that of other light sources, such as incandescent or CFL. This is because LEDs typically do not “burn out” or fail. Instead, they experience lumen depreciation, where the amount of light produced decreases and light colour appearance can shift over time. Instead of basing the useful life of an LED product on the time it takes for 50% of a large group of lamps to burn out (as is the case with traditional sources), LED product “lifetime” is set based on a prediction of when the light output decreases 30 percent.

    LEDs and Heat

    Because LED lighting systems don’t radiate heat the way an incandescent or halogen light bulb does, the heat produced from the power going into the product must be drawn away from the LEDs. This is usually done with a heat sink, which is a passive device that absorbs the heat produced and dissipates it into the surrounding environment. This keeps LEDs from overheating and burning out. Thermal management is probably the single most important factor in the successful performance of an LED product over its lifetime because the higher the temperature at which the LEDs are operated, the more quickly the light will degrade, and the shorter the useful life will be.

    After less than a year of use, a poorly designed LED product can flicker, shift in colour, look dim, offer uneven light, or continue to use power when turned off, among other problems.

    To talk about our range of LED Lighting please call us on 01925 629546 for a consultation.

  • Spaces difficult to light? LEDs can help you solve this problem

    Here at Tiger Lights we are the experts for a wide range of LED lighting solutions. We firmly believe that LED’s are going to be the way of the future when it comes to superior lighting. In fact, there are many benefits that you get from using LED’s compared to your typical fluorescent forms of lighting.

    Most people stick to using fluorescent lighting. This is all well and good if you didn’t know the benefits of using LED’s but by the time you’ve read this article you’ll know that this is a far more efficient form of lighting than fluorescent lighting. In fact, using LED’s for all of your lighting needs is going to provide you with a major benefit that you may not have expected, and that is more money in your pocket.

    Yes, that’s correct. Using LED lighting actually means that you will save money on your power bill each year because this form of lighting uses less electricity and requires less maintenance. Think about what that would do for you each year. That extra money could help fund an extra week’s worth of christmas holidays in some exotic location.

    If that isn’t enough to convince you then consider just how great LED’s look. They have much more functionality than fluorescent lighting and can be used almost anywhere. They can create the kind of lighting effect that just isn’t possible with fluorescent lighting. There are many forms of LED lights that you can use to create the effect that you want, and give your home that superior lighting solution.

    One of those is LED strip profiles and there are many available from us on our online store. We have been in the business of LED lighting for over a decade so we know what is best for your home, and we can offer a level of expert advice that not many others in the industry can. If you would like to know more about LED strip profiles and how they can improve your current lighting then call us today on 01925 629546 for a consultation.

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