Durham, North Carolina-based Cree, Inc. introduced the XLamp® eTone™ LEDs. According to Cree, the XLamp® eTone™ LEDs are chip-on-board (COB) LEDs that deliver a 90 color rendering index (CRI) light quality with up to 155 lumens per watt (LPW) efficacy at 3000K CCT, 85°C. The company says that this high efficacy is equivalent to the efficacy of today’s standard 80 CRI LEDs.
The company asserts that this is the highest efficacy available in the industry compared to competing COB LEDs with the same color and size. Cree says that the LEDs are ideal for applications that require high-quality light, including retail, museum, high-end commercial and medical.
Notably, the typical minimum standard for light quality is a CRI of 80 for many lighting applications. However, Lower CRI values tend to distort colors and are less pleasing aesthetically, while higher CRI values of 90 translate to higher fidelity or accuracy, indicating better light quality.
LEDs with 90 CRI Used Primarily Where Color Quality Critical
So far, LEDs with 90 CRI values are used mainly in settings where color quality is critical, including retail and museum lighting. While LEDs have been available with 90 CRI versions for many years, until now, this light quality has come at a significant penalty to light output and efficacy compared to lower light quality with 70 or 80 CRI. Cree claims its new eTone LEDs overcome this penalty and provide an upgrade in the LED efficacy of up to 17 percent compared to existing 90 CRI LEDs without sacrificing color quality.
The eTone LEDs come in both the ceramic-based XLamp CXA2 Standard Density and the metal-based XLamp CMA & CMT High Current chip-on-board (COB) LED families, and all eTone LEDs share the same mechanical and electrical characteristics as the standard versions to enable a quick upgrade with minimal redesign. Additionally, Cree says that the LM-80 data coverage is immediately available to reduce the time to obtain DesignLights Consortium® qualifications on their products. The eTone LEDs will come in 4000K – 2700K CCTs with a minimum 90 CRI.
“Two years ago, Cree achieved an LED industry first with our lab demonstration of a single high-power LED that hit an extraordinary 134 LPW at 1,587 lumens, 85°C and 90 CRI,” said Dave Emerson, Cree LEDs executive vice president and general manager. “Cree is committed to turning our industry-first R&D results into viable commercial products that offer customer-ready LED solutions where others do not. Today’s release of our eTone™ LEDs that deliver 90 CRI at the same efficacy as 80 CRI means that lighting manufacturers no longer have to sacrifice top-tier efficacy to achieve excellent color quality for indoor lighting applications.”
“Cree’s latest innovation will redefine the premium lighting market with designs that were previously impossible,” said Massimo Parravicini, R&D director, Reggiani Lighting. “Cree is enabling us to create 80 CRI and 90 CRI lights that share the same intensity, beam angle and power consumption with just one product design. This no-compromise COB solution gives us the industry’s top performance, the excellent light quality that our customers require and the LED form factors that will drop right into our existing designs.”
Product samples of the eTone LEDs are now available and production quantities are available with standard lead times.