Post by Lisa J. Reed, Lighting Designer, Founding Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC
Eaton’s Cooper Lighting business is rolling out product after product these days boasting “WaveStream” LED technology. What exactly is WaveStream, and why should you care?
At LIGHTFAIR 2012, Cooper Lighting’s special booth generated lots of buzz. “It was the best thing I saw…you’ve got to go see it!” I’m going, I decided, but not until the lines are shorter. It was like an amusement park ride. People were waiting in a line that snaked around the booth for a peek inside at the mysterious and futuristic lighting phenom now known as WaveStream. The buzz continued in 2013, and now the products are finally becoming a commercial reality.
What is it? Well, basically, it is a sheet of light transmitting injection-molded material with embedded optics to transmit light from an LED point across an edge-lit surface with super even illumination. When you look at a 2′ × 2′ fixture like the Encounter, now available from Metalux, it will not knock your socks off. It simply looks like a troffer should look. Evenly light. No hot spots. The new SkyRidge also takes advantage of the technology and begins to shift away from the typical troffer form factor. The light all emanates from the center ridge of the fixture for a unique appearance, while further reducing cost and energy consumption.
Why should you care? The efficiency of the WaveStream product and its ability to create a glowing surface with ample lumen output and a minimal number of LEDs is where things become interesting. Fewer LEDs means lower cost and an LED fixture that saves energy over a fluorescent system. A low-cost energy- saving office lighting solution will be the key to LED fixtures actually grabbing market share from fluorescents. Until now, installation of LED troffers have been limited to niche markets with savvy owners who want to be on the leading edge.
WaveStream LED technology turns an LED weakness into an LED strength. It does what we should be doing with LEDs. The directional nature of an LED diode doesn’t lend itself to fluorescent tube or other non-directional source replacements. But WaveStream steps back, looks at the natural properties of LED, and plays to its strengths. The result is a more efficient product with less glare, dimming capabilities and the potential for great lighting quality.
See Wavestream LED technology in action. Find out how lighting solutions from Eaton’s Cooper Lighting business are projected to save Haywood College $6,000 annually.