Lumenpulse Breaks LEDs Free from Power Supplies

May 28, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

Lumenpulse, Inc. has launched the Lumencove™ Nano, a dimmable cove lighting system that dispenses with the need for a power supply. On display at LIGHTFAIR, the Lumencove Nano debuts Lumendrive™, a proprietary and patent-pending ASIC technology, which drives LEDs directly, eliminating the dependence on power supplies. Lumendrive digitally powers and controls LEDs directly from the ac mains. By dispensing with a power supply, the technology provides multiple benefits, including smaller size, a lifetime no longer restricted by third-party components, and outstanding efficiency. Available in 3- and 6-W versions, the Lumencove Nano delivers up to 100 lm/W and up to 559 lumens per foot.

“Breaking free of traditional power supplies is a major breakthrough for the industry. It changes the paradigm of LED lighting,” said Francois-Xavier Souvay, President and CEO at Lumenpulse. “When you embed a power supply to an LED board, you’re causing some uncertainty in the longevity of the fixture, since the life cycles of the components are very different. The Lumencove Nano removes that uncertainty, allowing us to offer a true ten-year limited warranty,” he said.

“This unmatched photometric performance has never been achieved with so little power,” said Greg Campbell, Senior Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer at Lumenpulse. “By removing the power supply, we reduced the size of the product and improved performance – without sacrificing sustainability or reliability. Lumendrive lets us avoid the typical efficiency losses that occur in the ac-to-dc power conversion with embedded power supplies, allowing us to provide best-in-class efficiency,” he said.

“Lumenpulse has actively been involved in R&D of many different technologies over the past 5 years, and one of them has been to solve the problem of sustainability in regards to the power supplies inside our fixtures,” stated Campbell. “We have always designed our fixtures in a way that makes the power supplies accessible for replacement. This is because we all know the power supplies will last, according to temperature, approximately 50,000 hours, while the L70 of the LEDs on our fixtures will be more than 100,000 hours in most cases. We never wanted to develop a fixture that had to be thrown away when the power supply failed. It's a question of sustainability, but it also plays a role in how physically small you can make a fixture. For the high volume cove market, size is very important in the architectural design of most spaces.

"And we have been actively researching ac step drive technology, in conjunction with multi-pjunction LEDs, for some time now. We were one of the first to prototype with the acriche ASIC, and have evaluated the likes of Exclara, Supertex, etc. The biggest challenges we saw in the development of the technology were meeting the THD, thermal, and power factor requirements, and the dimming performance, especially for the high-end spec market. While some of the existing step drive ASICs out there had the ability to support forward phase TRIAC dimming, the quality of dimming was not acceptable, and TRIAC dimming is not a huge commercial solution in the types of installations we are a part of (0-10V, DALI, DMX, etc. are more widely used).

“By developing our own, we were able to meet these requirements, and also integrate our Lumentalk power line communication technology, which has been extremely successful in the market thus far. The outcome of our development is superior THD, Power Factor, and thermal efficiency, as well as the ability for our Lumendrive fixtures to accept 0-10V, with smooth dimming down to less than 5%. The 0-10V bus is also completely isolated for a voltage standpoint, to meet UL and CE requirements. When using our Lumentalk data bridge, we can connect runs of Lumencove Nano fixtures directly to the Lumentalk powerline communication network, and make them compatible with our full suite of dimming interfaces (TRIAC, ELV, DMX, DALI, 0-10V). This is great for retrofit of existing fluorescent installations,” Campbell concluded

As part of the Lumencove family, the Lumencove Nano offers full dimming, a choice of color temperatures and is available in 1- or 4-foot lengths. The luminaire, which will be shown for the first time at this year’s Lightfair International convention in Las Vegas, has an L70 lumen maintenance of 100,000 hours and is backed by a ten-year limited warranty.