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Fixture Feud: Identifying the Superior Luminaire

January 2015

Who wins when bright light emitting diode (LED) and high-output quartz metal halide (QMH) luminaires face off in high-temperature outdoor environments? The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently released a report that summarizes trial results comparing the two. The report shows that LED fixtures produce improved light quality and energy and maintenance savings, delivering a 69 percent increase in energy efficiency when compared to QMH.

QMH luminaires are typically used for overhead lighting in commercial or public spaces. In 2005 they became popular due to the intense white light they provide. LEDs are also used broadly and are available in a variety of colors and sizes. The high-efficiency potential of LEDs was recognized by DOE when they created the L Prize competition in 2011.

The LED-QMH trial was performed along a stretch of the United States-Mexico border, near Yuma, Ariz. Three poles were retrofitted with LED luminaires as part of the DOE GATEWAY Demonstration Program, led by PNNL’s Advanced Lighting team. GATEWAY demonstrations enable detailed in-field product evaluation, offering experience that cannot be replicated in a lab. Results frequently reveal issues related to installation, interface, and control, which DOE shares in reports prepared by PNNL lighting scientists and engineers, who analyze data collected, projected energy savings, and payback.

To learn more about the LED vs. QMH trial, see the full report on the DOE website or read the article published in LEDs Magazine.

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