Light engines are coming of age, as Forge Europa proves with its new generation LED downlight modules.
The LED revolution continues to surprise and enthral us. We’ve got used to what these light sources can do, and we’ve got over the carnage that’s been wrought on ‘traditional’ lighting product, but it’s still fascinating to see how new LED applications are constantly being developed. The doom-mongers who prophesied the death of lighting design can relax, because if recent offerings are anything to go by, lighting innovation is fit and well.
Forge Europa has introduced a new range of OEM downlight modules. These engines sit comfortably between the ‘new’ and the ‘retro’ options that we’ve got used to with LED lighting. Relying on the longevity of a well-designed LED housing, these 50mm modules provide the product designer with an off-the-shelf light source, ready to clip into a housing.
Light engines of all shapes and sizes are coming of age, and the introduction of this 50mm diameter downlight module is an ideal tool for the product designer looking for downlight and spotlight solutions. The advantages are obvious. An LED module with good thermal performance requires only a minimal housing. It removes the need for specialist heat-sink design, which adds price and weight to a fixture. And it also acknowledges a truth about how we work with the LED light source.
A properly designed LED module will deliver something exceeding 50,000 hours. Given the typical annual usage of commercial fixtures, that relates to something in the region of 10 years. On this timescale, lamp-changing is not a concern. The market that this LED module will affect is for MR16 and GU10 retrofit LED lamps. These lamps are not ideal. The electronics have to be forced into a limited physical space to allow the lamps to be used in a fixture designed for a tungsten halogen lamp.
Using a retrofit lamp makes sense if you’re using old equipment, but as those fixtures reach the end of their lives a better solution is needed. That should come from the light engine concept, such as the downlight module.
Making the most of the downlight module
Forge Europa sees a wide potential for the downlight module. Its light performance makes it an ideal source for commercial applications (retail and leisure, for example) and there is a higher lighting specification that suggests it could establish a place in the high-end residential and museum/gallery sectors.
As well as its use in dedicated downlight and spotlight housings, there is also a creative potential as the heart of decorative pendant fixtures.
To make life easy for manufacturers, Forge Europa has also created a family of housings for use with the downlight module. Perhaps the idea is to get the world used to what the downlight module can do and encourage further product development as companies begin to invest in it.
A technical view of the downlight module
The modules come in a single 50mm diameter housing with a range of performance options:
Light performance metrics
- Colour temperature: 2700K – 3000K – 4000K as standard
- Beam distribution: 24° – 38° – 60° as standard
- Colour rendition options:
- CRI: 83Ra // TM30. Rf: 84 – Rg: 95
- CRI: 97Ra // TM30. Rf: 91 – Rg: 97
- Modules are dimmable as standard, with trailing-edge main dimming. Other dimming protocols available if required
- Lumen outputs across the range, based on the standard Forge Europa 280mA driver, with a power rating of 12W, are as follows:
Bespoke design is always a feature of Forge Europa’s service. Where light performance is required that goes beyond standard product, other LED tones and colours can be provided. The company’s custom optics service can deliver variety in beam distribution, and there are decorative options and personalised branding for the heat-sink housing.
It’s also worth noting that the standard Forge Europa driver, running at 280mA as described above, delivers rather less than would be expected of an industry-standard 350mA driver, which manufacturers may prefer to use with the downlight module.