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Ingo Schaer

 

Do you know what the advantages of a LED are? Did you know that LEDs can get hot as well? And what actually is a LED bulb? Here you will find practical answers to 11 key questions.

 

AX-LED Wall

AX-LED Wall

This delicate LED lamp by Steng can be mounted to a wall parallel as well as in an angle.

 

 

1. What actually are LEDs, what are they made of and how do they work?

 

LEDs are light emitting diodes (short LED). They consist of several layers of semiconductors, which lead to electroluminescence when applying DC voltage, therefore they produce light from electricity. Due to their functional principle, LEDs are point-shaped light sources, about one millimeter in length, which emit light and are surrounded by a layer of plastic. In comparison, light bulbs are thermal radiators, in which a filament is heated so much that it produces light as a side effect and sends it in all directions. LEDs can produce light in the colors red, green, yellow, or blue; white light is produced by a blue LED that is coated with a yellow fluorescent layer or by additive mixing of red, green and blue (RGB) LEDs.

 

2. What are the advantages of an LED?

 

LEDs are much more energy-efficient and long-lasting bulbs or halogen lamps. Manufacturers specify a lifetime of up to 30,000 hours. This corresponds to about 5-6 years of continuous operation. LEDs are bright without a delay, can be turned on and off very often and can also be dimmed. They are resistant to mechanical stress and already reach higher color rendering properties than fluorescent lamps. The best RA value of a LED is 98, the average is almost 90 – close to the maximum of 100, which sunlight offers. The small and long-lasting LEDs emit hardly any infrared and ultraviolet radiation.

 

Copernico by Artemide

Copernico by Artemide

Copernico pendant by Artemide with 384 white LEDs create fascinating light accents

 

3. Do LEDs get hot as well

 

Contrary to common assumptions, LEDs do create heat, because their efficiency does not achieve 100 percent. But in comparison to temperature radiators such as light bulbs little infrared radiation is emitted; instead the heat is derived from the semiconductor component on the circuit board and is diverted to cooling elements made of metal or ceramic. LEDs are therefore very suitable for temperature-sensitive lighting. The temperature of the LEDs has a great impact on their lifetime: If the LED gets too hot, the life span decreases rapidly. Some inexpensive products do not keep the advertised promise, especially not in the area of heat dissipation.

 

4. Why are LEDs currently so important for consumers?

 

Some years ago LED lighting solutions were deployed mainly in the technical field and in street and traffic lighting, but the technical development of practical work lamps and luminaires for private consumers progressed through the step-by-step light bulb ban: As of September 2012 manufacturer are not allowed to produce any more traditional light bulbs. However, the surplus in storage can still be sold. Therefore the question about the replacement of traditional light sources arises. LED retrofits can be used in existing luminaires and gradually replace light bulbs and help save a large amount of electrical energy.

 

5. Where are LEDs being used?

 

The application of diode light evolved from small colored signal lights on electronic devices for LED modules in transport equipment and lighting in the automotive area. LED lamps are now often used in computer screens and lights. The efficient and focused light is especially suitable for shop, road, hotel and living room lighting. LEDS are ideal for orientation and outdoor lighting, because the long service time and the low power consumption will provide an economic payback.

 

Hanging bulb by Moree

Hanging bulb by Moree

Light fixture and lamp united: this LED-lamp looks very attractive as a pendant as well.

 

 

6. Can I easily replace a light bulb with a LED bulb?

 

There are special LED modules with plug-in or screw base in pear or candle shapes that can replace conventional light bulbs without any problems. These LED lamps with the well-known bases are known as retrofit lamps. They can easily be used in existing luminaires. There is also the whole range of the well-known forms of halogen lamps with the GU 4, GU 5 and MR 16 sockets in addition to the usual E27 and E14 screw bases. Many of the retrofit lamps can be dimmed and are available in different color temperatures: they range from warm white 2700 Kelvin to neutral white 4000 Kelvin to daylight-like cold white 6500 Kelvin.

The relationship between wattage and brightness (measured in lumens as luminous flux), as known from light bulbs, is being readjusted for LEDs, because a performance of 9 watt can correspond to a brightness of 400 lumen or more – depending on the efficiency, which in turn is being expressed in lumen per watt. Purchasing a lamp becomes therefore slightly more technical and offers more choices with regard to the technical characteristics of the lamps.

 

7. How much energy do LED bulbs save in comparison to conventional light bulbs?

 

LEDs do not only last 50 times longer than light bulbs, their efficiency is also much higher: the efficiently bundled light from a LED shines only in the desired direction and not all around like it happens with bulbs and consumes about 8 Watts instead of 60 watts light bulbs consume. For general lighting of a hallway with downlights, using LEDs, with a daily operating time of 12 hours, you can assume a payback time of less than four years compared to fluorescent lamps. After this time, the LED lighting saves electricity costs every year. There are no maintenance costs due to the long life of the LED.

 

8. What is the difference between a LED lamp and a LED light?

 

A LED lamp is a lamp that can resemble a conventional light bulb and also has the well-known screw socket E27 or E14. LED lights are technical novelties, because people were always searching for long-lasting light sources that are really small and efficient. LEDs have helped to change the current categories of lamp and light. The long life-span of over 30,000 hours has led to the association of lamp and light: it is no longer necessary to provide a device for exchanging the lamp in the light fixture. Lamp and LED grow old together.

 

Master LED Bulb DimTone

Master LED Bulb DimTone

Full-featured replacement for the incandescent lamp. This LED Philips lamp can be dimmed and has an E27 socket.

 

9. Where can I buy LED lamps and luminaires, and how much do they cost?

 

You can buy LED lamps in stores, via the Internet or at hardware stores. Due to the available advice, retailers are the better choice in comparison to a random purchase. Most likely you are used to buy light fixtures with regards to the wattage of the bulb, but due to the high efficiency of LED lamps you need to consider the required luminous flux in this case, which is measured in lumens. A LED in the form of a pear, like the traditional light bulbs, is available for about 10 Dollar. Brighter models cost 20 Dollar and more. On the other hand you can purchase LEDs, where the bulb is firmly connected and thus is part of the design of the lamp, in special retail shops or online shops. Depending on the design, the material, the technique and the quality of the product, prices range from 10 Dollar for simple recessed luminaires up to several hundred or thousand Dollar for high quality designer lamps.

 

10. How do I dispose of broken LED lamps?

 

Even though individual LEDs contain no mercury, they are considered electronic components and must therefore be disposed accordingly. Bring your old LED bulbs to the local electronics waste collection site in your area.

 

11. Are LEDs a health hazard?

 

LEDs are mercury-free in contrast to energy-saving light bulbs. However, they can cause blinding due to their great brightness, which is concentrated in small points of light. On the other hand starring into a bright halogen lamp is blinding as well. Very high-power LEDs generate an intense light, and you should not look directly into the LED, especially white and blue LEDs. The retina can be affected in the long by “blue light damages”. High performance LEDs (such as flash lights) do not belong the hands of children.

Ingo Schaer

 

The light classics of the almost forgotten designer Greta Grossman experience a big comeback these days

Coincidence came into play, as so often, when the renowned gallerist Evan Synderman discovered a desk of the Swedish designer Greta Magnusson Grossman, which had nearly been forgotten, at the end of the 1990s. Thereby he also laid the foundation for a successful comeback. Three of her classics were launched again by the Danish manufacturer Gubi at the beginning of 2011: the “Grasshopper” – the floor lamp “Cobra” and the table lamp “Cobra”.

 

Cobra floor lamp by Grossman

Cobra floor lamp by Grossman

 

Design for the American jet set

 

Grossman was at the high point of her career in the years between 1940 and 1960. She was part of the American elite by designing complete houses and apartments and her customers included personalities such as Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo and Paulette Goddard. Most of her clients were modern professional women, who had made a name for themselves primarily in the entertainment industry. Thanks to the collaboration with some very prominent personalities, Grossman quickly became part of the society. Today, the Grossman originals are among the most popular collectibles and are being sold at auctions all over the world. They can achieve prices about 10,000 euros. The design classics have lost none of their attraction, and therefore the Danish design company Gubi decided to re-launch three lighting models. The Danes focus to stay as close as possible to the original in order to preserve the flawlessness of the designs.

 

A brave Swedish pioneer

 

Greta Grossman Portrait

Greta Grossman Portrait

 

In the 1930s, Grossman significantly influenced the Swedish and European design and architecture scene. As one of the first women ever she won the Swedish design award and opened a studio – a combination of workshop and furniture store in Stockholm. And this at a time when the furniture industry as well as the design and architecture scene were largely dominated by men.

Together with her husband, the jazz musician Billy Grossman, she immigrated to America in 1940 and opened a new store on Rodeo Drive in California. Her designs, which combine refined wood with metal and plastic elements, were so exceptional that she celebrated large successes. She designed numerous pieces of furniture and more than a dozen homes, some of which can still be visited today. Her trademark were houses on stilts, embedded into the hilly backcountry of Los Angeles. They seemed to tower above the valleys, providing spectacular views of the surrounding countryside to the residents through generous glass fronts.

When her husband died in 1967, Grossman withdrew from the design and architecture scene. Decades later, when the influential gallerist Snyderman saw one of her tables in a design shop in Manhattan and fell instantly in love with it, Grossman had her big comeback.

 

 

Cobra table lamp by Grossman

Cobra table lamp by Grossman

 

A masculine appearing lamp

 

Soft shapes

 

 

“Grasshopper” and “Cobra” are most likely the best known products by Greta Grossman. All three objects were launched at a time when the furniture and design industry was influenced by modern designs. The “Grasshopper” light was produced for the first time in 1947 and has a delicate, organic shape and looks very feminine. The tubular steel tripod is slightly inclined backwards, while the elongated, cone-shaped lampshade made of aluminum is flexible and is attached to the arm of the lamp.

 

Consequently, the light with minimal blinding effect can be adjusted individually. The floor lamp is available in five colors and costs 665 euros. The metallic “Cobra” has a more masculine appearance. The tubular flexible light arm can be bent in all directions, while the lampshade can be swiveled 360 degrees. The “Cobra” models are available in three colors. The table lamp costs about 345 euros, the floor lamp about 535 euros.

 

Grasshopper by Grossman

Grasshopper by Grossman

Bio of Greta Magnusson Grossman

 

The Stockholm-born Greta Magnusson Grossman (1906-1999) had a highly productive career in Europe and North America. She celebrated her numerous successes in the areas of industrial design, interior architecture and classical architecture. At the end of 1920 a scholarship at the prestigious Stockholm Art Academy Konstfack was offered to her, which she completed successfully in 1933. In the same year she opened a studio in Stockholm together with a fellow student and married the jazz musician Billy Grossman. Between 1940 and 1950 her designs were part of countless international exhibitions and were presented to the public, among other things, in the MoMA in New York or at the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.

 

Gubi

 

Gubi

Gubi

The family-run company Gubi A/S. Founded in 1967, it is headed today in the second generation by Jacob Gubi. The innovative and creative Danes committed mainly to the re-launch of design classics from the furniture and lighting industry. The showroom and the headquarters are located on a 2,000-square-meter area in the Freeport of Copenhagen.

 

Ingo Schaer

The company benwirth licht is located in the lovely district Neuhausen in Munich. Here we meet the passionate light designer, who attracts attention with his unusual light fixtures. The rooms accommodate a showroom as well as manufacturing, packaging, shipping and distribution of light fixtures. Here you can see fiddling and finishing. The high-quality designer lamps are produced partly in series, partly as specials and one-offs. Light & Living spoke with Ben Wirth about his ideas and light objects as well as future developments.

Ben Wirth

Ben Wirth

Mr. Wirth, why have you dedicated yourself to the medium of light and what fascinates you about it?

 

Ben Wirth: There is no life without light. Light makes our environment tangible and understandable; with artificial light, we interpret the space, the environment and create moods. Our entire well-being is influenced by light. My work with light is very experimental, I try out a lot of different things and work a lot with models and prototypes. It’s always about the dialog between the object and the light.

If one looks at your lights, one will notice the unconventional design with some unusual materials. Do you consider your lights a piece of art?

 

Ben Wirth: The light 1st Aid as well as the lamps kuk0 and kukl had the material as a starting point, which fascinated me. I have tried to optimize the essence of these materials with the help of light. With other lights I have a different approach. Therefore the light Incredible Bulb was created during some ‘experiments’. For the light systems Cluster+ and *Track I approached it very conceptually. With the light fixture Cluster+, I wanted to create a diverse, flexible lighting system that combines the two promising illuminants OLED and LED. The light system *Track had the approach to minimize the lamp and to find a solution for the recurring problem of missing ceiling outlets. This very rational approach to the lightweight, sculptural light system cannot be noticed, and I am very glad about it.

kuk0 by Ben Wirth

kuk0 by Ben Wirth

 

Some designers can immediately be recognized by their “handwriting”. Is seems to be difficult for me with your lights. Where in each lamp is the “Ben Wirth”?

 

Ben Wirth: I find that all my lights are very slimmed down. I’m trying to free them from anything superfluous. Maybe it is a characteristic of my lights that they are technically or maybe not. For example the light Cluster+ with all the visible technique has a very ornament structure. I always experience that people who know my light fixtures only from pictures find them first too technical, but they revise this opinion when they see them “live”. What all my lights have in common, is that everything is visible. There is no covering material, no casing. The technology and the design are usually visible.

1st Aid by Ben Wirth

1st Aid by Ben Wirth

You are among the few designers that have created an OLED lamp with Cluster+. Should OLED be of consumer interest at this point?

 

Cluster by Ben Wirth

Cluster by Ben Wirth

This lamp combines OLED with LED. The magnet system allows to adjust the lamp.

 

 

Ben Wirth: There are very significant developments in lighting technology at the moment. We are at a turning point with regards to room lighting. The light bulb as a central element in the room disappears; OLED and LED technologies have taken its place and allow new lighting concepts. Here you find two light sources that complement each other very well – on the one hand the OLED with its soft non-directional light, on the other hand LED as a pointed light source, whose lighting can be used very specifically by focusing the beam on a specific spot. At this time organic light-emitting diodes are not really the first choice for consumers. Apart from the price the service life and quality of light still needs to be improved. But the progress will be rapid: the company Osram is currently building the first OLED factory in Regensburg, and in a few years OLED will be mentioned along with LED, when talking about light options.

 

Mr. Wirth, thank you very much for the interview.

 

Ben Wirth Info:

 

Ben Wirth was born in 1965 in Munich. After an apprenticeship as a carpenter he studied two years at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and then architecture at the College of Art in Berlin. After graduating he became an independent furniture and lighting designer in Munich: in 2006 he founded the company benwirth licht. The murals kukl and kuk0 he designed as well as the system Cluster+ were awarded the DesignPlus Prize and were nominated for the design award Germany.

This team consists of: Ben Wirth (design).

Kilian Huettenhofer (technical development).

Mirjan Zahid (distribution, PR)

Folk art Street 75, Munich. www.benwirth.com

 

Ingo Schaer

 

The small light-emitting diodes are advancing slowly but steadily in the private sector. Meanwhile, there is a large selection of beautiful and high quality LED lights available.

Colibri LED

Colibri LED

 

A bright LED point. This LED lamp is a shapely reading lamp and looks like it was created from one cast.

 

Small energy saving miracles

 

Almost as flat as a sheet of glass and graceful like a delicate plant: the point-shaped, tiny LEDs offer designers completely new options when designing their lights – as well as for your home. Due to their small size LEDs are often used where conventional light sources might have a problem, such as wall niches, furniture, stairs, or tiles, and even paving stones.

So far LED lamps were used in desk lamps, in the form of light ribbons, Christmas lights or for controlling color light. Nowadays designer LEDs can be seen in consumer homes as well: they hang over the dining room table, in the corner of the living room or serve as a reading lamp. So far, the LED market for consumers was dominated by a few and well known manufacturers. Those are increasingly joined by smaller companies or young designers – there is hardly any manufacturer any more, which has not at least one LED light in his portfolio. And it is expected that these lights will become more affordable, because technological development is progressing rapidly. However, especially with LED lights, you should choose quality products, which can, of course, have their price.

Dione LED

Dione LED


 

 

 

This lamp is in redesign with innovative LED technology. A moving light object for splendid rooms.

 

There are LEDs inside

 

As of September 2010, when the 60-watt bulb will slowly disappear from store shelves, one has to worry about new energy-saving light bulbs. Of course, the bulb can be replaced by a LED in many old lamps – because many LED bulbs have the same thread, look like a “light bulb” and compete with warm white light color. LEDs with integrated small light-emitting diodes in the lamp head can be seen in a different light. In this case, the exchange is not possible easily any longer. In some models the LED chip, if it no longer works, can be changed out without any effort like the SIM card of a mobile phone. But many models need to be sent back completely if the LEDs are broken. But in this case – at least in the long run – is extremely unlikely, because LEDs are very durable. Their lifespan is between 15,000 and 25,000 hours. This means: with an average burn time of three hours a day the lamps must be changed out after about 15 years. And you should consider quality products in this case as well.

 

 

Mantis LED

Mantis LED

The discreet LED light is infinitely variable and adjustable. Material: Ash or Maple.

 

The luminosity of the LEDs is enormous, considering the low wattage and thus lower energy consumption. Therefore, a tiny light strip can brighten up an entire room. Another advantage of the LED is the ability to shine in a variety of colors. You can adjust the desired color setting remotely, according to your mood.

 

Ingo Schaer

 

The traditional light bulb is gradually being displaced by new, more efficient light devices. However, the shape of the bulb remains the same.

 

Bulb by Ingo Maurer

Bulb by Ingo Maurer

 

Ingo Maurer’s tribute to the good old light bulb. Designed in 1966, the lamp is currently more popular than ever.
 

Beautiful bulbs

 

Lights in the shape of traditional light bulbs are actually nothing new, but becoming the focus due to the current discussion of designers and manufacturers about the abolition of the traditional light bulb. “Now more than ever”, some lighting designers might say and consciously design their lamps in “pear shapes”. In the past, designers tried to hide the unsightly “bulb” usually behind the light housing. However, a few lighting designers demonstratively showed the light bulb in their designs. The light bulb as a design element appears repeatedly in some lamps by Ingo Maurer. With the rise of smaller Halogen lamps and tiny LEDs, now almost all narrow and smallest forms are possible in lighting design. But due to the EU-wide regulation of the light bulb, one can recognize a harking back to the good old light bulb and its pear shape.

Birdie's bush by Ingo Maurer

Birdie’s bush by Ingo Maurer

 

 

These light bulbs take off: This is the youngest member of the bird’s family, with wings made of goose feathers.

 

Therefore new and interesting pendant, floor or table lamps are being created in the classic light bulb shape or with visible, usually oversized incandescent light bulbs.

 

Looks like a light bulb, but isn’t a light bulb

 

Some of these lights still have a “real” light bulb inside – since they are not all abolished yet. But soon you need to look for alternative light sources, in order to replace them. However, consumers don’t need to worry. By now, there are lamps that look like the traditional light bulb, with halogen lamps or many LEDs inside; this is especially evident in clear glass lamps. You also don’t have to forgo the common E27-thread. These lamps can be easily screwed into all lamps with an E27 socket. And energy saving lights are already available in the form of light bulbs. Tubular or spiral energy saving lights should only be used if they don’t visibly change the appearance of the luminaire.

 

Lightworm by Tecnolumen

Lightworm by Tecnolumen

 

 

This light winds upwards like an earthworm. The metal arm is flexible.

 

The advantage of energy saving or LED lamps is that they don’t get as hot as the traditional light bulb. But the new replacement lights still don’t produce the warm light we were used to.

 

Quo vadis, light bulb?

 

As of September 1 we have to say farewell to the 60 Watt light bulbs. This will now affect most consumers and households that usually use this kind of wattage. But of course the shelves of hardware stores and drugstores won’t be empty as of September first, because bulbs in stocks can be sold until they run out. Panic buying is likely to accelerate the sale. And for some time, you can now buy so called “heat balls” which are not considered a lamp, but a heating element. There will certainly some more ideas arising to circumvent the regulation. Because as of September 1 all clear incandescent and halogen lamps must belong to the energy-efficiency class C. Since no traditional light bulb meets this requirement, they will therefore be completely abolished beginning in September. Until then there will certainly be many discussions. And maybe you might be able to admire this piece of heritage soon in museums only. Light bulb or not, the shape of the “pear” will remain in any case – even if something else is insight!

 

 

 

 

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