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Targeting 40 percent reduction in LED power consumption

The EnLight project, a collaboration of seven European organisations, headed by Infineon, is aiming to cut power usage in interior LED lighting using new technologies.

Germany’s annual power consumption is approximately 500 terawatt-hours (TWh) or 500 trillion watt-hours, with lighting accounting for almost 12 percent of that figure.

Today, as much as 11.5 TWh or 20 percent of the electricity needed for lighting could be saved in Germany alone if incandescent lamps were consistently replaced by more energy-efficient LEDs. The potential saving is equivalent to the annual output of a large-scale power plant.

Over the coming three years, Germany’s seven partners of the “EnLight” (Energy Efficient and Intelligent Lighting Systems) research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) aim to further reduce energy consumption by up to an additional 40 percent compared to today’s LED systems.

The partners from industry and research are shouldering about €5 million or approximately 45 percent of the project costs. Contributions of around €4.1 million and €2 million are made by the BMBF and the European Union, respectively. The EnLight project partners, alongside the German project leader Infineon Technologies AG, are BJB GmbH & Co KG, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Insta Elektro GmbH, NXP Semiconductors GA GmbH, Osram AG and RWTH Aachen University.

EnLight aims to exploit the full potential of LED-based lighting for saving further power through groundbreaking innovations in the LED lighting modules that include the LED and the driver electronics. The research is levelled at areas including changes to the socket standards. For example, at present the E27 base – the standard base of incandescent lamps across Europe – is not designed to be operated with light management systems, as is necessary for improved energy efficiency.

Another goal pursued by EnLight is to develop programmable controls and innovative sensors for intelligent LED lighting solutions. In addition, the aim is for intelligent wireline and wireless networking of LED lighting systems and for enabling their energy-optimized operation to save as much as 40 percent electricity. The project will also explore entirely new light functions: On the basis of EnLight research, LED light sources will be able to automatically adapt their brightness to the ambient light.

The German partners’ work is integrated into the European ENIAC Joint Undertaking project “EnLight”, headed by Philips. The European joint research project brings together 30 partners from six countries whose collaboration will further strengthen Europe’s leading global position in the lighting system sector.
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