2012
Cree enters the LED MR16 lamp market

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Cree enters the LED MR16 lamp market
Cree has announced LED-based MR16 lamps that operate from transformed 12-VAC input and deliver greater than 80% energy savings relative to legacy halogen lamps. The Cree MR16 Series TrueWhite LED lamp delivers 92 CRI and R9 saturated-red performance above 50 to meet demanding applications in hospitality and retail.

Cree notes that the MR16 sector is one area in which LED lamps haven't performed commensurately with legacy lamps and that has limited LED success in the sector. The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently made the same points in a Caliper report on the sector.

The small form factor of MR16 lamps has been part of the problem with success in the sector. It's difficult both to get the luminous punch and beam control required by applications such as retail and to fit in the required driver electronics. Still, LED lighting companies continue to chase the MR16 market because of the sheer number of sockets where the small lamps are used.

Cree says that its design includes a light engine that can deliver 50 lm, and optics, including a proprietary lens, that eliminate the glare associated with many MR16 lamps. The company hasn't yet revealed the internals of the lamp design, but the TrueWhite designator implies a 90 or better CRI rating combined with high efficacy. In different products, Cree has mixed red and off-white LEDs or used a neodymium notch filter to achieve the combination of high CRI and efficacy. Most likely, this MR16 lamp simply leverages LED advancements to deliver the high CRI at the component level.

Cree didn't directly tout the efficacy of the product family, but that's likely due to the fact that the system efficacy will depend on the transformer used in the application. Quick calculations would suggest a maximum lamp efficacy of 67 lm/W. That's far below what is being achieved in larger lamp form factors but near the top of the products included in the aforementioned MR16 Caliper report.

Cree is offering the lamps in 15° spot, 25° flood, and 40° wide-flood versions. Center beam candle power (CBCP) is 4648, 2473, and 1296 cd, respectively. The lamp features a 3000K CCT, is designed to last 25,000 hours, and can dim to 5% working with magnetic or electronic ballasts.

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Cree enters the LED MR16 lamp market