The lighting industry continues to transition from traditional light sources to solid-state light sources of light-emitting diode (LED) technologies owing to their efficiency and durability, luminaire manufacturer Beka MD Johann Schleritzko tells Engineering News.
Beka locally designed and manufactured the LEDtec – a lighting technology solution that is aimed at assisting South African industries amid the national energy and skills crises.
“The energy crisis, owing to inadequate power infrastructure, and the subsequent costs, owing to higher electricity tariffs, have greatly influenced the transition to LED technologies,” states Schleritzko.
State-owned power utility Eskom confirmed in June last year that its third multiyear price determination (MYPD) application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) would be for a five-year period, instead of the three-year horizon of the first two MYPD periods.
Nersa approved double-digit tariff increases for Eskom for 2009/10 to 2012/13, which increased power tariffs to more than 60c/kWh, up from 25c/kWh in 2008.
Schleritzko notes that a 50% reduction in energy consumption can be achieved with the recently launched LEDtec, compared with conventional metal halide solutions. The technology offers resistance against power-supply voltage fluctuations, providing constant light output between 185 V and 265 V.
“LED luminaires require little maintenance, reducing the need for skilled professionals, which the industry currently lacks,” he points out.
The LEDtec is suitable for industrial and commercial environments and is typically applied to fuel station canopies, industrial areas, warehouses, workshops and multipurpose halls.
The product provides about 100 000 hours of lighting, which represents a 15-year life when operating in an 18-hour environment.
Thermal sensors are added on the product’s printed circuit board to provide protection against extreme heat conditions, reducing the LED current when overheating occurs. The product is suitable for ambient temperatures of up to 35 °C.
The LEDtec is manufactured from corrosion-resistant 3Cr12 material and includes lightning protection of up to 20 kV, with a glare- reduced design.
Beka is confident that the LED technology has the potential to add value to local lighting companies, which could result in job creation for the industry, Schleritzko states, adding that the company aims to export the product, currently avail- able throughout Africa, to international markets.