Posted on October 31st, 2012 by Ben Lack
Steve Barcik Amstel, CEO & Founder of Firefly LED, discusses his company’s approach to building an energy efficient LED light bulbs.
|Steve Barcik Amstel :||Hi I’m Steve Barcik Amstel, I’m the founder and CEO of Firefly LED Lighting. What has happened in the LED industry in the past 24 months is really, LED’s have become powerful enough and in the right colors and in the right intensities where they can be used for lighting. That happened about 24 to 30 months ago. Then, the implementation of those products took a little bit of time. So, what we are seeing now; really, in about the past 4 months, is the move from very early adopters to the beginning of broad adoption; where the consumer or the commercial building owner, retail store owner…they have heard enough about it, they have seen that it works and now they are buying the product. With broader adoption, it is a big opportunity because it shortens our sale cycle and reduces the amount of education we have to do to the end-user, for the end-user. The challenges there, though, we’re going to be growing very, very fast over the next 3 years. So, staffing, working capital, supply chain, demand pressure on LED’s (for pricing and deliverability); those are going to be the big things that are going to be impacting us. With our bulb, the big difference is the thermal design. We have a 232% better thermal design. A lot of people go, “I thought LED’s don’t make any heat?”…well, they make very little heat, but that heat that was made has to come out through a heat-sink. So, our thermal path is much more efficient and our thermal design is much more efficient. That gives us a more efficient lamp; and one that lasts a lot, lot longer. So, we were able to build an LED lamp that will equal a 100 or a 150-watt light bulb, if you needed that. Or, simply a 60-watt light bulb but will really have very, very high reliability. Best applications are going to be somewhere where it is either difficult to change the bulb, or, in a broad space where you need to save a large amount of energy. So, let’s say, if you have a large home, a retail establishment that has a lot of “can lights” or “track lights” – any place like that; commercial building lobbies, hotels, hotel hallways. Any space where you have a screw-in lamp, you can replace it with this LED product and see a large reduction in energy and an even greater savings in labor and in lamp costs. So, this is the Firefly LED light bulb. First off, you will see that it is completely different from other LED bulbs. This is our heat-sink design, it is built up of a stack of different sized extruded heat-sinks. This is interesting from a design standpoint because there is very little machining involved. We have 3 extrusions and we simply saw them into the right dimension and then thermally weld them together (we just drive this piece into these other pieces). That is the best possible thermal path and it gives us 232% more surface area than any of our competitors at a very low-cost of goods. Meaning, we can make a very high-performance lamp without much work, without much cost. Now, if you want to change the lamp from a simple flood lens to a spotlight lens, this piece just simply snaps off and you put-on whatever beam angle you want. So, this is a flood at 120, but you can go all the way to 40 to 25 to even 12 degree spots. Also, we use – on the high-performance commercial type of lighting (which is the same thing that you would use in your home) – this part is metal as well, instead of it being plastic. So, this allows the driver assembly (the power supply inside here) to take and eject heat into this metal and then move it to this heat sink as well. So, let me show you some dimming with it. It dims very well. This is another feature you should really like about LED versus CFL; LED is instant on/instant off… most of them, ours particularly. We have focused on having that be a feature where it comes-on all the way up and goes-off all the way. Another thing is (that) the dimming curve is very nice with this lamp. We can get this dimmed way down. Now, I’m not sure if I can get it up there (it goes all the way on). That is another thing that is a problem with some dimmers that people don’t know; these energy-efficient dimmers that they think they are buying, never turn all the way off. So, you are actually bleeding current when you think all your light bulbs are off. We’ve found that in a couple of homes we’ve done. The final thing to show you is, it’s just a simple screw-in light bulb. It can go in any socket in your home. If you have patio lighting or outdoor lighting, (it) works great there as well. In fact, that is what I would recommend to a home owner – let’s replace the lights you have on the longest, first. Or, if you want to do a showcase, go ahead and put them in somewhere cool where your friends can see them alsoSo, thanks for letting me demo the Firefly LED light bulb. This product comes in three different sizes, for any of the cans that you have in your home or any lamps or table lamps or anything like that as well.|