Since the first LED was invented over half a century ago, the evolution of LED lighting technology and proliferation of cost-effective LEDs set a new standard in homes and businesses alike, proving to be versatile, long-lasting, and highly efficient. Though it took several decades for LEDs to gain traction, once they did, technological advancements started coming at a fast and furious pace. In the last few years, tunable white lighting has entered the mainstream of LED design promising to change the world in a significant way.
What is Tunable White?
Tunable white, or Kelvin changing LED lighting, is a system that enables the color correlated temperature of lighting (CCT) to be adjusted in both intensity and color appearance with the intention of aligning with circadian rhythms or activities that require more physiological or psychological engagement. LED lighting mixes red, green, and blue channels to deliver a range of colors across the color spectrum that can simulate natural light.
With conventional tunable white products, there are two controllable phosphor-coated LEDs; one warm-white color (usually around 2700K) and a second cool-white color (usually 5000K to 6500K). There are also newer products that use three or more LED primaries which gives them the capability to produce a wider range of colors than simply different CCTs of white. The right color temperature and illumination achieved through tunable white lighting can make a real difference in visual perception by bringing the dynamics of natural light indoors.
Ushering in an Unprecedented Level of Comfort and Control
An article published by GRE Alpha in 2018 talks about the health benefits of tunable white lighting. While the information remains completely valid, more advanced control systems and higher output options are coming to market all the time bringing things to life that were formerly inconceivable. Now, with as much as 90% of our time spent indoors, the push by the lighting design community to more effectively leverage the power of tunable white lighting will only continue to surge.
Recently, supported by a tunable white dimming module custom-designed by GRE Alpha to enable ON-BBL (blackbody locus), ZIGEN created the world's first ON-BBL 2-channel tunable white COB LED (the ZG7 series). This remarkable patented technology using 3 phosphor color ranges from 2000K (sunrise) to 5000k (sunset) which eliminates the unwanted pink found in conventional tunable white LEDs and expands the adjustable color range to align with human-centric lighting applications.
The kind of ingenuity and forward-thinking being exhibited by companies like GRE Alpha and ZIGEN are resulting in more sophisticated products that are improving the usability of indoor spaces and simulating the natural cycle of daylight that defines our 24-hour internal clock (circadian rhythm), enhancing pleasure, alertness, coordination, and mood. Whether in a commercial, residential, healthcare, or education environment, tunable white lighting can be adapted for virtually every occasion and activity...
Clearly mood is a major player in tunable white, but aesthetic vision, usability and flexibility of spaces are huge as well. Versatile, long-lasting, and highly efficient, existing tunable white lighting can be modified in any space to adhere to the preferences of a new owner and give spaces the flexibility to change on a seasonable basis. More and more, when spaces are remodeled or rebranded, owners are opting to update lighting to tunable white.
Where GRE Alpha comes in
The key to achieving the perfect balance of color and intensity is the use of more sophisticated lighting control modules that allow for gradual tuning that has a smooth temperature gradient without color distortion. A perfect example of this is GRE Alpha's pioneering SLD DimTW2, a CV tunable white LED dimming module. This unique plug-and-play dimmer accepts 0-10V/1-10V control signal and enables smooth, dynamic color temperature shifts of 2000K to 8000K. It has opened ease of upgrade and options for color tuning applications that improve the dynamic of light.
With more new products and partnerships in development, at GRE Alpha you will always find solutions for a life well lit, with benefits far beyond illumination. For more information about GRE tunable white products, please visit the GRE contact page. You will find our team of experts ready and eager to provide the support you need.
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