Toshin Electric Co Ltd has launched the "Bikei," an LED tube lamp which can replace 40W straight tube fluorescent lamps. The company enhanced the heat radiation efficiency of the Bikei by forming aluminum radiator fins on part of its tube. Also, it downsized the substrate on which LEDs are mounted and minimized the shadow made by the substrate so that light reaches farther.
The luminance is 370lx at 1m below the lamp. The company expects the lamp to be used as lighting for tunnels, parking lots, subways, factories, stores and streets, for example. The lamp uses a total of 120 blue LED chips manufactured in Japan. White light is generated by combining units consisting of three blue LED chips with red and green fluorescent materials. As a result, its average color rendering index (Ra) is as high as 92. General fluorescent lamp-type LED tube lamps have an Ra of about 70, while the Ra of normal fluorescent lamps is about 84 to 88, according to Toshin Electric.
Because the LED tube lamp is designed to use a socket for fluorescent tubes, it can replace a fluorescent lamp without changing or removing the socket. It supports both glow-starter and rapid-start methods. Its power consumption varies from 20 to 24W depending on what lighting device it is used with. Its rated life is 40,000 hours, which is "about five times the life of general fluorescent lamps," the company said.
The lamp uses polycarbonate for its tube cover, which is available in translucent white and transparent colors. The weight is 500g. The suggested retail price is ¥28,000 (approx US$306) per unit for both models. Shipments will start in late February 2009.
Toshin Electric is planning to sell the lamp in cases containing five units each. But it will also be sold in single units through the company's direct online shop from March 2009. The company aims to sell 50,000 units in the first year.