Bayer MaterialScience LLC Lighting the Way for LED Innovation

PolyBrite International, Inc., designed an innovative incandescent-like light bulb, Borealis® A19-40, using an LED light source and replacing the glass with Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s Makrolon® 6717 polycarbonate.

If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that’s earned the ENERGY STAR, it would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about US$600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year – equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars – according to ENERGY STAR.

Although LED products are currently available to consumers, the lighting market had a need for LED light bulbs that have the same appearance and light output as the bulbs they are replacing. PolyBrite International, Inc.’s Borealis┬« A19-40 LED light bulb meets these criteria, and also fulfills the product requirements for ENERGY STAR Integral LED Lamps: 40 Watt equivalent, 62LPW.

PolyBrite designed an incandescent-like light bulb using an LED light source and replacing the glass with Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s Makrolon┬« 6717 polycarbonate. The socket of the Borealis A19 LED bulb looks like a traditional Edison socket; and therefore, can be used in any lighting fixture that accepts standard Edison screw-based bulbs.

To achieve this, PolyBrite needed a polymeric material compliant with Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) mechanical, electrical and thermal product standards. The material used to form the A19 LED bulb also needed to deliver maximum transmission and adjustable levels of diffusion depending on the application. Makrolon 6717 polycarbonate resin meets these requirements.

According to Kevin Dunay, market segment leader, Electrical/Electronics (EE) Polycarbonates, Bayer MaterialScience LLC, this specific Makrolon grade was chosen for its clarity, durability, high heat resistance, UL 94 V-0 rating at 2 mm and ability to be matched into a translucent white/diffused color. “Bayer offers many grades of polycarbonate for use in LED applications, but Makrolon 6717 plastic worked particularly well for this specific product.”

Designed for indoor use in residential, commercial, hospitality and retail applications, the Borealis A19 light bulb uses a patented thermal dissipation scheme. This elevated LED concept allows PolyBrite to eliminate the bulky heat sink and create an A19 bulb that looks and performs like its incandescent predecessor.

“Bayer’s polycarbonate helped us to create the LED bulb that we envisioned, and their technical support ensured that we selected the proper grade to fulfill the requirements of our product,” said Carl Scianna, president and CEO, PolyBrite International, Inc. In addition to its material, Bayer also provided extensive color matching to deliver the correct amount of light diffusion.

At 4.3-inches long with a 2.4-inch diameter, the Borealis A19-40 LED lamp consumes 90 percent less energy than traditional incandescent lighting, according to PolyBrite, and provides at least 50,000 hours of operation. This is equivalent to 23 years of use – compared with three years of useful life for compact fluorescent lamps and nearly twice the life span of the Borealis A19’s rivals.

The product’s energy savings were put to use in fall 2012 when 9,500 Borealis LED light bulbs were installed in 164 homes in the Oak Park Neighborhood at Knox Hills in Fort Knox, KY, USA. PolyBrite International and Lend Lease, a leader in public-private community development, partnered to convert the neighborhood into what they believe to be the largest residential LED community in the world. The organizations estimate that the neighborhood will realize a total savings of more than US$859,000 and reduce energy use by 2,612,500 kWh over the 22.8 year-life span of the LED bulbs in this application.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC


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