What are LEDs and how do they work?
LED stands for light emitting diode. LED lighting products produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs. How do they work? An electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and the result is visible light. To prevent performance issues, the heat LEDs produce is absorbed into a heat sink.
Lifetime of LED Lighting Products
The useful life of LED lighting products is defined differently than that of other light sources, such as incandescent or compact fluorescent lighting (CFL). LEDs typically do not “burn out” or fail. Instead, they experience ‘lumen depreciation’, wherein the brightness of the LED dims slowly over time. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LED “lifetime” is established on a prediction of when the light output decreases by 30 percent.
LEDs are incorporated into bulbs and fixtures for general lighting applications. Small in size, LEDs provide unique design opportunities. Some LED bulb solutions may physically resemble familiar light bulbs and better match the appearance of traditional light bulbs. Some outdoor LED light fixtures may have LEDs built in as a permanent light source. There are also hybrid approaches where a non-traditional “bulb” or replaceable light source format is used and specially designed for a unique fixture. LEDs offer a tremendous opportunity for innovation in lighting form factors and fit a wider breadth of applications than traditional lighting technologies.
LEDs and Heat
LEDs use heat sinks to absorb the heat produced by the LED and dissipate it into the surrounding environment. This keeps LEDs from overheating and burning out. Thermal management is generally the single most important factor in the successful performance of an LED over its lifetime. The higher the temperature at which the LEDs are operated, the more quickly the light will degrade, and the shorter the useful life will be.
LED products use a variety of unique heat sink designs and configurations to manage heat. Today, advancements in materials have allowed manufacturers to design LED bulbs that match the shapes and sizes of traditional incandescent bulbs. Regardless of the heat sink design, all LED products that have earned the ENERGY STAR have been tested to ensure that they properly manage the heat so that the light output is properly maintained through the end of its rated life.
LED lighting differs from incandescent and fluorescent in several ways. When designed well, LED lighting is more efficient, versatile, and lasts longer.
LEDs are “directional” light sources, which means they emit light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent and CFL, which emit light and heat in all directions. That means LEDs are able to use light and energy more efficiently in a multitude of applications. However, it also means that sophisticated engineering is needed to produce an LED bulb that shines light in every direction.
Common LED colors include amber, red, green, and blue. To produce white light, different color LEDs are combined or covered with a phosphor material that converts the color of the light to a familiar “white” light used in homes. Phosphor is a yellowish material that covers some LEDs. Colored LEDs are widely used as signal lights and indicator lights, like the power button on a computer.
In a CFL, an electric current flows between electrodes at each end of a tube containing gases. This reaction produces ultraviolet (UV) light and heat. The UV light is transformed into visible light when it strikes a phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb. Learn more about CFLs.
Incandescent bulbs produce light using electricity to heat a metal filament until it becomes “white” hot or is said to incandesce. As a result, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat.
Why should I choose ENERGY STAR certified LED lighting products?
There are more lighting options available today than ever before. Despite that, ENERGY STAR is still the simple choice to save on your utility bills.
LED bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR are subject to very specific requirements designed to replicate the experience you are used to with a standard bulb—so they can be used for a wide variety of applications. As the graphic on the right demonstrates, a general purpose LED bulb that does not qualify for the ENERGY STAR may not distribute light everywhere and could prove to be a disappointment if used in a table lamp.
The potential effects of LED street light on health and the environment have been a hot topic of discussion over the last year. As this conversation has evolved, so too have many misperceptions and mischaracterizations of the facts on LEDs. We’ve assembled an array of helpful resources on the topic to help shed some light and are clarify some of the most common myths on LED streetlights.
LED streetlights are no more harmful to humans and animals than other kinds of streetlights. The concern is not the type of light source, but the amount of emitted light that falls in the short-wavelength, often referred to as the “blue” part of the spectrum. And, unlike other types of streetlights, LED streetlights actually offer the potential to control the amount of short-wavelength light that they emit.On the contrary, short-wavelength light is a fundamental component of the natural world. It’s present in sunlight and has been shown to play an important role in a number of physiological processes, such as affecting circadian rhythm (our 24-hour “biological clock” that controls sleep/wake cycles). The concern is that too much nighttime exposure to short-wavelength light may disrupt sleep patterns and have other undesirable effects.It’s true that early LED lighting products tended to have greater levels of short-wavelength content because the technology was still in its initial stages of development. Tremendous advances since then, however, mean that today’s LEDs can be designed to emit as little, or as much, short-wavelength light as desired, without excessive drop-off in efficiency or other aspects of performance. LEDs also offer much greater control over where the light falls. This means they can often meet the same illumination requirements as conventional streetlights while emitting much less light – thus reducing even further any short-wavelength content.
Floodlighting has become an important part of security for homes and businesses alike. Whether connected to a motion detector or for use to light a garden at night, flood lighting has become an integral part of security in today’s society.
Homeowners and businesses have enough to deal with in these harsh economic times than needing to worry about changing floodlights. That’s why LED Flood Light offer the client not only an exceptional dispersion of light but also a bounty of advantages, which are only available when you use LED Floodlights.
One of the best advantages of using LED Floodlights is the life expectancy; they last for thirty times longer than standard halogen floodlights. This reveals a variety of advantages: you will have more free space as you would not need to stock up on replacement halogen bulbs. Also the main power involved in swapping out defective halogen bulbs can be time consuming and expensive, especially if running a business which requires the use of floodlighting. Thus purchasing LED Floodlights works to be extremely cost effective for the client. LED Floodlights repay your investment with longer life and an exceptional reduction in electricity costs.
With rising utility prices everyone is looking to save money. Through switching to an LED Floodlights customers will see a fall in their electricity consumption and in turn bills. The LED Floodlight will consume a significantly reduced number of watts compared to a halogen Floodlight, providing the client with an exceptional visual performance as well as low cost electricity bills. LED Floodlights feature economical illumination technology. This technology is also known as Light Emitting Diodes (LED light bulbs); this allows you to have exceptional brightness with a low power consumption.
LED Floodlights have a higher lumen output than standard Floodlights. One LED Floodlight can have the same effect as two or even three standard Floodlights. This is a staggering statistic and it means that with the longer life expectancy and the exceptional brightness less room would be needed for storing your existing halogen equivalent floodlights. It also now means that security for your home and business is now affordable and is most importantly cost effective.
It is important to note when looking to install floodlights for outside use that they are IP65 rated. This means that they have been designed and tested to withstand weather conditions and are safe for outside use. This special rating of IP65 is not to be overlooked as it is essential to the performance of the light when used outside.
Portable floodlights are also available on the market and our ideal for workers at night. By incorporating a battery to floodlights workers can experience high quality LED lighting by only consuming a fraction of the electricity of an ordinary halogen floodlight. This has many advantages such as safety for the workers as a clear bright illumination. Also these would need to be IP65 rated also as even in the most testing weather conditions the clear, crisp light will continue to emit.
This article has shown the huge benefits which LED Floodlights can give compared to their halogen equivalents. So for a more cost effective approach to lighting with better lighting results, make sure you choose LED technology when you purchase your next Floodlights.
In the world of lighting, LED high bay light is a fixture that you would find in a warehouse, a factory, a gymnasium, or any large open area with relatively high ceilings. Many existing high bay lighting and low bay lighting applications utilize high intensity discharge (HID) lamps such as metal halide or high pressure sodium lamps.
Despite their widespread use, HID lamps utilize antiquated technology that costs building managers both directly and indirectly. Specifically, using HID lamps will result in: higher than necessary energy costs, frequent maintenance costs, and poor lighting performance. These issues can all be addressed by converting your existing lighting to LED.
Energy savings is a primary driver behind why you should evaluate LED lighting for your building or facility. Common wattages for LED high bay fixtures can range from 95 watts to 495 watts. If we compare this wattage to a typical HID high bay fixture that same range is 175 watts to 1000 watts.
Consequently, by switching to LED lighting you are immediately reducing your energy consumption by 40%-60%. To put this in dollars, you would be saving $300 per fixture per year in electricity costs if you made the switch to LED lighting. Depending on the size of your facility this can really affect the operational balance sheet.
Maintenance Cost Reduction
By converting to LEDs you will also see a dramatic reduction in the maintenance of your high bay light fixtures. This is due to the way LEDs generate light, and the way they progress through their functional life. Instead of ceasing to function properly once a fuel source is significantly reduced, LED generated light output degrades very slowly over time. As a result, the functional life of an LED product can be significantly longer than that of a HID Lamp, therefore drastically reducing the maintenance load required.
For example, by converting conventional 400w HID high bay lighting to LED, a typical building with industrial light fixtures can save up to $5,341 over the course of three years in maintenance costs alone.
The outdoor lighting industry, as with so many other application-oriented industries, assumes that the power source is infinite and always available. This is a tribute to the reliability of the electric grid - at least in developed-world nations. It has certainly made life simpler for the lamp/lighting designers who, for the most part, are able to divorce the lamp characteristics from the energy source. The developed world is starting to learn that the power source is far from infinite.
Some companies are not waiting to see the bottom of the barrel, and are exploring alternatives that range from replacement power sources to energy demand reduction. A number of companies are developing technologies that achieve both: SolarOne Solutions' work in solar-powered solid-state lighting under the SOLED? brand name is an example of this.
Solar electric lighting systems do in fact connect to a truly "infinite" power source - the sun. However, as we all know, this source is intermittent. In the case of solar outdoor lighting, the power source is inversely related to the load (the lights turn on when the sun goes down). This relationship leads to an important conclusion; the system must rely on energy storage (e.g. batteries), unless it remains connected to grid.
Now in order for a solar lighting system to perform reliably, the solar panel and battery must be sized for the period of longest nights, shortest days and cloudiest weather, all of which occur at the same time each year (see figure 2). Historically, the solar industry has addressed this worst-case scenario by seeking out the most efficient lumen per watt DC lamps and over-sizing the system for the rest of the year. That translated to DC fluorescent bulbs, bigger solar panels, more batteries, higher costs and less-than-appealing appearance.
This approach confined the market for solar LED light to areas closer to the equator with highest average levels of solar irradiation and temperatures that did not affect the performance and lifetime of the DC fluorescent bulbs. It also left the markets in the higher latitudes, typically with higher per capita wealth levels and greater lighting needs rather under-served.
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