LED

LED Lamp

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. An LED is a semi-conducting device that produces light when an electrical current flows through it. An LED is a light source that has no filament, which is the major component that fails in HID, fluorescent and incandescent light due to vibration and striking of the filament. Solid State Lighting (SSL) is a term sometimes used interchangeably with LED. SSL is an umbrella term encompassing different types of lighting technologies.

LEDs were first developed in the 1960s but were only used in small niche product applications. They were expensive to produce, so they had few practical applications. The first commercial LEDs were used as replacements for incandescent and neon indicator lamps for laboratory and electronics test equipment, then later in TVs, radios, telephones, calculators and watches. Advancements in optics and semi-conducting technology have propelled the LED light source into more mainstream lighting applications.

Today's LED lighting products are found in restaurants, offices, parking lots, casinos, theaters, sports arenas and road and street lighting applications. In addition to saving energy, LEDs save money, protect the environment and are easy to maintain. Their long life and aesthetics add to their popularity. LED solutions can produce up to a 90 percent energy savings versus incandescent light sources, while lasting up to 50 times longer. And, unlike fluorescent lamps, LEDs do not contain hazardous materials such as mercury.

 

LED Solutions

Basic Definitions

The LED system consists of several components. Without each other, these components have little commercial use. It's their performance when used together that separates LEDs from other technologies.

Factors in Choosing LEDs

Managing the heat in an LED light source is called Thermal Management. It is extremely important in an LED system. Excess heat directly affects both short-term and long-term LED performance. The short-term effects are color shift and reduced light output while the long-term effect is accelerated lumen depreciation (or light loss) and shortened useful life.

Advantages

LED technology is more efficient, requiring less energy than traditional HID and incandescent lamp sources. Their long life (50,000 hours) makes a compelling business case, especially as it relates to high maintenance applications. Other advantages include instant on, less light loss, no UV/IR emissions, cold temperature operation and environmentally friendly (no mercury).

Challenges

LEDs present challenges in regards to color consistency, thermal management, cost, compatibility, industry standards and testing.

Know Before You Install

Just because the LED replacement lamp fits in the socket, doesn't mean it should be installed. The following are examples of the types of things you should consider before installing LED replacement lamps.

Energy Savings

Because of its unique capabilities, LED lighting is leading the lighting industry in its ongoing effort to develop truly green, sustainable solutions and market them affordably. As costs come down, new standards, green initiatives and government directives are creating an enormous opportunity for the adoption of LED lighting around the world.

How Energy Efficient are LEDs?

When considering the energy efficiency of LED devices it is important to look at how well the device and fixture work together to provide light.

How Long Do LEDs Last?

One of the major advantages of LEDs is their potentially long life. LEDs don't usually burn out, instead they gradually fade over time. This process is called lumen depreciation.

Are LEDs Cost Effective?

While initial fixture costs may be higher for some LED lighting solutions compared to incandescent and fluorescent lighting, many other factors need to be considered, such as the total cost of owning, operating and maintaining a lighting system.