You may have noticed, over the last 12 months, that the world seems to be edging closer to phasing out traditional lighting in favour of what is perceived to be a far more efficient medium â€“ LED lights. LEDs use less energy, last longer (as they donâ€™t burn out in the same way as a conventional light) and are generally much better for the environment. At Hi5 Electronics, a supplier of PCBs for LED lights, we believe this new manufacturing industry is good news all round.
With the government facing an uphill task to reduce our carbon emissions and meet internationally set targets, itâ€™s only a matter of time before they join American and Australia in offering financial incentives to adopt the light emitting diode as the main lighting source for the UK
This exciting, digital light source has an array of benefits that we can look forward to in the future and below is what we feel is the Top 10.
1. Longer bulb life
This undoubtedly is the biggest benefit of LED lighting. These bulbs boast a life expectancy of up to 100,000 hours, 11 years of non-stop use. As an average business or home would probably use lights for an average of 8 hours a day, you can expect each bulb to last a good 20 years before needing to be replaced.
2. A good friend to the environment
From an environmental viewpoint, a big advantage is that there are no toxic substances used in LED lighting. Many businesses have fluorescent â€˜stripâ€™ lighting installed and these can contain many harmful elements such as mercury, which is not an ideal by-product for the environment.
Additionally, the lights are 100% recyclable and, of course, as they last so much longer, the reduction in manufacturing energy use and wastage is a massive benefit to the planet.
3. Highly energy efficient
LED bulbs are form the most efficient light source and can claim an estimated energy efficiency level of 80%-90%, in comparison to traditional bulbs. Translated, that means that more than 80% of the energy is converted into light. The remaining 20% becomes dissipated as heat.
To further illustrate this, a conventional light bulb that operates at just 20% energy efficiency will lose up to 80% of its electrical energy as heat. Itâ€™s therefore easy to see how much can be saved with the new, light emitting diode technology, and this is furthered by the fact that the lights last longer and therefore need replacing less often. In a business that also means less time lost to maintenance too. These kinds of savings can really add up.
4. Durable quality
LED lights are sturdily manufactured and as such are very durable.
They can withstand external impacts and shocks as well as being fitted in an environment that suffers from vibration. As such, they are ideal for outdoor use as they are also weather resistant.
5. Nil UV emissions
LED illumination produces little infrared light and close to no UV emissions.
LED lighting is ideal for use around materials that are sensitive to or easily damaged by heat. This is because they produce virtually no infrared light or UV emissions. Itâ€™s also perfectly suited for other sensitive environments such as around UV sensitive objects like those found in a museum.
6. A world of design possibilities.
LEDs neednâ€™t stick to rigid designs as they can be combined into any shape of â€˜bulbâ€™ and still work effectively. Moreover, as LED lights are made up if individual diodes, they can be individually controlled to create amazing effects. For instance, certain LEDs could be dimmed to produce variety of results and colour manipulation can be added to the design. This sort of mood lighting is already in effect on aircraft to aid relaxation in the cabin.
7. Can withstand extreme temperatures.
Further underlining their effectiveness as an outdoor lighting source, light emitting diode lights can operate in extreme hot and cold. Conventional, fluorescent lighting suffers in low temperatures and their operation can be affected and so LED is an ideal solution, for instance in large, walk in freezers.
8. Pinpoint lighting
LEDs focus their light accurately and so can be trained on a specific location, without needing an external reflector. This means they achieve a better application efficiency than traditional lighting.
9. Instant on and off
LEDs light as soon as they are switched on. But equally importantly, they can be switched off and back on just as instantly. This makes them ideal for using as traffic lights or similar where timing is important.
Despite this kind of usage, it doesnâ€™t affect the lifespan of the light. A conventional light would last far less and nor would it be able to operate that accurately.
10. Low voltage lighting source.
You only need a low voltage supply to power a light emitting diode. In outdoor use, many lights are connected to a solar source and this is ample to run a LED light â€“ particularly important in remote areas that are a distance from a mains power supply.