Aug 10, 2012 Lighting Design & Controls
Do you own any LED lights? Chances are you may have more of these highly efficient little light bulbs than you are even aware of. They show up as indicator lights in computer and electronic equipment, appear in flashlights and remote controls, exterior lighting fixtures and even holiday light strands. They are remarkably efficient and durable, which makes them suitable to a significantly wider range of applications than traditional light bulbs. A perfect such solution is obvious in gardening and the use of solar path lighting.
What are LED lights? A simple definition is actually not that easy to provide in brief, but basically LED stands for “light emitting diode” which are small electronic units that light up when electricity passes through them. Traditional light bulbs are radically different from LEDs, as they use a filament inside of the bulb which lights up when an electrical current is completed. Such light bulbs burn out rapidly and generate quite a bit of heat – in fact touching a lit bulb can lead to a burn. LEDs however stay relatively cool to the touch because they do not operate in the same manner, and are actually more like an old-fashioned transistor than a light bulb. What this means is that they use electricity far more affectively than their old-fashioned counter parts, and are far less likely to fail.
What are the benefits of LED lights? Their main benefit is their remarkable efficiency. While they may cost more at the initial point of purchase, LED lights will last for a very long time. They are resistant to blows, dropping and shock, they are relatively unaffected by continual dimming or turning on and off, they are much smaller and provide a wide range of uses. Additionally, they can appear in many colors through a manipulation of their diode and semiconductor materials, which eliminates the needs for special filters or color applications, which in turn greatly reduces the overall cost of the lighting fixtures in which they appear. Additionally, they do not contain the toxic elements and components of other lighting options, including such heavy metals as mercury which frequently appears in fluorescent lights.
How are LEDs used every day? If you take a quick car trip you will see exactly how LEDs are used in “every day” applications – they are in street lights, automobile signals and tail lights, billboards and signs, solar yard lights, exterior lighting such as spotlights on flag poles or strings of Christmas lights, and you may even notice them on security cameras where they are used for night vision purposes.
Clearly LED lights are all around, and their efficiency and ever decreasing costs will continue to make them a popular choice for home, commercial and technological applications.
Original post: The New Light