LEDs – Where have they come from and where are they going?
When LED technology first came onto the scene people recognised their efficiency and low temperature lighting properties. But the fact that they were colored and impractical for home, office or industrial lighting generally resulted in a slow acceptance of LED lamps as the way forward in lighting technology.
LED's have come a long way since those early days. Modern LED lights provide high quality light at a fraction of the cost of all other contemporary lighting technologies.
LED light bulbs have been around since the 60’s. The difference though in what we are seeing today is a great improvement on their capabilities for usage. They have always been known to be a more efficient and energy saving option to conventional lights but haven’t always had the diversity for colour and brightness. When they initially came onto the market LEDs were available in groups of RGB (red, green and blue) which together created every colour including white.
In the early 90’s progress was made when a blue indium gallium chip with a phosphor coating was created. This enabled a pure white light to be emitted from a single diode. So although each individual LED lamp is small they can be grouped together to achieve a greater insensity and brighter light.
As an example of how advanced LEDs are, we could compare incandescent bulbs to the old, inefficient technology of street lighting by kerosene lamp before the bulb was invented. There is nothing surprising about new, more efficient technology superceding old and outdated technology. As well as their energy efficient qualities, LEDs are also better than the standard incandescent or fluorescent bulbs at focusing light in a single direction which allows for greater scope and imagination in lighting design. Architects, industrial designers and large businesses are all looking to LED lighting as the way of the future.
LED strips can be installed to great effect both internally and externally. Waterproof fixtures are available and can be used decoratively in gardens and outdoor areas or as a functional and cost efficient alternative on walkways, car-parks, garages and public spaces. LED lights also are far more damage resistant that traditional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.
A huge factor today in making the decision to change over to a new technology is the ‘green factor’ and the overall effect on our planet. Standard conventional lighting uses mercury or sometimes lead in its structure. Whilst landfill mercury pollution is an issue which is being dealt with by the safe and responsible disposal of CFL lights, switching to LED will completely negate this process.
An investment in LED lighting is an investment in the future.