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Why LED?_Site News_Dream lighting LED - Powered by ECShop

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Why LED?

Dream lighting LED / 2009-05-18

 

Why Choose LED?

With the development of high efficiency and high power LEDs it has become possible to incorporate LEDs in lighting and illumination. Replacement light bulbs have been made as well as dedicated fixtures and LED lamps. LEDs are used as street lights and in other architectural lighting where color changing is used. The mechanical robustness and long lifetime is used in automotive lighting on cars, motorcycles and on bicycle lights.

LED street lights are employed on poles and in parking garages. In 2007, the Italian village Torraca was the first place to convert its entire illumination system to LEDs.

LEDs are used in aviation lighting. Airbus has used LED lighting in their Airbus A320 Enhanced since 2007, and Boeing plans its use in the 787. LEDs are also being used now in airport and heliport lighting. LED airport fixtures currently include medium intensity runway lights, runway centerline lights and obstruction lighting.

LEDs are also suitable for backlighting for LCD televisions and lightweight laptop displays and light source for DLP projectors (See LED TV). RGB LEDs increase the color gamut by as much as 45%. Screens for TV and computer displays can be made increasingly thin using LEDs for backlighting.[88]

LEDs are being used increasingly commonly for aquarium lighting. Particular for reef aquariums, LED lights provide an efficient light source with less heat output to help maintain optimal aquarium temperatures. LED-based aquarium fixtures also have the advantage of being manually adjustable to produce a specific color-spectrum for ideal coloration of corals, fish, and invertebrates while optimizing photosynethically active radiation (PAR) which increases growth and sustainability of photosynthetic life such as corals, anemones, clams, and macroalgae. These fixtures can be electronically programmed in order to simulate various lighting conditions throughout the day, reflecting phases of the sun and moon for a dynamic reef experience. LED fixtures typically cost up to five times as much as similarly rated fluorescent or high-intensity discharge lighting designed for reef aquariums and are not as high output to date.

The lack of IR/heat radiation makes LEDs ideal for stage lights using banks of RGB LEDs that can easily change color and decrease heating from traditional stage lighting, as well as medical lighting where IR-radiation can be harmful.

Since LEDs are small, durable and require little power they are used in hand held devices such as flashlights. LED strobe lights or camera flashes operate at a safe, low voltage, as opposed to the 250+ volts commonly found in xenon flashlamp-based lighting. This is particularly applicable to cameras on mobile phones, where space is at a premium and bulky voltage-increasing circuitry is undesirable. LEDs are used for infrared illumination in night vision applications including security cameras. A ring of LEDs around a video camera, aimed forward into a retroreflective background, allows chroma keying in video productions.

LEDs are used for decorative lighting as well. Uses include but are not limited to indoor/outdoor decor, limousines, cargo trailers, conversion vans, cruise ships, RVs, boats, automobiles, and utility trucks. Decorative LED lighting can also come in the form of lighted company signage and step and aisle lighting in theaters and auditoriums.

Smart lighting

Light can be used to transmit broadband data, which is already implemented in IrDA standards using infrared LEDs. Because LEDs can cycle on and off millions of times per second, they can, in effect, become wireless routers for data transport.[89] Lasers can also be modulated in this manner.

Sustainable lighting

Efficient lighting is needed for sustainable architecture. A 13 watt LED lamp produces 450 to 650 lumens.[90] which is equivalent to a standard 40 watt incandescent bulb. [91] A standard 40 W incandescent bulb has an expected lifespan of 1,000 hours while an LED can continue to operate with reduced efficiency for more than 50,000 hours, 50 times longer than the incandescent bulb.

Environmentally friendly options

A single kilowatt-hour of electricity will generate 1.34 pounds (610 g) of CO2 emissions.[92] Assuming the average light bulb is on for 10 hours a day, a single 40-watt incandescent bulb will generate 196 pounds (89 kg) of CO2 every year. The 13-watt LED equivalent will only be responsible for 63 pounds (29 kg) of CO2 over the same time span. A building’s carbon footprint from lighting can be reduced by 68% by exchanging all incandescent bulbs for new LEDs in warm climates. In cold climates, the energy saving may be lower, since more heating would be needed to compensate for the lower temperature.

LEDs are also non-toxic unlike the more popular energy efficient bulb option: the compact fluorescent a.k.a. CFL which contains traces of harmful mercury. While the amount of mercury in a CFL is small, introducing less into the environment is preferable.

Economically sustainable

LED light bulbs could be a cost-effective option for lighting a home or office space because of their very long lifetimes. Consumer use of LEDs as a replacement for conventional lighting system is currently hampered by the high cost and low efficiency of available products. 2009 DOE testing results showed an average efficacy of 35 lm/W, below that of typical CFLs, and as low as 9 lm/W, worse than standard incandescents.[90] The high initial cost of the commercial LED bulb is due to the expensive sapphire substrate which is key to the production process. The sapphire apparatus must be coupled with a mirror-like collector to reflect light that would otherwise be wasted.

In 2008, a materials science research team at Purdue University succeeded in producing LED bulbs with a substitute for the sapphire components.[93] The team used metal-coated silicon wafers with a built-in reflective layer of zirconium nitride to lessen the overall production cost of the LED. They predict that within a few years, LEDs produced with their revolutionary, new technique will be competitively priced with CFLs. The less expensive LED would not only be the best energy saver, but also a very economical bulb.

Non-visual applications

Light has many other uses besides for seeing. LEDs are used for some of these applications. The uses fall in three groups: Communication, sensors and light matter interaction.

The light from LEDs can be modulated very quickly so they are used extensively in optical fiber and Free Space Optics communications. This include remote controls, such as for TVs and VCRs, where infrared LEDs are often used. Opto-isolators use an LED combined with a photodiode or phototransistor to provide a signal path with electrical isolation between two circuits. This is especially useful in medical equipment where the signals from a low voltage sensor circuit (usually battery powered) in contact with a living organism must be electrically isolated from any possible electrical failure in a recording or monitoring device operating at potentially dangerous voltages. An optoisolator also allows information to be transferred between circuits not sharing a common ground potential.

Many sensor systems rely on light as the signal source. LEDs are often ideal as a light source due to the requirements of the sensors. LEDs are used as movement sensors, for example in optical computer mice. The Nintendo Wii's sensor bar uses infrared LEDs. In pulse oximeters for measuring oxygen saturation. Some flatbed scanners use arrays of RGB LEDs rather than the typical cold-cathode fluorescent lamp as the light source. Having independent control of three illuminated colors allows the scanner to calibrate itself for more accurate color balance, and there is no need for warm-up. Furthermore, its sensors only need be monochromatic, since at any one point in time the page being scanned is only lit by a single color of light. Touch sensing: Since LEDs can also be used as photodiodes, they can be used for both photo emission and detection. This could be used in for example a touch-sensing screen that register reflected light from a finger or stylus.

Many materials and biological systems are sensitive to, or dependent on light. Grow lights use LEDs to increase photosynthesis in plants[95] and bacteria and viruses can be removed from water and other substances using UV LEDs for sterilization. Other uses are as UV curing devices for some ink and coating applications as well as LED printers.

The use of LEDs is particularly interesting to plant cultivators, mainly because it is more energy efficient, less heat is produced (can damage plants close to hot lamps) and can provide the optimum light frequency for plant growth and bloom periods compared to currently used grow lights: HPS (high pressure sodium), MH (metal halide) or CFL/low-energy. It has however not replaced these grow lights due to it having a higher retail price, as mass production and LED kits develop the product will become cheaper.

LEDs have also been used as a medium quality voltage reference in electronic circuits. The forward voltage drop (e.g., about 1.7 V for a normal red LED) can be used instead of a Zener diode in low-voltage regulators. Red LEDs have the flattest I/V curve above the knee; nitride-based LEDs have a fairly steep I/V curve and are not useful in this application. Although LED forward voltage is much more current-dependent than a good Zener, Zener diodes are not widely available below voltages of about 3 V.

[edit] Light sources for machine vision systems

Machine vision systems often require bright and homogeneous illumination, so features of interest are easier to process. LEDs are often used to this purpose, and this field of application is likely to remain one of the major application areas until price drops low enough to make signaling and illumination applications more widespread. Barcode scanners are the most common example of machine vision, and many inexpensive ones used red LEDs instead of lasers. LEDs constitute a nearly ideal light source for machine vision systems for several reasons:

The size of the illuminated field is usually comparatively small and machine vision systems are often quite expensive, so the cost of the light source is usually a minor concern. However, it might not be easy to replace a broken light source placed within complex machinery, and here the long service life of LEDs is a benefit.

LED elements tend to be small and can be placed with high density over flat or even shaped substrates (PCBs etc.) so that bright and homogeneous sources can be designed which direct light from tightly controlled directions on inspected parts. This can often be obtained with small, inexpensive lenses and diffusers, helping to achieve high light densities with control over lighting levels and homogeneity. LED sources can be shaped in several configurations (spot lights for reflective illumination; ring lights for coaxial illumination; back lights for contour illumination; linear assemblies; flat, large format panels; dome sources for diffused, omnidirectional illumination).

LEDs can be easily strobed (in the microsecond range and below) and synchronized with imaging. High power LEDs are available allowing well lit images even with very short light pulses. This is often used in order to obtain crisp and sharp “still” images of quickly moving parts.

LEDs come in several different colors and wavelengths, easily allowing to use the best color for each application, where different color may provide better visibility of features of interest. Having a precisely known spectrum allows tightly matched filters to be used to separate informative bandwidth or to reduce disturbing effect of ambient light. LEDs usually operate at comparatively low working temperatures, simplifying heat management and dissipation, therefore allowing plastic lenses, filters and diffusers to be used. Waterproof units can also easily be designed, allowing for use in harsh or wet environments (food, beverage, oil industries).

 

Advantages

Efficiency: LEDs produce more light per watt than incandescent bulbs.[75] Their efficiency is not affected by shape and size, unlike Fluorescent light bulbs or tubes.

Color: LEDs can emit light of an intended color without the use of the color filters that traditional lighting methods require. This is more efficient and can lower initial costs.

Size: LEDs can be very small (smaller than 2 mm2) and are easily populated onto printed circuit boards.

On/Off time: LEDs light up very quickly. A typical red indicator LED will achieve full brightness in under a microsecond.[77] LEDs used in communications devices can have even faster response times.

Cycling: LEDs are ideal for use in applications that are subject to frequent on-off cycling, unlike fluorescent lamps that burn out more quickly when cycled frequently, or HID lamps that require a long time before restarting.

Dimming: LEDs can very easily be dimmed either by pulse-width modulation or lowering the forward current.

Cool light: In contrast to most light sources, LEDs radiate very little heat in the form of IR that can cause damage to sensitive objects or fabrics. Wasted energy is dispersed as heat through the base of the LED.

Slow failure: LEDs mostly fail by dimming over time, rather than the abrupt burn-out of incandescent bulbs.

Lifetime: LEDs can have a relatively long useful life. One report estimates 35,000 to 50,000 hours of useful life, though time to complete failure may be longer.[79] Fluorescent tubes typically are rated at about 10,000 to 15,000 hours, depending partly on the conditions of use, and incandescent light bulbs at 1,000–2,000 hours.

Shock resistance: LEDs, being solid state components, are difficult to damage with external shock, unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs which are fragile.

Focus: The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. Incandescent and fluorescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner.

Low toxicity: LEDs do not contain mercury, unlike fluorescent lamps.

Safety

The vast majority of devices containing LEDs are "safe under all conditions of normal use", and so are classified as "Class 1 LED product"/"LED Klasse 1". At present, only a few LEDs—extremely bright LEDs that also have a tightly focused viewing angle of 8° or less—could, in theory, cause temporary blindness, and so are classified as "Class 2". In general, laser safety regulations—and the "Class 1", "Class 2", etc. system—also apply to LEDs.

 

 

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