The lighting industry has been subject to some major changes in recent years with the continued advancement of the energy saving CFL light bulbs and the decision taken by the EU to outlaw all incandescent bulbs by 2012. All the consernation with CFL bulbs there is one topic that seems to be increasingly interesting: LED light bulbs.
Many lighting experts believe that the future of the lighting industry rests with LED technology. However what are the advantages and disadvantages of LED lighting in its current form? In this article I will detail the history of LED technology and discuss what LED lamps have to offer to the lighting market today.
Originally used in devices such as alpha numerical displays and pocket calculators the LEDs have recently seen successful application in commercial and domestic lighting. Two of the largest factors that are encouraging consumers to change their lighting to LED are: –
- They are the most energy efficient bulbs on the market today, cutting carbon emissions and reducing energy costs.
- They last longer than any bulbs available on the market, reducing maintenance and energy costs further.
So why is not all lighting changing to LED? The initial cost of buying LED products can be daunting for lot of consumers of particularly in the commercial sector, where the quantity of bulbs required is higher. However, when considering the total cost of ownership, LEDs far surpass incandescent and halogen lighting and are starting to threaten CFL bulbs. One of the highest costs involved in producing LED bulbs is heat sinking, without adequate heat protection LEDs can loose life span.
In the early days of domestic LED bulbs one common complaint was the color of the light produced and the poor light output that was often equivalent to replace halogen spotlights. However, in recent years manufacturers have developed 'warm white' colored LED bulbs, made to replicate traditional bulbs as well as LEDs into a single circuit board which ensures that the bulbs can match the lumen output of halogen and CFL bulbs .
Another advantage of LED lighting is its short 'on / off time', this has lead to many local councils in the UK changing their traffic lights to LEDs, not only making them more efficient but also less maintenance is needed. One disadvantage that has been associated with CFL bulbs is their toxicity, or rather their use of mercury, although this has been accounted for with the WEEE levy (a tax on every bulb to contribute to recycling and disposal charges) this problem does not exist with LED lighting, making it more desirable to the more eco-minded companies and individuals.
At present LED lighting technology lends itself to spotlight bulbs because of the ability to manufacture small circuit boards unlike CFL spotlights that need to be slightly larger to house the tubing. This is changing though with the production of candle, golfball and even strip-light LEDs by a competent of companies, this is a significant development as it proves LED might, someday, incorporated the whole lighting industry and not stay in its current market as a fringe technology. Although there is still a long way to go for LED technology, public acceptance is pivotal to its success, and considering the massive advantages and the rate of technological advancement, this should not be difficult to achieve.
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Source by Joseph Crosland