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Learn About LED Lighting

What are LEDs and how do they work?

LED stands for light emitting diode. LED lighting products produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs. How do they work? An electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and the result is visible light. To prevent performance issues, the heat LEDs produce is absorbed into a heat sink.

Lifetime of LED Lighting Products

The useful life of LED lighting products is defined differently than that of other light sources, such as incandescent or compact fluorescent lighting (CFL). LEDs typically do not “burn out” or fail. Instead, they experience ‘lumen depreciation’, wherein the brightness of the LED dims slowly over time. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LED “lifetime” is established on a prediction of when the light output decreases by 30 percent.

LEDs are incorporated into bulbs and fixtures for general lighting applications. Small in size, LEDs provide unique design opportunities. Some LED bulb solutions may physically resemble familiar light bulbs and better match the appearance of traditional light bulbs. Some outdoor LED light fixtures may have LEDs built in as a permanent light source. There are also hybrid approaches where a non-traditional “bulb” or replaceable light source format is used and specially designed for a unique fixture. LEDs offer a tremendous opportunity for innovation in lighting form factors and fit a wider breadth of applications than traditional lighting technologies.

LEDs and Heat

LEDs use heat sinks to absorb the heat produced by the LED and dissipate it into the surrounding environment. This keeps LEDs from overheating and burning out. Thermal management is generally the single most important factor in the successful performance of an LED over its lifetime. The higher the temperature at which the LEDs are operated, the more quickly the light will degrade, and the shorter the useful life will be.

LED products use a variety of unique heat sink designs and configurations to manage heat. Today, advancements in materials have allowed manufacturers to design LED bulbs that match the shapes and sizes of traditional incandescent bulbs. Regardless of the heat sink design, all LED products that have earned the ENERGY STAR have been tested to ensure that they properly manage the heat so that the light output is properly maintained through the end of its rated life.

LED lighting differs from incandescent and fluorescent in several ways. When designed well, LED lighting is more efficient, versatile, and lasts longer.

LEDs are “directional” light sources, which means they emit light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent and CFL, which emit light and heat in all directions. That means LEDs are able to use light and energy more efficiently in a multitude of applications. However, it also means that sophisticated engineering is needed to produce an LED bulb that shines light in every direction.

Common LED colors include amber, red, green, and blue. To produce white light, different color LEDs are combined or covered with a phosphor material that converts the color of the light to a familiar “white” light used in homes. Phosphor is a yellowish material that covers some LEDs. Colored LEDs are widely used as signal lights and indicator lights, like the power button on a computer.

In a CFL, an electric current flows between electrodes at each end of a tube containing gases. This reaction produces ultraviolet (UV) light and heat. The UV light is transformed into visible light when it strikes a phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb. Learn more about CFLs.

Incandescent bulbs produce light using electricity to heat a metal filament until it becomes “white” hot or is said to incandesce. As a result, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat.

Why should I choose ENERGY STAR certified LED lighting products?

There are more lighting options available today than ever before. Despite that, ENERGY STAR is still the simple choice to save on your utility bills.

LED bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR are subject to very specific requirements designed to replicate the experience you are used to with a standard bulb—so they can be used for a wide variety of applications. As the graphic on the right demonstrates, a general purpose LED bulb that does not qualify for the ENERGY STAR may not distribute light everywhere and could prove to be a disappointment if used in a table lamp.

The potential effects of LED street light on health and the environment have been a hot topic of discussion over the last year. As this conversation has evolved, so too have many misperceptions and mischaracterizations of the facts on LEDs. We’ve assembled an array of helpful resources on the topic to help shed some light  and are clarify some of the most common myths on LED streetlights.

LED streetlights are no more harmful to humans and animals than other kinds of streetlights. The concern is not the type of light source, but the amount of emitted light that falls in the short-wavelength, often referred to as the “blue” part of the spectrum. And, unlike other types of streetlights, LED streetlights actually offer the potential to control the amount of short-wavelength light that they emit.On the contrary, short-wavelength light is a fundamental component of the natural world. It’s present in sunlight and has been shown to play an important role in a number of physiological processes, such as affecting circadian rhythm (our 24-hour “biological clock” that controls sleep/wake cycles). The concern is that too much nighttime exposure to short-wavelength light may disrupt sleep patterns and have other undesirable effects.It’s true that early LED lighting products tended to have greater levels of short-wavelength content because the technology was still in its initial stages of development. Tremendous advances since then, however, mean that today’s LEDs can be designed to emit as little, or as much, short-wavelength light as desired, without excessive drop-off in efficiency or other aspects of performance. LEDs also offer much greater control over where the light falls. This means they can often meet the same illumination requirements as conventional streetlights while emitting much less light – thus reducing even further any short-wavelength content.

Floodlighting has become an important part of security for homes and businesses alike. Whether connected to a motion detector or for use to light a garden at night, flood lighting has become an integral part of security in today’s society.

Homeowners and businesses have enough to deal with in these harsh economic times than needing to worry about changing floodlights. That’s why LED Flood Light offer the client not only an exceptional dispersion of light but also a bounty of advantages, which are only available when you use LED Floodlights.

One of the best advantages of using LED Floodlights is the life expectancy; they last for thirty times longer than standard halogen floodlights. This reveals a variety of advantages: you will have more free space as you would not need to stock up on replacement halogen bulbs. Also the main power involved in swapping out defective halogen bulbs can be time consuming and expensive, especially if running a business which requires the use of floodlighting. Thus purchasing LED Floodlights works to be extremely cost effective for the client. LED Floodlights repay your investment with longer life and an exceptional reduction in electricity costs.

In the world of lighting, LED high bay light is a fixture that you would find in a warehouse, a factory, a gymnasium, or any large open area with relatively high ceilings. Many existing high bay lighting and low bay lighting applications utilize high intensity discharge (HID) lamps such as metal halide or high pressure sodium lamps.

This approach confined the market for solar LED light to areas closer to the equator with highest average levels of solar irradiation and temperatures that did not affect the performance and lifetime of the DC fluorescent bulbs. It also left the markets in the higher latitudes, typically with higher per capita wealth levels and greater lighting needs rather under-served.

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