LED History and General Information

 

LED Lights

In recent times, LEDs, or light emitting diodes, have become increasingly popular due to their ability to last for many years, as well as save energy and money on power bills. However, the price of LED lighting over traditional incandescent lighting has meant that LED lights have been a largely unaffordable investment for many households and businesses. Planet LED in Brisbane aims to close this price gap and make LED lighting more affordable for everyday Australian’s to buy. This article will step through the history of LED lights, exploring their journey to becoming the world’s most popular and sought after light source, and highlight some of the key benefits of LED lighting.

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Benefits of LED lighting

Energy and money saving: The biggest benefit of using LED lights is the amount of energy, and therefore money, that LED lighting saves over time. While incandescent bulbs operate at 20% efficiency (with 80% of the electrical energy lost as heat), LED lighting operates at 80% efficiency with just 20% lost as heat. The benefits of this can easily be converted to dollar value. For example, if a 100 watt incandescent bulb was used for one year at 10cents/kilowatt hour, $88.00 will be spent, $70.00 of which was wasted in just heating the room. Alternatively, if an LED light had been used, the cost of electricity would be just $23.00 per year. That’s a saving of $65, just for using an LED light over a traditional, incandescent bulb, which wastes time and energy. This equation doesn’t even account for the savings on bulb replacement, as incandescent light bulbs are blown within a year, whereas LED lights last for almost two decades.

Time saving: Another appealing benefit of LED lighting over traditional bulbs is the savings on time of replacing the bulb. This is important in large offices or skyscrapers where the cost of replacing bulbs can be massive. It is not uncommon for the cost of replacing the bulb to be $60. Simply swapping to LED lighting in your house or business will practically remove this need and extra expense.

Longevity: A further massive benefit of LED lighting is the fact that they last for 100,000 running hours – that is 11 years of constant use, or 22 years of use at 50%! Such longevity makes LED lighting the primary choice for advertising signs, traffic lights, office buildings and aviation. Such a huge life span means that you will hardly ever have to worry about replacing lighting again.

Environmentally Friendly: LED lights are an eco-friendly form of lighting. Containing no mercury or other harmful gases, and emitting no harmful UV rays, LED lights are the green alternative in modern society. In fact, 68% less CO2 is emitted by a 13w LED light when compared to a standard 40w incandescent bulb running 10 hours per day. Look at it another way, at the same rate, one 40 watt traditional incandescent bulb will cause 89kg of CO2 emission per year. Conversely, The 6 watt LED equivalent will only produce 14kg of CO2 – this would reduce a building’s carbon footprint by 85% simply by changing from incandescent bulbs to LED lighting.

Colour: While incandescent bulbs require color filters to make various coloured lights, LED lights can emit light of an intended colour without this need.

On/off time: LEDs do not need time to warm up. A typical LED light will be at its brightest in under a microsecond!

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History of LED

The development of LED lighting was at first slow moving. With the concept behind LED lighting was originally discovered in 1907 by a British experimenter, it wasn’t until 1962 that Nick Holonyak actually created the first red LED. Following this, it was another 10 years before Geory Craford invented the first yellow LED, as well as improving the quality of the existing red LED. While the first LED lights were only used in expensive laboratory equipment, use of the innovative technology had soon spread to everything from TVs to radios, telephones to calculators, and even watches. Still, LED lights were not used sparingly for quite some time again as the price of LEDs only dropped below $200 per unit after 1968, and for that reason, the LED lighting technology was slow growing.

But with LED lighting technology advancing at a rate of double every 36 months since the 1960s, LED lighting began to increase significantly in efficiency, output and affordability. Now, LED technology has advanced to a point where light output has risen and the high-power white-light LED fast replaced incandescent lights.

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Choosing the right LED lights

Looking for LED lights can be an overwhelming process, with so many models and styles constantly emerging. Some thing to keep in mind when selecting your LED lighting include:

Brightness: The packaging of LED lighting can typically help you choose your desired brightness level.  Using wattage is a good way to compare illumination. For example, a 9W LED is equivalent in output to a 45W incandescent bulb. Alternatively, the newer measure of brightness is done in lumens – the higher the lumens, the brighter the light bulb.

Warm light, or cool light: LED bulbs are typically available in cool or warm white light. Cool white light is ieal for task lighting, while warm light is typically used to illuminate small areas.

Standard base or pin base: You will need to find out which base you need on the LED bulb as there are several types of pin or screw sockets on the market.

Standard or dimmable lighting: Consider whether you want LED lighting which is dimmable. This is a fantastic, modern feature for homes and offices. Whether you are wanting to dim lighting to view a powerpoint presentation at work, or create a romantic atmosphere at home, dimmable lighting is a popular luxury made possible and easy by LED lighting.

High or low quality: If you buy cheap bulbs from eBay or discounters, they will most likely die prematurely. The reason these LED bulbs are so cheap is because they use a low-quality chip which fails faster than high quality LED lights.

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Styles of LED lights

Diffused bulbs: groups of LEDs are covered by an indented lens which works to spread the light out over a wider area. Diffused LED lighting has many uses, including in rooms, on porches, in lamps, and in hallways.

Dimmable Globe LED lights: This style of LED is designed for bathrooms, and to replace globe bulbs. Dimmable from 100% to 10%, these bulbs are equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent light, while only consuming 10 watts of power.

Flame tip, candelabra base LEDs: delivering the equivalent light of 25 35 watt incandescents, while only drawing 3.5 watts of electricity, these LED lights are designed to replace incandescent candelabra bulbs.

LED tube lights: made to replace fluorescent tube bulbs. Often used in high ceilings of offices and commercial buildings, additional savings come from not having to frequently change them

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How do LED lights work

LEDs emit light from a piece of matter, making them a ‘solid-state lighting’ technology. The piece of matter in the instance of LED lighting is a semiconductor. In simple terms, LED bulbs will produce light when electrons move around within the semiconductor, which is made of both a positively and negatively charged module. When an electric charge hits the matter, the electrons begin to flow between negative and positive layers. Electrons emit light as they flow into the positively charged later, which has ‘holes’ for the electrons to pass through.

 

How do I prevent the LED light from failing prematurely?

Typically, your LED light will fade, or become less powerful, if it is failing. LED lights rarely stop working altogether. Like most lighting, the performance and duration of life of an LED light is dependent on temperature. LEDs used in hot climates could produce low light output over time, and even fail. In lower temperatures, the output of LED lighting may be significantly greater – for example, LED lights installed in super market freezers will last significantly longer than other lighting sources. 

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