Benefits of LED
LEDs represent an incredible, fast moving and game changing technology within the lighting industry and have progressed radically from their original applications as indicator lamps and signal devices such as traffic lights and exit signs.
Recent technological advances in this solid state light source have opened the door both to general domestic and commercial illumination applications, whilst improved performance coupled with reduced costs have led to a significant increase in the number and variety of market available LED lighting products. Indeed, whilst LEDs represented 7% of the worlds’ total lighting market in 2008 the US Department of Energy predicted a significant rise in market share to 50% by 2027.
This is not surprising as lighting specifiers and the general public alike have been quick to understand the benefits LED lighting offers over conventional light sources, which include:
Long Life and High Lumen Maintenance
- Unlike conventional light sources LEDs are not subject to sudden failure or burnout, they gradually degrade in performance over their lifetime. A well designed LED light source will have good thermal management to ensure the junction temperature at the centre of the LED remains within the LEDs performance specification to allow the luminaire to obtain its full life potential.
- When designing a new LED product, acdc utilise complex thermal management software to analyse thermal paths and identify expected junction temperatures of the LED in their relevant environments. Our design and technical team then devise bespoke thermal heat sink solutions to dissipate heat away from the light source and deliver 50,000 hours to 70% lumen maintenance as standard across our product range.
- As LED fittings last at least 10 times as long as conventional light sources, there is no need to replace them as often, reducing or eliminating on-going maintenance and periodic relamping costs.
- It is also important to emphasise that the lifetime quoted for acdc LED products is to 70% lumen maintenance, not for failure, meaning that there will be a maximum of 30% degradation in terms of light output for the fitting after 50,000 hours but the luminaire itself will still work.
Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability
- With ever increasing energy tariffs, LED lighting offers the most cost effective medium and long term sustainable solution for your business.
- Realistically an LED solution, although more expensive in the short term, will pay for itself in around three years, after that time everything is a cost saving when compared to a traditional lighting solution.
- A well designed and manufactured LED luminaire will last for 50,000 hours, with a reduction in light output of no more than 30% over that period. LEDs can also be used as emergency luminaires when specified with an emergency driver, making them an even more attractive and cost effective lighting solution.
Vivid Colours without Filters and Colour Change
- Strong vivid colours and excellent whites
- Incredible range of up to 16 million different colours
- LEDs do not require filters to create coloured light, resulting in deeper saturated colours without wasted light. Deep reds, greens, blues and other colours can be produced in mono-chromatic form directly from the LED itself. When filters are used, they block out the undesired portions of white light and only let the desired portions through and the blocked light that is not the correct colour is therefore lost energy. These strong primary colours can also be used to create RGB colour mix systems with a vast array of colours being achieved.
- The light emitted from an LED is directional. Typical conventional light sources are omni-directional, emitting light in all directions. To direct the light, reflectors have to be used in order to direct the light onto the object to be illuminated. Each time a beam is reflected, it loses some of its intensity resulting in a fixture loss from 40 to 60%, meaning that in some cases more than half of the light is not directed in the desired direction. The directed nature of LEDs can result in fitting efficiencies of 80 to 90%, requiring less total lumens to provide the same level of illuminance
- LEDs are solid state devices containing no moving parts and no filaments to burn out. As such LEDs handle tough environments including heavy vibration and impact. There is nothing to break, rupture, shatter, leak or contaminate. This solid state nature of LEDs makes them extremely rugged and durable and therefore an ideal solution for applications where reliability is paramount.
- Many light sources in use today are not well suited to cold environments, with some requiring special drivers to enable ignition. Cold start is not a problem with LEDs suitable for ambient temperatures down to -40ºC, simplifying design and reducing costs for these specific applications.
- LEDs are fully dimmable with standard driver technologies without sacrificing any characteristic of the light. acdc control gear is available for 1-10 Volt, DMX or Mains Dimming, offering smooth and accurate colour control without any shift in colour.
No Mercury & Environmentally friendly
- LED products are great for the environment and are fully recyclable. Unlike fluorescent light sources, LEDs contain no mercury, eliminating this from the lighting system will enable you to meet future increasingly stringent environmental regulations.
No Heat or UV in the Light Beam
- Make this technology ideal for delicate environments such as museums and retail where traditional light sources may damage artifacts and merchandise.
- Equally LED lighting generates virtually no heat, additional air conditioning requirements are not required lowering overall facility operating costs
- LEDs are typically much smaller than conventional light sources, allowing for dramatically different lighting designs capitalising on the unobtrusiveness of the light source. Working with LEDs can enable completely hidden sources of light eliminating large visual luminaires, and creating a magical effect when illuminated. The flexibility of LEDs allows for new, playful, and innovative lighting solutions, never previously conceivable
Here are four great case studies demonstrating the benefits of LED technology:
ONE – An energy efficient light source which pays for itself
LEDs are a low energy efficient light source, which are significantly improving in performance year on year. Indeed, current volume available LED efficiency is around 110 lumens per watt in 3000K. Equally as exciting is the fact that in lab conditions efficiencies of over 300 lumens per watt have already been achieved. The reality, however, is that LEDs are already a very efficient source now with well-designed LED products boasting a lifetime in excess of 50,000 hours to 70% lumen maintenance, giving designers a new creative freedom to utilise lighting in some pretty hard to reach installations.
Lighting design: Light Bureau
acdc completed the lighting at KPMG HQ in Canary Wharf in London. acdc Evolution luminaires were utilised throughout the building as opposed to traditional halogen downlights. The financial benefits of choosing this LED solution are shown below.
TWO – Long product lifetime offers new creative freedom
Well design LED products should be able to offer a lifetime in excess of 50,000 hours to 70% lumen maintenance. LEDs’ low maintenance characteristics gives designers a new creative freedom to utilise lighting in some pretty hard to reach installations.
Lighting design: ATEA
Mounted at the top of this 68 story building, the tallest Tower in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, are over 1500 Taurus fittings utilised to create an envelope of light at the pinnacle of the Tower. The long lifetime of the LEDs on this project allowed a stunning lighting design to be created with breath-taking results!
THREE – Compact LEDs allow designer new flexibility
A key benefit of LEDs is that they can offer an incredible amount of light from a very small source. This enables our product designers and lighting designers alike the opportunity to design products never previously conceivable and even on an individual project basis. Many of the products in the acdc range, are designed around the compact LED source enabling smaller, brighter and better products to be created.
Lighting designer: Speirs + Major
Speirs + Major approached acdc to work with them on this project to design a special solution for the illumination of the bronze struts on a curved lake crossing. The compact fitting features a deep recessed LED to minimize glare, along with a soft frosted, non-slip glass disk which flush mounts with the bridge structure. The results are truly stunning; a beautifully designed solution integrating the luminaires within the bridge.
FOUR – Vivid colours enable stunning visual effects
The strong saturated colours created by the LED can work equally well for single colour or colour change applications. The intensity of the light is created by the LED chip itself, as opposed to secondary lenses or gels which are often less efficiently within other traditional light sources.
Lighting designer: Speirs + Major
An excellent example of this technology was on the solution developed with Speirs + Major for Infinity Bridge in the North East of England. The LED solution was integrated into the bridge with an on-board sonar sensor, which senses the movement of passing pedestrians walking along the bridge. Under normal conditions, the bridge was illuminated blue with 2 x 2 Watt blue LEDs, but once movement was detected, the blue LEDs dimmed to zero and the 2 x 2 Watt cold white LEDs were instantly illuminated. Once the person moved past the sensor, the white LEDs slowly faded down and the blue LEDs faded up, creating a ‘vapour trail’ as progress was made along the bridge. The strong LED colour result along with smooth dimming control makes for an impressive result and the project has won numerous international design awards.