Blue Light-Emitting Diodes
Once upon a time, the only LEDs most people saw were little green or red lights on the front of electrical goods or early digital watches and calculators.
That all changed in the 1990s, when a group of Nobel Prize-winning scientists managed to produce blue light-emitting diodes. Their breakthrough contributed directly to the explosion in LED development and use, to the point where the little diodes now appear almost everywhere there is a light source – from computers and TVs to cars and refrigerators.
But why have LEDs proved so popular? Here are just a few of the reasons – practical and financial – they’ve become the 21st century’s light of choice.
They are Efficient
Put simply, LEDs convert more of the energy they consume into light, and less to heat. Between 80 and 90% of the energy consumed by an LED is turned to light. A conventional incandescent bulb could be expected to convert about 20% of the power it consumed into light, with most of the rest creating heat. If you run a business that spends £1,000 a year lighting a shop with old-fashioned bulbs, then £800 of that has actually been spent on wasted heat given off by the bulbs. Switch to LEDs and not only will you save a small fortune, but the nation’s power stations will have to produce a little less energy – LEDs can help the environment too.
They are Durable
LEDs last for a long time – 100,000 hours is not unknown. With many LEDs, you could leave them running for eight hours a day and they’d keep shining for 20 years. Not only do you save money on replacements, if you are a business, you also save money on maintenance. This is even more important in environments where the light source is exposed to punishment such as vibrations – e.g. car headlights – or the effects of weather, such as traffic lights.
LED’s are an Eco-Friendly Alternative
As well as lasting longer than incandescent bulbs, so there’s less waste, LEDs are far cleaner than most fluorescent light sources with one in particular shining more than the rest which is the GU10. They don’t contain mercury or toxic substances and are generally 100% recyclable. Your waste bills will shrink.
LEDs give off almost no infrared light and close to zero ultraviolet light. So they’re safe in places like art galleries and museums, which contain items that are sensitive to UV light in particular. The fact they give off little heat is an added bonus in these environments, where any damage from light sources is likely to be costly. And, of course, they reduce electricity bills as well.
They’re cool when the heat is on
LEDs can operate reliably in high or low outdoor temperatures, or in freezer rooms, where the temperature can pose a challenge to more conventional light sources. Again, you don’t have to keep buying new ones.
LEDs don’t take time to warm up, like conventional sources. When you hit that switch, they’re on. As an added bonus, rapid and frequent switching on and off doesn’t kill them like it does older sources. You just saved some more money.
Low Voltage LED’s for Safety and less expense
LED systems run happily on low voltages – which means installing outdoor lights or solar-powered systems is far simpler, safer and cheaper.