The Sealey Guide to LED Lighting
The LED lighting revolution has been gathering momentum over recent years. Although introduced over 50 years ago, today’s advancement in LED technology has completely changed the world of lighting as we know it. Highly efficient LED technology is far more advanced than traditional lighting sources such as Tungsten incandescent lamps or Halogen and CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps).
LED Lighting Overview:
What is an LED?
LEDs (light emitting diodes) are a type of electronic light source. LEDs work differently from traditional Tungsten, Halogen and CFL bulbs. They last much longer, require less energy and produce a minimum amount of heat. They are also highly robust and do not feature any fragile parts such as glass tubes or filaments. LEDs are safer than Tungsten, Halogen and CFC bulbs, they contain no hazardous liquids such as mercury, solids like lead, or gasses that can also be harmful to the environment.
How much power do LEDs use?
LED Bulbs are 90% more energy efficient than an incandescent or halogen bulb of similar brightness. LEDs are far more efficient at converting electricity into light. For example, a typical 10W LED bulb can achieve a light output equal to a 60W halogen bulb!
Long Life - How long do LEDs last?
One of the advantages of using LED lighting is the excellent lifetime expectancy of the bulbs due to the exceptional thermal management. They use heat sink technology that dissipates the heat and extends the life expectancy by reducing lumen deterioration. An LED with good thermal management, assembled from the finest components, could last up to 60,000 hours!
How bright are LEDs?
Lumens (lm) is the unit of measurement used to indicate the brightness of a bulb. The higher the amount of Lumens the brighter the bulb will be. Even though they operate at very low wattages, LEDs can match the equivalent brightness of traditional light sources.
How can LEDs help me save money?
LED bulbs are far more power efficient than traditional types of lighting, saving on maintenance and replacement costs, due to the extensive lifespan of an LED. Batteries in portable lamps will last much longer before requiring a recharge. Bulbs are more reliable and durable, they can last up to 60,000 hours, so you will not need to replace a bulb for years. They also have a very low failure rate.
The lighting table below illustrates the Wattage to Lumens ratio for common types of light sources. You can see from the guide that LEDs are the most economically efficient.
Are LEDs Safe?
LEDs are robust - there are no fragile parts such as glass or filaments that can break easily. They radiate a small amount of heat which makes them safer to handle, and there is no risk of fire. There are no toxic substances used such as mercury or lead, or any gasses that could have an adverse effect on the environment.
Why LED Lights are Eco-Friendly?
LED bulbs are assembled using non-toxic materials as opposed to fluorescent lighting that uses mercury and gasses that are harmful to our environment. LEDs are made to be recyclable, eco-friendly and non-polluting. They can have a lifespan of up to 60,000 hours compared to 1,500 hours for an average incandescent bulb. An LED light will last over seven years (constant use) before needing replacement. On average, LED bulbs last ten times longer than compact fluorescent bulbs, and 133 times longer than typical incandescent bulbs. This means that opting for LED lighting not only has economical personal benefits, but also cuts carbon CO2 emissions too.
Practical Advantages and Durability
More durable with no fragile parts, LEDs generate a minimum amount of heat, hence are safe in almost all applications and environments. They can withstand low temperatures, therefore reducing fire risks and heat dispersion.
What types of LED bulbs are there?
SMD LED (Surface Mounted Device)
What is an SMD LED?
The abbreviation ‘SMD’ stands for Surface Mounted Device. These are amongst the newest generation of LED technologies. The bulbs contain SMD chips that enable the bulbs to be much brighter than older LED types. The SMD requires less space and has an excellent thermal connection, as it is soldered directly onto the printed circuit board (PCB).
SMD LEDs are very compact because they require no wiring or surrounding casing found on earlier LED designs. When manufacturing an SMD LED, they are usually handled by an automated assembly system. They produce a wide angle of light due to the lack of an enclosure that restricts the beam.
The Benefits of SMD LEDs
SMD LEDs emit a minimal amount of heat. They require considerably less power to operate when compared to traditional incandescent lighting. LEDs are small and do not take up very much physical space. This makes them ideal for computer circuit boards, USB flash drives and other technology where space and size are limited. SMD LEDs can also be connected directly to a printed circuit board, which is also a space saving benefit.
They can be also be clustered very close together which is ideal for making brighter lighting arrays. This technology is ideal for LCD backlighting on display and instrument panels. Manufacturers have designed SMD LEDs to be powered by very low voltages. We take advantage of this benefit in our LED 360 range of cordless inspection lamps, for example.
SMD LEDs are also available in Red, Green, Blue (RGB) which enables them to be used in tight clusters to create large scale TV screens and massive displays for outdoors.
They emit high brightness (lumens), just 10W can be equal to a standard 60W incandescent bulb! SMD LEDs operate on very low voltages making them extremely energy efficient and cost effective.
The Features of SMD LEDs
Low Energy Consumption: The voltage required for a single SMD LED chip is around 2 - 3.6 volts of current. When compared to traditional incandescent lighting, the power consumption is very small.
The lifespan of a temperature managed SMD LED can reach over 60,000 hours or more. When an LED reaches the end of its life, they do not fail completely like traditional lighting. They gradually fade over an extended period. SMD LEDs also last longer than LED tubes. Manufactured by automated assembly lines using a heat emitting process, enables an SMD LED to last longer too.
SMD LEDs are highly resistant to impact and shock. They contain no fragile parts or inert gasses like traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. This makes them perfect for outdoor use.
COB LED (Chip on Board)
What is a COB LED?
COB (Chip on Board) is a distinct advantage in LED technology that uses chipped diodes, usually a light array of 9 or more minute LED chips. When a COB LED illuminates, it emits a cluster of lights merged in a single panel. Superior optics allows a consistent beam of light that converges without any separate points. COB further improves on the Lumen to Watt ratio compared to other LED technologies such as DIP (Dual Inline Package), and SMD etc. The optimal cooling process on a COB LED is highly efficient, which increases the reliability and lifespan of the lamp. One of the most innovative features of the COB (Chip on Board) design is the ability to package a dense array of tiny LED chips to produce a small and efficient single lighting module.
Why consider COB LED?
A COB type LED has the advantage of using a lens cover that reduces the effects of glare when the beam of light passes through it. Even though bright SMD, FLUX LED, etc. outperform traditional fluorescent and incandescent lighting, they are not without their disadvantages. When there is no diffused optical lens used, LEDs can cause some unwanted glare and zebra stripes. It may be something to consider, depending on the application.
How COB LED Light source works?
COB LEDs are small multi-chips combined in a single panel, they can create a beam, ten times larger in area. At present, for small size chips, some established LED chip manufacturers can reach 249lm/watt @ 20mA. But larger sized LED chips can only reach 161lm/watt @350mA. The light efficiency decreases when chip sizes are bigger. Also when an LED driver increases the current to an LED, the light optimised per watt is even lower.
COB LEDs with small size chips are the latest trend in lighting technology. Lightspot® holds the patent for the invention of COB LEDs and lamps.CREE LED
What is a CREE LED?
Cree LED is a semiconductor light-emitting diode developed by Cree Inc. It is powered by TrueWhite® technology that produces an accurate colour cast. It provides an excellent colour rendering constant colour beam and steady temperature management. Cree LED performance is highly efficient, producing up to 130 lumens per watt. It provides a continuous, accurate, warm or cool coloured beam. A Cree LED can provide consistent lighting for as long as 50,000 hours, making them far more efficient than traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.
Lighting for a Generation
A single Cree lamp running for 6 hours per day could last over 20 years! It can operate for around 50,000 hours which is 50 times the life expectancy of a standard incandescent light bulb. It will also last five times longer than a fluorescent tube (CFL).
Colours to suit your surroundings
Cree LED light output is available in 3 colour casts; daylight, cool white and warm white. Daylight provides the most accurate lighting to imitate the sun that has a slight blue cast. Cool white is similar to the colour cast of a fluorescent tube and is ideal for commercial use in offices or shops. Warm white resembles a softer domestic light such as traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs. Cree LED bulbs are perfect replacements for recreating all of these familiar lighting conditions.
Are Cree LEDs suitable for outdoor use?
LEDs can withstand cold outdoor temperatures. Cree LED is constructed with durable materials that can also endure shock and vibration. Unlike traditional lighting designs, they do not contain any fragile parts or gases. Therefore, Cree LED is an excellent, reliable choice for outdoor applications.
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