LED stands for “Light Emitting Diode”. Light Emitting Diodes, as the name states – are diodes. A diode is a semi-conductor device that permits current flow in one direction. Semiconductor diodes are a junction of two materials. One material has a surplus of positive charge (holes), and the other a surplus of negative charge (electrons). When one applies a forward voltage, the electrons and holes are brought together. They combine and release light energy – the ‘light emitting’ part of the name.
LEDs do appear to be bulbs, but in fact are not. LEDs are tiny semiconductors encapsulated in plastic which protects their components and helps to focus the light.
The advantages of switching to LED are numerous. Here are just some of the business benefits:
LEDs use much less electricity than other bulbs.
LEDs have extremely long rated lives.
LEDs produce very little heat.
LEDs are resistant to shock and vibration.
LEDs can operate effectively in extremely cold environments.
LED also translates to dramatically lower or even zero maintenance costs.
LEDs enhanced durability is a plus, especially in areas prone to vibration or other stresses.
LEDs are generally dimmable, providing yet another advantage over standard fluorescents and CFLs.
LEDs do not emit any UV or IR radiation and are therefore very well suited to retail environments, galleries, and museums, where these emissions can cause damage or fading.
LED lights are considered “green” products due to the absence of any dangerous chemicals and their ability to significantly reduce energy consumption by 50% to 85% over traditional lighting products depending upon the application.
Example: a commercial facility that pays INR 10, 000, 00 annually to power the lighting systems is offered the LED technology to reduce that cost overnight to INR 4,00,000 with less.
- LEDs contain no mercury or mercury vapor; therefore they do not have to be disposed of as hazardous material.
- Eco-friendly technology and materials.
- LEDS reduce electricity consumption which translates into a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
- Accelerates sustainability initiatives.
McKinsey projects by 2020, LED’s will make up 60% of the lighting market. Another hugely positive effect: lighting costs will be reduced by 30% a year over the same period. Dramatically lower energy costs, less maintenance, better for the environment and more aesthetically pleasing.
The economics of LED lighting are now compelling. And the higher the electricity costs, the faster the payback. In India, the use of LED lighting reduces costs to an approximate two-year or less payback/ROI depending on the cost of electricity in a particular region. No matter the location or situation, the significant metrics in favor of LED lighting are unquestioned.
LEDs do not use a filament where a conductor is heated and light is created. Filament based lighting consumes more power than the light produced. LEDs produce very little amounts of heat and do not use filaments making them far more efficient in consumption and output.
LEDs are geared for harsh environments. LEDs function from -40F to 180F. There is no delay or required “warm up time” for LEDs to function.
LEDs operated under normal conditions have a life expectancy for approximately 50,000 to 80,000 hours of continuous use. As LEDs get older, they tend to dim and fade but aren’t susceptible to blinking like incandescent or fluorescents.