People should be able to enjoy the full benefits of natural light even from within their comfortable houses. This is why LEDs systems are used for internal lighting purposes; their light spans the total visible wavelengths, but without the unwanted ultraviolet rays effects. This type of light is also used to point out and enhance natural colours as well as the quality and beauty of products in expositions.
CT or Colour Temperature is measured in Kelvin (K) and it refers to the type of light emitted by the light source. It can be either “hot light” – lower CT values; the source has a tone shifting towards yellow – or “cold light” – higher CT values; the source tone shifts towards blue -.
Elettrolab employs scrupulous methods and well-defined procedures for the selection of colour BINs. All LED systems are accurately chosen by considering every possible colour temperature and parameters combination. In each LED, all CT variations of are tightly controlled with the highest possible accuracy and every system is designed and developed to keep the overall colour temperature uniform and perfectly balanced.
Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs are made of non-toxic raw materials and, differently than fluorescent lamps, which contain Mercury (Hg) and are highly polluting. LEDs can be recycled. LEDs do not emit neither infrared (IR) nor ultraviolet (UV) radiations; they do not emit heat and above all, they do not directly blind. Instead they fully comply with the definition of “totally green” light.
LEDs are also called “cold light technology” because their heat signature is insignificant if compared to traditional lighting systems (e.g. light bulbs, fluorescent and halogen lights etc.) that generate more heat and present much lower efficiencies. Overall, LEDs have very low energy consumption figures; so they are able to generate and dissipate much less heat if compared to their traditional system counterparts.
Thanks to their intrinsic manufacturing characteristics, these tiny lighting systems are subjected to less wear than traditional fluorescent lights, so they can boast a much longer lifespan, virtually up to 10 times those of traditional lighting sources.
THE PRODUCTION OF THE LED LIGHT COLOURS
LEDs (light emitting diodes) typically emit a specific wavelength hence a specific colour, which depends on its semiconductor material. LEDs are made by combining elements such as phosphides or arsenide. Various combinations of these elements release varying amounts of energy, according to the semiconductor material’s band-gap.
When charge carriers recombine, photons are emitted according to specific and discrete energy levels; this generates the particular light colour. For example, blue light is produced when high level of energy is released, while red light is emitted when a lower level of energy is involved. Thus monochromatic (single colour) light is produced.
A peculiar LEDs feature is that, each LED’s light colour is limited to a very narrow range of wavelengths (aka dominant wavelengths) therefore only represents a specific light colour. The only spectrum that cannot be directly produced by the chips themselves is that associated with white light, since this one represents a mixture of all possible colours.
LED WHITE LIGHT CREATION.
Photoluminescence is the most common method used nowadays to produce LEDs white light; in this process a thin phosphorus layer is applied on top of a blue LED.
LED’s blue light (shorter wavelength and energy-rich) stimulates the phosphorus layer to light up and emit lower-energy, yellow light. The colour tone of the emitted white light varies as the amount of the phosphorus colorant; different white tones are thus produced: warm white, neutral white and cold white.
Another method employed to produce white LED light is based on the principle of additive colour mixing. With this method, white light is produced by mixing red, green & blue lights (RGB) at different wavelengths. One of the advantages of this method is that the light colour can be produced and adjusted in a controlled way. This process is used for instance, in LED television where LEDs are used to produce both pictures and background lighting.
EASE OF CONTROL
Compared to the dull glow of traditional lighting sources and their limited applications, LED lighting systems are low voltage microelectronic innovative products, used to create and explore new possibilities. These unprecedented lighting systems have unlimited potential and yet undiscovered applications. LEDs characteristics of flexibility, portability, seamless integration with nowadays IT systems, communication networks, image processing methods and optoelectronic equipment, make these devices the most adaptable, successful and easily upgradable available today.
LED lights dimming is used to save energy and change the overall visual effect of the enlightened environments. While it is possible to use a dimming LED lamp in a non-dimming circuit, it is strongly NOT recommended to use a non-dimming LED light in a dimming circuit because this could damage both the lamp and the circuit itself. Integrated lamps are clearly labelled either “dimming” or “non-dimming” both on their packaging and on the lamp itself.
Diversi inconvenienti si possono verificare quando si utilizza un dimmer incompatibile con una lampada a LED:
- Flickering: Lamps will flicker (can also occur if a non-dimming lamp is used)
- Drop out: No light output at the end of the graduated scale
- Dead travel: Dimming does not produce any sensible or acceptable light output level’s change
- Not smooth: Uneven light output results when dimming from bright to dull and vice versa.
- Multiple lamps: Problems may become visible when multiple lamps are used simultaneously
- Damage or failure: LED driver, circuit or LEDs are damaged or fail to operate.
- Load below minimum: LED lamp’s power load is below the minimum load required by the dimmer.
- Mixed Model: Different LED lamp models will likely have different drivers – which in turn, behave differently – and dimming issues could occur when mixing them together.
- Landscape lighting market; architectural decoration, interior decoration, decorative attractions, used as main decorative lights for buildings, streets, malls and shopping centre, monuments, bridges, council buildings, patios, home and gardens, leisure and entertainment, as well as assets decoration and advertising purposes commercial lighting.
- Automotive market; this is the fastest-growing market concerned with LED use and possible applications such as: car dashboard, air conditioning, stereo, lights both internal and external, reading lights, the exterior third brake lights, tail lights, turn signals, side lights etc.
- Backlight applications market; LEDs have been generally used as backlights in mobile phones, computers, TV sets, handheld electronic devices, or in automobiles products, aircraft instrumentation panels and in many other applications.
- Traffic lights market: red, yellow and green energy efficient LED lights with high brightness, long life, and many other advantages to deal effectively with a substantial demand increase in this market.
- Indoor and outdoor large-screen displays: RGB primary colours of high brightness LED light; their mixture can produce the full spectrum of colours. Large screen LED displays are used in finance, transportation, airports, telecommunications and many other fields.
- Special purposes lighting and military use: LED light sources are seismic resistant, weather resistant, present good sealing properties and low thermal signature. For their small sizes and ease of transportation LED systems can be widely used in military field operations, mining or explosion-proof settings, special or ill conditioned working environment etc.
ENERGY SAVING TECHNOLOGY
LED lamps have very low environmental effects because of both, their limited energy consumption and their reduced produced waste. Studies carried out to assess LED lamps echo-balance, demonstrate that the latest generation of these lamps is already echo-friendly and “green”. These studies consider the overall product lifecycle (PLC) and specifically, the amount of raw materials used and lamps’ energy waste produced, throughout all its phases of life. An average 25000 hours lifespan has been used to assess results and to carry out calculations and comparisons. The undisputed outcome of these studies has demonstrated not only how nowadays LED lamps are totally equivalent to their compact fluorescent lights counterparts – when considering the echo-balance -, but also how these new modern and advanced technology lamps have much better performance than traditional lighting bulb lamps.
The aforementioned studies conducted by Siemens Corporate Technology experts (Eco Innovation Centre) validate the 98% figure of energy conversion efficiency (i.e. the 98% of supplied energy is emitted as light). This contradicts the common fear and misconception that LEDs present major energy consumption figures and significant environmental effects.
While traditional lamps’ figures of electric energy consumption – for both production and functioning – are roughly of 3300kWh, their equivalent for LED lamps are approximately less than 700kWh, highlighting the higher efficiency of the latter technology.
As the efficiency of LEDs products is constantly improving though, a future positively enhanced trend is expected for their environmental-friendly performance as well.