Common Applications for LED Lighting
LED Light Applications
Since 1961 when two engineers from Texas Instruments -- Gary Pittman and Robert Biard -- discovered what we know today as the modern LED light, things changed for the better in the lighting industry. Now there was a safe, resilient, long-lasting lighting option for both commercial and residential applications that was also energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
Since the 60s, researchers and engineers have continued to work on the LED to continue to improve on its already great qualities to help make it applicable to a wide variety of projects. While in its beginnings LEDs may have mostly been used as the indicator lights in electronic devices, today LEDs can be found in a variety of situations, from traffic lights to jumbotron video screens at sporting events.
Here's a look at some of the applications for LED lighting.
Signals & Indicators
One area that LEDs have really excelled in are when used as signals or indicators. The applications range in size from as small as the indicator light on the "caps lock" key on your keyboard, all the way up to traffic lights and exit signs.
In regards to exit signs, LEDs have been proven to be a great solution for them due to their long life and energy efficiency. In fact, in 1998 the Lighting Research Center estimated that almost 80% of next exit signs in the United States used LEDs.
Another indicator application LEDs have excelled at are vehicle brake lights. This is again due to the long lifespan of LEDs, but also their ability to switch on and off quickly and their high output allows them to be seen in daylight easily. LEDs are also beginning to be used in vehicle headlights as well.
LEDs can be seen in a variety of every day lighting applications while you're out and about. For example, if you're out after dark and the street lights come on, good chance they could be LEDs. Or if decorative lights come on around a building, those could also be LEDs. This is because cities and counties are beginning to realize the initial upfront costs for LED lighting will be worth it for light that is continuous and reliable, plus is almost maintenance-free.
As you're driving around town, you may encounter LED lighting when you're stopping for gas at a gas station or parking in a parking garage. In these two instances, there is an operating cost savings due to the energy efficiency of LEDs compared to other lighting options. Plus thanks to their overall high lumen output and brightness, there's also added safety and security for customers and employees.
The fact that LEDs do not emit any heat makes them a great choice for both the theater as stage lights, plus the fact they come in a rainbow of colors. And being LEDs do not need much power to run, they're great for small applications like flashlights, strobe lights, and mobile phone cameras.
In 2006, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) released its Guidelines for Design & Construction of Health Care Facilities, in which it says all lighting that contains mercury -- such as fluorescent and CFLs -- should be eliminated from hospitals and replaced with LED lighting.
Although, just like every business, hospitals and medical offices are strapped for cash nowadays, many are starting to turn to LED lighting due to its long life and energy efficiency. Additionally, the fact that LED lamps due not emit heat will help lower their air conditioning bill. And LEDs do not emit any heat radiation, which can be harmful to some people, making LED lighting a better choice for medical lighting applications.
Plus being LEDs come in such a variety of colors, hospitals can use this to their advantage by adjusting their lighting to calm patients who may be stressed out or upset from being there.
Offices & Retail
In today's business world, owners and managers are placing more emphasis on the overall well-being of their employees by making sure the environment they are working in a great one. One way in which they are doing this is through lighting. By switching to LED lighting, offices can offer bright light for their employees to help them see better and experience less eye fatigue. Additionally, the color of the light can be set to help brighten moods and comfort.
When it comes to retail, again the bright illumination that LEDs provide make it easy to spotlight products in displays. And being able to manipulate the color of the light can also be a great plus as you can help convey the type of mood you want in your store.
And of course LEDs offer both offices and retail stores a chance to save money over the long haul as LED lamps use less energy, last a very long time, and do not emit any heat, making it easier for you to regulate the inside temperature of your office or store. Plus if part of your mission or vision is to be “green,” letting your customers and clients know you're using a environmentally-friendly product like LED lighting can be a boon to your business.
Although in the past the initial cost of LED lighting for the most part was keeping it out of homes, today manufacturers have begun to lower the cost without compromising quality, allowing LED lighting to start to become a viable option for residences.
Just like for business owners, home owners can also enjoy monetary savings when using LED lamps in their residence thanks to them lasting a long time and not using much energy. Plus many homeowners are constantly looking for ways to be more environmentally-friendly and LEDs offer that as they contain no mercury and are recyclable.
And another positive homeowners may like about LED lamps is they normally do not attract bugs when outside. Most LED lamps do not emit any UV light, which is what bugs swarm too. Plus there's even some special LED lamps out there that are yellow colored that are designed especially to be used outside as bugs do not like them.