LED lighting: present and future of lighting

LED lighting is a type of light that emerged as an intermediate step between traditional and energy-saving light bulbs. It is a more advanced technology that is destined to be the light of the future.

In addition to the economic advantages it offers, LED lighting also plays an environmentally responsible role as it saves much more energy and is non-toxic.

What is so special about LED lighting?

This LED lighting system consists of a diode or small plastic-coated device with a semiconductor ‘wire’ inside that, when an electrical current is applied, emits light of a predetermined colour. This color depends on the material it is made of. Until now, there were red and blue colors, but white, much more recent, had not been obtained.

LED stands for ‘Light Emitting Diode’.

Although it seems a recent technology, (the white LED is marketed since 1997) the original idea of this lighting is more than 100 years old. Since LED lighting arrived in stores, its price has been adapted to make it increasingly affordable and much more efficient than other lighting sources, making it quickly amortizing.

LED Technology

As we have detailed before, an LED is nothing more than a semiconductor. Therefore LED technology consists of joining materials with special properties that are capable of conducting electricity. When we apply a voltage or voltage to the ends of the LED, the electrons from the direct current (DC) supply source begin to flow through the diode. The excess energy that the electrons acquire to be able to cross the potential barrier is transformed into electromagnetic energy, which is released, at that precise moment, in the form of a photon of light. Depending on the semiconductor material, the light can be green, blue, infrared, ultraviolet, etc.

Colored LED lighting

We know about LED lighting even before we are aware of it. The first contact with the LED lights was through the red and green on/off indicators and later on the infrared diode for remote controls.

The color of an LED light varies according to the material or semiconductor “wire” that emits light when a current passes through it. Depending on the semiconductor material chosen (gallium, indium, aluminium…), the illumination can be red, blue, green, amber, orange or cyan. White light is obtained by placing red, blue and green LEDs together (which can cause strange effects in shadows) or by adding phosphors to convert blue into white light, similar to what is done in fluorescent lamps.

Applications of LED lighting

Today we find LED lights everywhere, both in homes and in street lighting. LED lighting has also managed to find its place in sectors such as the automotive and advertising industries, where it can be used in a very versatile and efficient way.

Why LED lighting is the lighting of the future

Despite the fact that when purchasing LED material it is a little more expensive than other types of energy-saving lighting, such as halogen and fluorescent, LED lighting is increasingly preferred by both professionals and users.

Today, it is a candidate to continue evolving to improve the current version that we know and that is chosen for these reasons:

  • LED technology consumes far less than other energy-saving lights. Savings can be up to 90% when compared to these three energy-saving lighting types. And the good news is that they’re going to keep working to make this difference even more.
  • The bulbs, tubes and other LED lighting material have an average life of between 20,000 and 50,000 hours, depending on the quality of the lamps and their LEDs. But this is equal to 8 years of life if kept on for about 2 hours a day.
  • LED lighting is environmentally friendly. Since 2012, when incandescent bulbs stopped being produced due to their high level of pollution, LEDs are the ‘greenest’ option as they do not contain mercury or other polluting materials, and they do not emit UV or infrared rays either.
  • LEDs light up faster than incandescent or halogen lights. In addition, it can be switched on and off as many times as needed without reducing its life span.
  • The LED lighting material is able to withstand vibrations and shocks perfectly due to its structure in semiconductor format. They will continue to work even if the plastic housing that protects them is broken, unlike other technologies.
  • The LED light is uniform and does not produce shadows in the illuminated area. In addition, it has a variety of colours and can be adapted to the needs of the environment, for example, white light varies from pure white to a warmer white.
  • The possibility of integration offered by LED lighting in any environment, thanks to its compact size and low temperature, allows the possibility of designing a space with different points and variations of light in the same place. In addition, as in the CFL, there is the possibility of regulating the electrical intensity in some models of LED lighting, being a very useful option to create dynamic environments.
  • LED lighting has more lumens and less consumption per cm2 than fluorescent tubes and halogen.

LED technology has many advantages, especially for its long life and attractive design, in addition to the many possibilities of use it offers. All these properties and benefits reinforce the idea that LEDs are the lighting of the future, although, today, there is still a need for communication work to demonstrate these advantages over other types of conventional lighting.

Would you add any other advantages?