LED Technology: The Perfect Light?

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Although light-emitting diodes (LED technology) have been in use for more than 50 years, recent developments have resulted in clean, reliable and highly efficient products. The total LED market grew from $12.5 billion in 2011 to $13.7 billion in 2012. According to a recent McKinsey report, “the lighting market is on a clear transition path from traditional lighting technologies to LED.” LEDs are estimated to have a share in the general lighting market of 45 percent in 2016 and almost 70 percent in 2020.

>LED applications were originally used primarily in emergency lighting, where premium cost was acceptable and harsh brilliance was more often a benefit than a drawback. Today LED is becoming a widespread replacement for traditional light sources, found in design applications as well as ordinary items such as light bulbs and Christmas lights. Compared to 750 to 2,000 hours for incandescent bulbs and 10,000 to 20,000 hours for fluorescent bulbs, high-power white LED bulbs have a lifespan of between 25,000 to 50,000 hours.

Whereas other lighting technologies have a significant lag time between activation and full intensity, LEDs produce immediate luminous flux. Furthermore, while other lighting design systems have a wide disbursement of light, LEDs are designed to focus light that can be directed in a specific location without having to use an external reflector mechanism. This allows designers to use less light, and therefor energy, in the first place as well as often simplifying optical design.

LED lights have proven to be highly functional and flexible in their usage. Because these small lights can be ganged in flexible PCBs, automotive companies are able to be more creative in styling. At the same time they’re able to achieve more practical goals, such as longevity and durability.

This longevity and robustness, makes LEDs perfect for lighting controls and offer high functionality due to their resistance to vibration. They can function in complex environments and are multi-purpose. According to the LED Road Lighting Design Manual, LEDs are the most durable and sturdy lighting component since they hold up even the roughest conditions. They are resistant to external impacts, can withstand rapid movement, and function well during adverse weather conditions and extreme temperature spans. This makes LED technology ideal for both outdoor and indoor applications. Product designers can, as a result, design lighting systems for multiple purposes

Manufacturers are now experimenting with LED technology to customize car interiors. Appealing to consumer wishes, LEDs could appear not only on the dashboard and main central lighting systems but also in the storage compartments, doors, ceilings and even flooring.

At the 2015 North American International Auto Show, virtually all new cars incorporated LED lighting. LEDs are becoming standard because they are smaller, use less energy, and are brighter than halogen bulbs. LEDs are versatile and can be used in multiple paces in cars: headlights, brake lights, turn signals, accent lights, interior lighting, and more.

According to the Detroit News, “Analysts and industry experts expect LEDs to be the preferred lighting technology for the foreseeable future, phasing out high-intensity discharge lamps, known as HIDs, that often admit an intense blue beam.”

Once limited to higher priced luxury cars, LEDs are becoming standard for most headlights and taillights. The scarce use of LEDs in the past is because they used to cost double or more the price of a halogen light, but prices are decreasing because of the increase in usage. “It’s becoming ubiquitous, said Ralph Gilles, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles North America senior vice president of product design. “Everybody is slowly but surely transferring to LEDs.”

At EBW Electronics, we have the expertise to tackle a wide variety of LED-specific applications and challenges. From line voltage to car battery voltage, from flat simple LED engines to 3 dimensional flexible LED engines, from low output, low power LEDs to high output, high power LEDs, from commercial lighting to automotive light; EBWE possesses the cutting edge expertise to meeting every LED lighting challenge.