The following guest post was written by Stephan Jukic. The opinions expressed in guest posts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of E-Cat World.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology may seem like something that doesn’t undergo an enormous amount of development over the years, but only at first glance. In reality, LED lights have not only evolved enormously since their initial commercial introduction back in 1976, but have also seen their commercial use steadily expand into new industries over the years.
Today the technology that goes into LEDs has allowed these small lights to be used in communications, lighting, advertising and visual display technology applications. Developments in LED brightness have been especially important in making diodes useful for commercial and residential lighting functions.
Here’s an overview of the state of the industry and what it means in terms of practical applications.
The LED Industry’s Growing Brightness
More than anything else, the one development that has made LEDs into something with enormous commercial potential is their literally increasing brightness, or illumination capacity. Since diodes were first developed in the 1960’s, their illumination capacity has doubled every 36 months on average to date.
This exponential growth trend, very similar in nature to Moore’s Law in computing power, is called Haitz’s Law and it is bringing LED lights constantly closer to their theoretical illumination maximum, which is 251 lumens per watt (lm/W). Already, the brightest white LEDs can produce more than 100lm/W and by 2020 they are likely to be capable of creating brightness in excess of 200 lm/W.
But what does this mean for lighting? Well, if LED technology reaches the extremely bright (brighter than conventional lighting) 200 lm/W mark soon, the widespread adoption of LEDs in most lighting applications will not only be extremely feasible but will also lead to 50% savings on the electricity needed for all light generation wherever LEDs are used.
According to the U.S department of Energy, the above scenario (widespread adoption of LEDs over their alternatives) could create energy savings of 350 TWh (terawatt hours) by 2027. And LEDs will start being used in every application where other light sources are still being used now. You can be sure of this because the bottom line with LED bulbs is their enormously superior lasting power: For example, a single 60 W LED bulb can last as many as 40,000 hours while its incandescent equivalent won’t live for more than 1000. And for each of those 40,000 hours, the LED bulb will create 60 W of light at a much smaller energy cost.
The main deterrent to application so far is the per-unit cost of LED lighting, but this is already dropping fast and will continue to fall as the production industry becomes more efficient. Given all these LED advances, it’s no surprise that LED lighting is being applied all over the place in ways that are creating powerful savings and practical simplification in the consumer market.
Replacement Lighting for Offices, Homes
The most obvious and potentially impactful industry application for LEDs lies in their power as replacement lights for the traditional incandescent bulb and even its fluorescent replacement.
With aesthetic advances in lighting quality and color, modern LED fixtures can create light that is just as warm as what we as consumers are used to but with the immense light bulb lifespan and energy savings already mentioned above.
This application of LEDs is almost exclusively unique to their unique design qualities. Essentially a long line of small but extremely bright diodes is attached to a flexible thin strip of rubber with a circuit running through it and adhesive along its backing. The result is a lighting system that can be used in an enormous assortment of innovative scenarios.
Illuminating homes creatively, creating commercial signage illumination or even installing safety lighting for boats and property are all easy with these long lasting and extremely hard to break LED strips, and companies are taking advantage of this by offering creative LED retrofitting services to their commercial customers.
Assorted Other Uses
Large and small Light emitting diodes are also being installed in vehicle displays, in the illumination that goes into our electronics and in all sorts of other industrial and commercial situations. With increasing LED lm/W brightness, we’re even starting to see the use of LED arrays as a means of lighting immense spaces such as sports fields and auditoriums.
The bottom line is that the LED industry is no longer a small electronics niche; it’s a business that’s set to overtake the entire conventional lighting industry.
Stephan Jukic is a freelance writer who covers online data protection, anti-intrusion protocols and digital security. When he gets a chance, he also indulges in writing about SEO, mobile technology, marketing techniques and non-localized digital business strategies. When not busy writing or consulting on digital security to groups and individuals, he spends his days enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico, where he spends part of the year. Stephan’s writing has been featured on Sitepoint, Duct Tape Marketing, Infosec Institute, The Marketing Robot, Security Hunk and Search Engine Journal. Connect with Stephan on LinkedIn and Google+.