Updates to this story
As the world looks to meet targets for carbon emissions, one of the ways to reduce energy use is through LED lightning.
While halogen and incandescent lights are more commonly used, there are a number of benefits with the continuing uptake of LED technology.
The emergence of the technology being used in both commercial and domestic environments has been attributed in some quarters to increased efficiencies in chip technology.
As well as being long lasting, containing no harmful chemicals and not requiring any time to warm up, LED lights also mean an extremely small carbon footprint compared to other lighting types.
Indeed the WWF has in the past signalled its intentions to get phase out “wasteful” incandescent and halogen lights.
And according to IMS Research LED lighting offers between 50 and 90 percent reduction in energy usage as compared to halogen lamps.
One firm, GlacialLight says its LED lights have been used to bring about a 61 percent energy saving with LED panel lighting in one of its client’s factories, replacing T8 tube lighting – a nice saving on the leccy bill.
Furthermore as GlacialLight mentions there are no harmful radiation and no hazardous metals. “LEDs don’t emit harmful radiation such as Ultraviolet or Infrared emitting halogen lamps and don’t contain hazardous metals such as mercury contained in mercury lamps.”
They also have “extremely long lifetimes, free users from frequent bulb replacement, and small carbon footprints, making it “an environmentally-friendly technology”.
However one of the problems with LED lighting is the initial expense, though as IMS Research has told us this is expected to come down as the technology hits the mass market.
According to LED suppliers EXLED the price of a halogen lamp is approximately £3.50 per unit, compared to the typical cost of a MR16 LED replacement being just over the £13 mark.
However, EXLED believes that overall halogen lamps, to name one type, are costly due to their poor efficiency.
With recent developments such as the use of ‘white light’ with LEDs, EXLED believes that there are cost benefits to using the lights.
Apparently a typical 50 watt halogen lamp produces 22 lumens per watt of energy produced, with a lifespan limited to around 2,000 hours. With most of its energy being given off as heat there is substantial waste.
In comparison, an LED replacement is said to produce the same amount in terms of lumens, for just seven watts of power.
Combined with an expected lifespan of over 50,000 hours there is obviously significant cost benefits after the initial outlay.
EXLED also points to the heat reduction also giving advantages where lighting can be mean a need for air conditioning, meaning further expense.
Over the coming years the technology will become more widely used too. It is said that over 70 percent of newly constructed buildings will feature the lighting by 2014.
This means that LED lightning will not be used as a decorative addition to traditional lighting, but be the main bulk of lighting.
So with prices expected to fall by between 10 in some years, even 40 percent in other, as components become more cheaply produced LED lighting will likely present itself as an even more viable option.