Three Major Types Of Lighting Technologies On The Market
Incandescent light bulbs are the oldest and most simple form of electric lighting technology, incandescent bulbs produce light by heating a filament wire to very high temperature until it glows, thus radiating light. This is known as thermal radiation lighting. Thermal radiation lighting requires a great amount of electricity to create adequate light because up to 95% of the energy is wasted in form of heat, thus making the surface of the light bulb extremely hot as well as increasing the air temperatures around the light bulb as an unwanted byproduct. Furthermore the glass casing and filament are quite fragile.
Fluorescent lamps that were created to replace Incandescent light bulbs. It uses 1/3 to 1/5 of the electricity consumed by incandescent bulbs to achieve an equivalent amount of light. Fluorescent bulbs last 8 to 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs. However fluorescent lamps are a gas-discharged lamp creating light by using electricity to excite mercury vapor which is sealed in the light tube to produce visible light. Thus it has two deadly disadvantages, one being slow to reach 100% of luminance since it takes time for the reaction to occur and second, Mercury compounds are extremely toxic which means accidental damage to the light tube could cause harmful gas to leak into the environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has set guidelines for the cleanup of broken Fluorescent bulbs such as: evacuate people and pets form room for 5 to 10 minutes before cleanup, do not vacuum, do not touch glass or powder, do not run heater or
air conditioner for 3 to 5 hours, etc… Many States have mandated fluorescent lamps to be disposed of at designated facilities.
Light-emitting diode as the new entrant into residential and commercial lighting technology market is the most sophisticated of them all. It has three main components. 1. Solid-state Semiconductor chip, 2. Aluminum heat sink, 3. Poly Carbonate “blub” casing. LEDs produce light by forcing positive and negative charged electrons to combine in the semiconductor chip thus releasing energy in the form of light. Since the semiconductor chip is solid, when under shock such as falling to the floor LEDs will not break like the filament wire used in Incandescent light bulbs nor crack and leak harmful gas like Fluorescent bulbs. The Solid-state semiconductor chip itself also produce 100% of its designed luminance when electricity is applied. Frequently turning on and off will not shorten an LED’s life span as it would a fluorescent bulb. Due to the efficiency of the technology LEDs produce 5-8 times the luminance of Incandescent light bulbs with the same amount to electricity consumption. A 10 watt LED light bulb can adequately replace a 75 watt Incandescent light bulb. Most importantly LED bulbs does not need to increase the size of the bulb to produce more light the incandescent and fluorescent do, which means you can have a very small LED and still be very bright (5x5mm LED produces 5.5 Lumens). LED bulbs also have the longest lifespan, it is estimated to still have 70% of its luminance after 35000 to 50000 hours of usage comparing to 8000hours for fluorescent life span and 2000 for Incandescent. At 3 hours a day usage, 40,000 hours translate into 36.5 years. Modern LED bulbs can create a wide range of lighting color ( between 2500Kelvin (K) and 7000 (K). Residential lighting is typically 2700 to 3000K ( Warm White), office and business lighting is typically 4000K to 5000K (Daylight). A recent study finds that the light emiited by the semiconductor chips used in certain wavelenght LEDs produce very low levels of Ultraviolet light, thus giving it unique properties such as not damaging sensitive skin or eyes, not damaging fabrics and materials such as furniture or art work and not attracting insects which makes it perfect for garden, outdoor, art display, furniture gallery, home and business lighting. Furthermore unlike incandescent and fluorescent, light emitted by LED is constant and does not flicker, which means reading and working under a LED light will not tire your eyes as quickly.
An LED semiconductor naturally creates less heat than incandescent light bulbs and combined with aluminiun heat sinks at the base of the LED, it can keep the LED light bulb at most warm to touch even after prolonged use. Although the aluminun heat sinks will still become hot, it will not radiate heat, heating the air around the bulb thus making it much safer and not damaging to lighting fixtures or people.
Finally the bulb of an LED is made of polycarbonate plastic whic can be designed to evenly distribute light without restricting luminance. Since it is plastic it will not break and shatter under shock like the glass bulbs and tubes.