What are LEDs?

Bulbman_LEDLEDs, or light–emitting diodes, are semiconductor devices that produce visible light when an electrical current is passed through them. LEDs are a type of Solid State Lighting (SSL), as are organic light–emitting diodes (OLEDs) and light–emitting polymers (LEPs).

How is LED lighting different than other light sources?

LED lighting differs from incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting in several ways. When designed well, LED lighting can be more efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting.

LED lighting products use light emitting diodes to produce light very efficiently. An electrical current passed through semiconductor material illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs. The heat produced is absorbed into a heat sink.

Common LED colors include amber, red, green, and blue. There is actually no such thing as a “white” LED. To get white light the kind we use for lighting our homes and offices, different color LEDs are mixed or covered with a phosphor material that converts the color of the light. The phosphor is the yellow material you can see on some LED products.  Colored LEDs are widely used as signal lights and indicator lights, like the power button on a computer.

LEDs are now being incorporated into bulbs and fixtures for general lighting applications. LEDs are small and provide unique design opportunities. Some LED bulb solutions may look like familiar light bulbs and some may not but can better match the performance of traditional light bulbs. Some LED light fixtures may have LEDs built–in as a permanent light source.

LEDs are “directional” light sources which means they emit light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs which emit light — and heat — in all directions. For this reason, LED lighting is able to use light and energy more efficiently in many applications.

Incandescent bulbs produce light using electricity to heat a metal filament until it becomes “white” hot or is said to incandesce.  As a result, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat.

In a CFL, an electric current flows between electrodes at each end of a tube containing gases. This reaction produces ultraviolet (UV) light and heat. The UV light is transformed into visible light when it strikes a phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb.

LED Basics

The useful life of LED lighting products is defined differently than that of other light sources, such as incandescent or CFL. This is because LEDs typically do not “burn out” or fail. Instead, they experience lumen depreciation, where the amount of light produced decreases and light color appearance can shift over time. Instead of basing the useful life of an LED product on the time it takes for 50% of a large group of lamps to burn out (as is the case with traditional sources), LED product “lifetime” is set based on a prediction of when the light output decreases 30 percent.

LEDs and Heat
Because LED lighting systems don’t radiate heat the way an incandescent or halogen light bulb does, the heat produced from the power going into the product must be drawn away from the LEDs. This is usually done with a heat sink, which is a passive device that absorbs the heat produced and dissipates it into the surrounding environment. This keeps LEDs from overheating and burning out. Thermal management is probably the single most important factor in the successful performance of an LED product over its lifetime because the higher the temperature at which the LEDs are operated, the more quickly the light will degrade, and the shorter the useful life will be.

LED products use a variety of unique heat sink designs and configurations to manage heat, so they may look very different from each other. Regardless of the heat sink design, all LED products that have earned the ENERGY STAR have been tested to ensure that they properly manage the heat so that the light output is properly maintained through the end of its rated life.


Obsolescence of the Incandescent

Incandescent-Light-BulbMost people tend to look romantically at objects from our past. However, when it comes to the incandescent light bulb (you know, the one Thomas Edison perfected), its’ technology has long been outdated. Where else, in today’s modern world, do we still clamor to use 19th Century technology? Sorry typewriter. ☹ It’s the 21st Century, and the phasing out of the “A” shape incandescent light bulb continues.

(Even the government is phasing them out)

If you still want to use a bulb that runs with a high wattage draw, while having a low lumens per watt (LPW) rating, Halogen light bulbs are for you. Halogens produce equivalent lumen output to incandescent, while running on about 25% less wattage. The incandescent bulb has a poor (LPW, or efficacy) rating. At its’ most efficient, the 100 watt bulb had 17 LPW. The Halogen “A” shape replacement bulbs fare slightly better, measuring in at 22 LPW, at their most efficient.

Today’s new LED (light emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent) replacement bulbs, can average around 65 LPW. That average number is at the low end of their LPW scale. By using CFL or LED light bulbs, the consumer uses less energy, paying less for the electricity to operate them, and getting longer life from their light bulbs.

It’s 2014, and the future beckons. We recommend upgrading to a more energy efficient product, like LED, CFL or Halogen bulbs. If you don’t, you may just be left in the dark.

EasyLux LED

imgres Install Guide for the Eazylux LED light

EazyLux LED tube lighting is the first true direct retrofit replacement for T5 and T8 fluorescent tube lamps. It is also the world’s first UL/cUL compliant LED Tube Lamp that is compatible with traditional fluorescent luminaires with ballasts. Installation is exactly the same as replacing a traditional fluorescent lamp. There is no need to re-wire or by-pass the existing ballast. Not only does the EazyLux LED tube light reduce energy costs by more than 40%, the lifespan of EazyLux LED lighting is also more than double that of traditional fluorescent tube lighting. EazyLux offers all the benefits of environmental sustainability, cool-surface, and nearly perfect power factor in one LED lighting tube. The innovative EazyLux LED is powered by our patented electrical, optical and mechanical designs to easily replace fluorescent lamps while offering all the benefits of LED lighting.

The pictures show a direct replacement of linear fluorescent tubes with Luxul’s EazyLux LED tube using the existing ballasts.