Understand Significant Advancements in LED Technology
Thank you Lisa Swienton for sharing your insight and expertise in this post.
LED technology is rapidly changing. While the efficacy of LED continues to improve thanks to new materials, better manufacturing processes, and new configurations, these rapid technological advancements also prompt questions regarding cost, quality, sustainability and ROI.
Whether you are new to the lighting retrofit business or a seasoned expert, keeping up with the pace can be especially challenging. We hope these answers help as you navigate the world of LED.
1. How Does LED Lighting Differ from Other Energy-Efficient Lighting Technologies?
The efficiency of LED technology offers you the potential for cutting general lighting energy use in half by 2030, saving energy dollars and carbon emissions in the process. With many unique characteristics – including compact size, long life and ease of maintenance, resistance to breakage and vibration, good performance in cold temperatures, lack of infrared or ultraviolet emissions, and instant-on performance – LEDs are beneficial in many lighting applications. Additionally, LEDs have the ability to dim and to provide color control.
Example: Take a Look at How the Vatican is Using LED to Lower Energy Usage by 85%
2. Do LEDs Provide High Quality Light?
Key aspects of high-quality light are the color appearance of the light itself, which is described by its correlated color temperature (CCT), and how the light affects the color appearance of objects, which is commonly called color rendition. Color rendition can be quantified using the color rendering index (CRI), or with one of several other recently developed metrics.
LED light sources have demonstrated that they can achieve a wide range of color quality, depending on the demands of the lighting application. However, in order to achieve high levels of color quality, there are typically cost and efficiency tradeoffs. In general, a minimum CRI of 80 is recommended for interior lighting, and LED products can readily achieve this performance. CRIs of 90 or higher indicate excellent color fidelity; LEDs can also meet this threshold.
VIDEO: TM-30 Basics
See full article here: Answers to FAQs on the IES TM-30 Metric System (via energy.gov)
3. How Long Do LEDs Last?
An LED luminaire’s “useful life” is often described by the number of operating hours until it only emits 70 percent of its initial light output. Good-quality white LED lighting products are expected to have a useful life of 30,000 to 100,000 hours or more. A primary cause of lumen depreciation is due to heat generated at the LED junction. Unlike other light sources, LEDs don’t emit heat as infrared radiation, so it must be removed by conduction or convection. Thermal management is arguably the most important aspect of successful LED system design.
Furthermore, a luminaire’s Warranty is an important component in device selection – and they vary by manufacturer. Be sure to compare!
LED History: Take a Look Back at 50 Years of LED Technology
4. Are LEDs Cost-Effective?
Costs of LED lighting products vary widely. Good-quality LED products may carry a significant cost premium compared to standard lighting technologies. However, costs are declining rapidly. LED package prices declined to approximately $1/klm by 2016, resulting in dramatically reduced LED lamp and luminaire prices. In general, LED lighting products are still more expensive than their conventional counterparts, but when the costs of energy and maintenance are included in the total cost of ownership, LED-based products have a distinct advantage.
Did you know: Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the US. It’s predicted that by 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh of electricity, compared to no LED use. This is equivalent to the annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices. (via Energy.gov)