Long Operating Life
Commercial and industrial consumers are generally interested in using a light source that is reliable and long lasting. Frequent lamp replacements can be costly from a maintenance perspective, and failed lamps could expose lamp operators to liabilities (e.g., busy highways and roadways). In fact, maintenance savings is one of the primary drivers of market adoption of LEDs in several markets, such as streetlights and parking lights. Presently, LED technology offers an operational life of up fifty times longer than those of incandescent sources. Researchers indicate that operating life will continue to improve as the technology develops.
Reduced Radiant Heat
LED conversion efficiency (i.e., efficacy) has improved rapidly and is expected to continue; current LED devices meet or exceed efficacies of fluorescent and HID sources. As a higher proportion of electricity is converted into visible light, a smaller proportion generates waste heat. For example, incandescent sources convert most of the power they use into infrared (IR) radiation (radiated heat), which then dissipates to the surroundings. LEDs do not emit IR (unless specifically designed to do so); instead, the waste heat generated by the LED must be removed by a heat-conducting material (a “heat sink”). The reduction in heat radiated into conditioned space may reduce the air-conditioning or refrigeration load.
Minimal Light Loss
Conventional lamps generally have uniform emission in all directions, which can result in lower fixture efficiencies due to the light loss as the light is absorbed in the back of the fixture. Light emitted from an LED device is more directional and controlled, meaning that fewer photons are trapped within the lighting fixture. LED sources can be easily targeted to illuminate particular parts of an object or area.
For most applications, LED luminaires can be designed with dimming controls and motion sensors to adjust brightness levels. For example, LEDs can be dimmed more efficiently than fluorescents because rapid and frequent on/off cycles do not affect the life of the LED, enabling the use of movement-triggered controls. These controls can reduce the annual operating hours of the LED system and lead to greater energy savings than we calculate in this report. LED A-type replacements have also recently become commercially available, and unlike compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) alternatives offer dimming capabilities similar to that of conventional incandescent lamps. As LED lighting becomes more common for household applications, fully integrated LED dimming controls may become a reality in new construction with the potential to save even more energy in the future.
The light production mechanism for LED devices is fundamentally different than those of traditional light sources, such as incandescent and fluorescent lamps. LED sources produce light by passing a current through thin layers of a semi-conductive material, which causes the recombination of electron-hole pairs in the material to emit light. Inherent in this solid-state light production mechanism is the ability of the source to resist vibration and impact, making it an ideal light source for streetlight and parking light applications. The LED is encased in a tough epoxy plastic resin instead of a fragile glass bulb. Therefore, the device is more resistant to shattering or impact damage in these applications.
Enhanced Performance at Low Temperatures
LED performance inherently improves as operating temperatures drop. This gives LED outdoor lighting an advantage over other light sources as its efficacy increases when exposed to winter weather conditions. It should also be noted that due to their reduced radiated heat, LEDs do not automatically melt away snow and ice, and this needs to be considered when installing LEDs in winter weather conditions.
LED luminaires are made of multiple diodes and are less likely to fail simultaneously which will in turn lead to less downtime for applications such as street lighting, and thereby enhancing roadway safety. For high availability work sites within the Oil & Gas industry having long life and more durable Luminaires allows for less site downtime for maintenance leading to long-term increased productivity.
Small Overall Size
Due to their compact size, LED devices are an excellent option where size or weight is a concern. For example, unlike compact fluorescent technology, LEDs and be designed for decorative lighting applications as well as MR16 lamps which have a very space constraining form factor. This is because the LED and driver system is much smaller than a CFL and integrated ballast system.
Fluorescent lamps and CFLs contain mercury, a toxic substance that requires special handling for disposal. CFLs contain an average of 4 milligrams (mg) of mercury (EPA ENERGY STAR® (a), 2010); in contrast, LEDs contain no mercury and require no special handling for disposal. All WCL LED luminaires are RoHS compliant.
Improved Product Appearance
LED lamps are ideal for retail lighting due to their directional control and minimal heat radiation. Additionally, jewellery lit by LED lamps appears to sparkle more brightly because an LED lamp contains multiple diodes, which create many reflections off the jewel’s facets compared to a single incandescent or fluorescent bulb with equal lumen output.
Enhanced Color Rendering
Most LED outdoor area and streetlights in the market have color temperatures of 3,000 to 6,000 Kelvin (K Rating) and can have color-rendering index (CRI) of approximately 85. With these color characteristics, LED outdoor area and streetlights compare favourably with high pressure sodium lamps that have color temperatures of approximately 2,000 Kelvin, providing a yellow/orange light, and color rendering index as low as 21.