In 1907, an English experimenter, Henry Joseph Round, working in the Marconi Laboratories discovered that when an electrical charge of 10 volts is applied to a silicon carbide crystal, the crystal emits a yellowish light, This was the discovery of the light-emitting properties of semiconductor materials.
The discovery was made 28 years after Edison patented the incandescent lamp. However, not much was done to develop the light emitting semiconductor until 1955 when experimenters started trying out different kinds of crystals.
Development of the LED
The light emitting diode (LED) is an electronic device consisting of wiring that connects an electric charge to a piece of semiconductor crystal. Modern LED technology employs Nanocrystals, which are very thin synthetic crystals (about the size of a fleck of pepper).
When an electrical charge is applied to these substances, visible light of controllable color and properties is generated. The full utility of the LED for lighting had to wait for modern semiconductor technology while other lighting technology got a big head start.
Light Emitting Diodes are small solid state devices that can improve your commercial lighting and reduce your costs. The diodes themselves, analogous to the filament of a light bulb, are mounted in various ways distribute the light evenly, for appearance, and to connect to your power source in a way compatible with your present wiring.
The actual LED lamps may resemble your existing light fixtures or take on entirely new and decorative forms.
New LED bulbs contain individual diodes arranged in clusters. Each diode emits light in only one direction. They are arranged in such a way that the light is distributed as the user desires. The lighting units are constructed with diffuser lenses which make the light even.
Comparative Advantages of LED Lighting
LEDs generate more light for each watt of power than incandescent bulbs. LEDs produce very little heat. Virtually all the energy goes into the creation of light.
The LED is 85 percent more efficient than the vacuum/filament (incandescent) form of lighting and 70 percent more efficient than the charged argon/mercury (fluorescent) method of lighting. A single light fixture with 60-watt incandescent bulbs consumes about 525 kWh of electricity in a year. An equivalent LED lamp uses closer to 65 kWh.
LED's contain no harmful materials (fluorescents contain mercury and need to be specially recycled). LED's light up immediately (unlike fluorescents) and can be dimmed like incandescent bulbs.
Both incandescent lighting and fluorescent lighting depend on vacuum seals which eventually begin to leak. The heated filament in the incandescent bulb eventually weakens and breaks. The fluorescent bulb depends on a complex electrical ballast device to control the flow of electricity through the gases in the bulb. These parts have a limited lifespan.
Nothing burns or reaches melting temperatures in the LED. The LED does not depend on strictly sealed vacuums. The first LEDs were connected right on a table top, Heat does build up in the enclosure with time and eventually damages the crystals, causing failure.
However, this process of inevitable deterioration in the chip typically takes 20 or 25 times longer than the failure of fluorescents. Some LEDs can last up to 50,000 hours (continuous operation for 5.7 years). An incandescent light may last 750 hours (continuous operation for 31 days).
There are unlimited ways designers can construct their lighting using semiconductors. This allows great flexibility in the way you can employ LED lights into any commercial setting.
The most commonly used light fixture in commercial applications is the fluorescent tube. LED tubes have been developed to replace fluorescent tubes. These tubes will last 3 to 5 times longer than fluorescent tubes and will be 50 percent more energy efficient, significantly reducing cost. The LED upgrade will more than pay for itself.
LEDs emit light in only one direction, reducing the need for reflectors and masks to trap light and direct it. LEDs are very effective in recessed down-lighting or task lighting. They can be used at very close quarters because they generate almost no heat.
LED lighting is getting more and more popular in street lights, parking garage lighting, walkway lighting, refrigerated case lighting (where the lack of heat generation is an additional advantage), kitchen under-cabinet lights. LED lighting for commercial applications has grown tremendously in recent years and has become the standard for lighting restaurants, stores, gas stations, gyms, and businesses throughout the United States.
MultiSite LED Lighting provides high quality, super-efficient lighting to change the energy and maintenance future of your company. We provide a program that allows savings to pay for the conversion, keeping your cash flow positive from the beginning. Please contact us to learn more.