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It has been a while since we were introduced to the concept of LED lighting. LED is an acronym for a light emitting diode. The mechanism that makes this work is when current goes through tiny chips and lights up the diodes that in turn results to what we see as visible light.
Performance and lifetime-wise, LEDs do better than its counterparts fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.
•LEDs are more efficient by 90 percent compared to incandescent bulbs.
•LEDs do not fail and burn out. Instead, they gradually dim over time.
Due to the better efficiency of LEDs and its longer lifespan, they also come with additional cost. They were introduced to the market much pricier than its predecessors. Because of this, a lot of people, especially those who use a lot of bulbs for commercial lighting, have had difficulty switching to LEDs.
In recent years, the price of LEDs has been consistently going down. At the very least, more and more people appreciate the energy-saving aspect of LEDs and see the cost difference worth it.
Since then, a lot has been made to continuously improve the performance of LEDs, to encourage more consumers to invest in using these instead of incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.
Here are some of the ways take on to improve the performance of LEDs:
1. Address Initial Problems.
As with any other products, there are issues with LED that were pointed out, especially when it was still very new. One of the most crucial ones is called droop. It is when the efficiency of the LED drops when there is an increase in the current that runs through it.
This is now being addressed by using materials that increase the efficiency of LED even with the necessary increase in current. This allows the LED to tolerate higher input without compromising the output.
2. Improved Color
One issue with LEDs before was that it is not as effective in color rendering as its counterparts. Now with the use of phosphor materials, there is increased efficiency in performance when it comes to lighting needs that are in specific colors.
3. New Materials
As for the industry demands, more LED applications have surfaced over the years. There are now large-scale uses of LEDs like outdoor lighting. In this case, LEDs can come at a price so to address this; newer materials that can deliver the same performance are now being used and are expected to maintain efficiency without doubling the price range.
This also increases the overall appeal of using LEDs.
4. Thermal Aspect
Of all the factors that can improve the performance of LEDs, this is the most crucial. The components that make up LEDs are electronic devices that produce a significant amount of heat when used. This heat then can interfere with the ability of the LED to produce the right intensity of the output and reduce its lifespan.
To address this, there are ways that temperature can be controlled so as not to affect the LED efficiency.
In order to manage thermal issues, there have been cooling methods employed by LED manufacturers. These methods can be classified as active heat sinking and passive heat sinking.
Passive cooling is when the device uses the concepts of natural convection and conduction to reduce the thermal absorption of the device. This is supplemented by a heat sink. This heat sink can minimize the amount of heat by hastening the natural processes of thermodynamics in cooling down the components of LEDs. However, for bigger power outputs, having a passive cooling mechanism may not be enough.
Active cooling is when in addition to a heat sink, another cooling agent is employed to immediately disperse the heat from the led components. A fan is a form of an active heat sink. The fan forces air to the built-in heat sink and effectively cools it down. An active heat sink enables a smaller heat sink size and effectively lessening the cost.
The LED market has been growing because of the more varied applications that it is being used for. This poses a challenge for manufacturers to develop the LED technology and cultivate the efficiency and longevity that made it very appealing in the first place. This is to make a cost-effective analysis to speak for how it can be a worthy investment.