Wednesday, May 26, 2010

US DOE Launches LED Lighting Plan to Accelerate the Rise of the Solid State Lighting

To ensure the successful introduction of LED lighting and strengthen the promotion of high efficiency, high quality LED lighting products, the US Department of Energy, who does not hope to repeat the failure of CFL early-stage promotion has driven related standardization organizations to define the Energy Star standard for LED lighting products.

As of the April 1st, 2010, there were a total of 17 manufacturers with 19 brands and 300 products with the Category A- residential and non-residential LED luminaires certification. Most of them are major western luminaire makers.

Cree and Philips, both well-known LED packager and luminaire maker combined into one, are included the Energy Star certified manufacturer list. The famous phosphor maker Intematix also appears in the additional March list. As for the Taiwan maker, the recessed downlight of Neo-Neon Holdings Limited received LED Energy Star certification on December 4th, 2009.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Taiwan to substitute LED street lights for existing 1.3 million traditional models from next year

The President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou has announced that following the installation of LED traffic lights throughout Taiwan by the end of this year, the government will start to substitute LED street lights for existing 1.3 million traditional models from next year, as a prelude of the adoption of LED light at all government offices.

The LED street light program alone will bring on business opportunity topping NT$10 billion for domestic LED light makers, such as Epistar corporation, Everlight Electronics, LiteOn Technology, and Delta Electronics, but may aggravate the shortage in the supply of LED chips.

Ma made the announcement during a visit to Delta Electronics, when its chairman Bruce C.H. Cheng reported to him the company`s plan to invest NT$20 billion in the green sector, including electric car, e-paper, solar energy, and LED, in response to the government`s promotion of the green industry.

Ma pointed to the vigorous development of Taiwan`s LED industry, whose output ranks first place in terms of volume worldwide and second place in value, with its global market share reaching 25% last year, up from 16% in 2008, the second highest worldwide, trailing on Japan.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cree Increases Drive Current for XLamp® MX-6 Lighting-Class PLCC LED to 1A; Delivers 160% More Light Output

At Lightfair 2010 in Las Vegas, Booth 746, Cree are relaunching their Raye fixture, which is now based on Cree MX-6 LEDs.

Cree’s the XLamp® MX-6 LED with higher maximum forward drive current. At 1 A of current, XLamp MX-6 LEDs provide up to 300 lumens in cool white (6500 K) and 245 lumens in warm white (3000 K).

The MX-6’s PLCC package is optimized for indoor lighting where enhanced light uniformity and LED-to-LED color consistency is important.

According to Ann Reo, IO Lighting founder and general manager, the MX-6 LED has dramatically reduced the power consumption for this cove and wall slot fixture, giving us superior luminaire efficacy. Raye is now a great retrofit option for existing fluorescent cove lighting applications because it delivers the same luminous intensity at 25 percent less power.

“By qualifying our XLamp MX-6 LEDs at higher drive currents we are giving customers additional design flexibility,” said Paul Thieken, Cree director of marketing, LED Components. “Cree continues to ship the broadest portfolio of lighting-class LEDs, optimized for a wide range of lighting applications.”

Friday, May 7, 2010

iWatt Nabs EDN’s “Most Innovative Product” Award With the iW3610 Dimmable LED Driver IC

iWatt, Inc., a leader in digital power IC products and technology, announced that the iW3610 AC/DC digital power controller for dimmable LED lighting has won the Most Innovative Product Award in the Power Lighting category at EDN’s 20th Annual Innovation Awards Competition. Instituted in 1990, EDN’s Innovation Awards honor the people, products, and technologies that have shaped the semiconductor industry over the past year.

"iWatt's iW3610 meets 21st century requirements with 21st century technology. Our advanced, patented adaptive digital control technology combined with our advanced analog technology results in another market leading product" said Jerry Zheng, VP of Technical Marketing at iWatt.

“It is an honor to be recognized by EDN as having the most innovative dimmable LED driver IC” said Ron Edgerton, President and CEO of iWatt.

The iW3610 addresses the most pressing requirements of the emerging solid state LED lighting market; namely, long life, high efficiency to reduce heat loss and smaller physical size with a low bill-of-material cost. The iW3610 is the industry’s first primary side regulated digital PWM controller for 3W up to 25W dimmable LED luminaires that eliminates the opto-coupler required for isolation. The device achieves 5% LED current regulation over line, load and temperature variations for maintaining constant brightness and flicker free operation.

Over 80% efficiency is achieved thanks to valley mode switching and proprietary adaptive digital control algorithm that adjusts the switching frequency relative to line voltage. Maximum switching frequency of 200 kHz allows the design of small size transformer and use of smaller passive components to fit the LED driver electronics in space constrained Edison base sockets. Intelligent algorithm ensures that the iW3610 automatically detects the presence or absence of a wall dimmer be it a leading edge or a trailing edge dimmer and allows 2% to 100% flicker free dimming range.

The device allows automatic reduction of LED current at high temperature to ensure that the LEDs never operate outside their safe operating area. A 15W dimmable LED driver PCB can be designed with PCB footprint under 30mm x 75mm and only forty seven components for true dimmable retro-fit lamp replacement. The company has successfully enabled market leading luminaire manufacturers to design, develop and release to production dimmable GU10, A-type bulbs and PAR lamps using iW3610.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Article on a french newspaper "Le Figaro": Homelights, 18 months of experience

We often need a smaller than self. Toshiba has an alliance with a French start-up, Homelights, to market in Europe its LED lamps in food superstores and DIY stores.
Homelights was founded in June 2008 by Ludovic Rambert, a self-made man of 36 years. "I worked in retail and I was convinced that a revolution was brewing in the lighting”, he says simply.

He made his first table with all investors subject to the ISF, who can exempt a part of their seed money. Homelights raise this way 450,000 euros. The company is currently realized its third table. In 2008, Homelights set up a joint venture with a Chinese industrial, Foudi Light Electronics, which manufactures most of its LED range.

The products are designed by the Homelights’ Franco-Chinese team based in Shanghai. The success won’t be long. The last year, the french realized a turnover of 1.4 million euros. This year, he gamble on sales between 10 and 12 million euros.

Ludovic Rambert chose to manufacture its products in China, not so much by reason of the cost of production than to be near of its electronic components suppliers.

The ideal would be to have an assembly plant in France. This would allow us to reduce our manufacturing delays and costs of non-quality, "says Ludovic Rambert, who specifies sometimes refused" half of a production for quality problems: the standards are not the same in China and in Europe”

In addition, the production cycle in China is three months, including travel time. It must therefore be six months of inventory. A real problem in a market which evolved precisely every three months.

"To manufacture in France would allow us to be more competitive, more reactive. With Toshiba, we wish to repatriate a part of the production. But it is a real challenge of re-industrialization of France," said Ludovic Rambert.

With its Japanese partner, he worked to assure that a packing plant at Dieppe, in the facilities of Toshiba. The project is under financial assessment. By 2012, the two partners would like to also achieve the assembly. A fine prospect for the future of the site

Friday, April 23, 2010

With modulization of LED Streetlights, 870,000 Streetlights are to be Installed Globally in 2010, a 42% Increase YoY

Focusing on the future of LED streetlight development, research institute LEDinside indicated that although streetlight standards have not been established and regulations of the product specifications are set according to different needs in different regions, LED streetlight becomes modulized, and intelligent control system of LED streetlight will be more complete. It is estimated that a total of 870,000 units of LED streetlights will be installed in 2010, an increase of 42.62% compared to 610,000 in 2009.

From the global market perspective, LEDinside noted that LED streetlight standards around the world are still being drafted. Among these countries, the fastest in progress is in Taiwan, which launched the CNS 15233 LED streetlight standards. China’s street lighting requirements are still applicable to the CJJ45 traditional streetlight standards, while LED streetlight projects of other governments are still being regulated in the form of standards. LED streetlight standards in the United States and Europe are still being drafted. Judging from the current standards of LED streetlight, there are strict requirements on the angle of light source, quality, and luminous decay.

Nevertheless, there are several distinct trends in the development of LED streetlights in 2010. According to LEDinside, the advantages of using LED modulize are that they are easy to replace and can reduce the maintenance costs. Therefore, more and more LED streetlight vendors have introduced modular LED streetlight products, and some of the vendors have integrated the heat sink, optic, mechanic, and electric into a single module, while others are in the form of light source module separated from the thermal dissipation.

Another important trend is the LED streetlight intelligent control system, noted LEDinside. The current intelligent control system adjusts the brightness of the LED streetlight according to the road conditions, such as whether pedestrians or cars pass by, thereby increasing the service life of LED streetlight and conserving energy. The intelligent system can be self-sufficiently powered by solar or wind power, without relying on municipal electricity, which is suitable for off-grid applications in remote areas. In future development, the intelligent system will automatically adjust brightness, color, and angle, and even allow real-time monitoring.

As for the policies, currently the most active countries in developing LED streetlights are China and Taiwan. However, both governments’ subsidy policies shifted in 2010. Taiwan government has accomplished the mission of supporting the development of LED streetlight manufacturers through several policies. Hence, the subsidies for the LED industry in 2010 will be shifted from LED streetlights to other LED applications such as road signs, traffic lights, and other related purposes.

China installed around 250,000 streetlights in 2009, and LEDinside estimates that China’s LED streetlight market will grow by 60%, reaching over 400,000 lamps. In 2010, the Chinese government's subsidy policies for the LED industry have also shifted from outdoor lighting to indoor lighting.

Unlike the situation in China, the United States government has not initiated a large-scale LED streetlight subsidy program. Each state government or power company promotes its own subsidy program. In terms of progress, the project proposed by Los Angeles in early 2008 was the most remarkable – an installation of 140,000 LED streetlights in five years. Los Angeles has up to 209,000 streetlights, which is the nation's second largest next to New York City. Since the initiation of the project in 2008, conventional streetlights have been replaced by LED streetlights at the rate of 30,000 units per year.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

U.S Department of Energy Launches National Collaboration on LED Street Lights

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that Seattle City Light, Seattle's publicly owned power utility, has been selected to lead a national effort to guide municipalities in evaluating light emitting diode (LED) street lights. The Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium will collect, analyze, and share information and lessons learned about LED street-lighting demonstrations to facilitate the adoption of this energy efficiency technology.

Starting today, cities, power providers and others who invest in street and area lighting are invited to join the consortium and share their experiences through national and regional meetings, Webcasts, Web-based discussion forums, and other means. The goal is to build a repository of valuable field experience and data that will significantly accelerate the learning curve for buying and implementing high-quality, energy efficient LED street lights. This DOE effort is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Interest in LED street lighting is rapidly increasing country-wide, fueled in part by cities aiming to replace existing street lighting with energy efficient LEDs, which can significantly reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Many cities and towns are using Recovery Act funding distributed through DOE's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Program to move toward their energy efficiency goals. "As communities look to this technology to cut energy consumption, reduce their carbon footprint, and lower operating costs, this national consortium will share valuable information so they can make smarter, more informed decisions about the equipment they buy," said Jim Brodrick, DOE Lighting Program Manager.

Edward Smalley, manager of streetlight engineering at Seattle City Light, will lead the collaboration. Joining Jim Brodrick and Edward Smalley for the announcement in Seattle were Mike McGinn, Mayor of Seattle, and Ed Ebrahimian, Director of the Bureau of Street Lighting for the City of Los Angeles, who signed on as the Consortium's first members.

Friday, April 16, 2010

LED TV backlights to drive escalation in LED production

Analysts forecast a ramp in LED-backlit LCD TV sales, but will LED makers be able to deliver the required capacity? MAURY WRIGHT reports.

There’s a very good chance that LED-backlit LCD TVs in all sizes will significantly boost LED production requirements immediately and over the next few years. Most indications—including analyst projections and product introductions at the recent Consumer Electronics Show— point to a faster uptake of LED backlighting than previously predicted. But can the LED suppliers handle the increased demand, and will consumers actually pay the premium for LED-backlit TVs? We can’t definitively answer these questions, but we can see an unmistakable trend toward LED backlighting.

Bruce Berkoff, chairman of the LCD TV Association, states “LED-backlit TVs are going to take over the industry.” Berkoff won’t predict when LED-backlit sets will take a predominant share of market, but he can tell you why. According to Berkoff, consumers care about three things in buying large-screen TVs—“image quality, WAF (wife acceptance factor), and green.” Berkoff states, “LED-backlit sets win in all three areas.”

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hilton Ocala Hotel gets greener, switches to LEDs

Not content to rest after being awarded a LEED Silver certification, The Hilton Ocala Hotel in Ocala, FL had a desire to become even greener and more energy-efficient. That desire led the company to install LED lighting in the lobby and other public spaces throughout the hotel.

As Ocala’s premier hotel, the management felt the need to lead by example by finding and using new technologies and products to conserve energy, reduce their carbon footprint and lower operating costs.

“After the intense process to get LEED certified, we decided that wasn’t enough. We felt we could do better, we wanted to do better” said Joe Shanks, General Manager, Hilton Ocala Hotel. “Our corporate office pointed us to Taft-Durst, Inc, an energy saving solutions organization that specializes in energy efficient products for the hospitality industry. It wasn’t long before we came to realize how mature the LED industry is becoming and how much money we could save by switching to LEDs.”

From an economics standpoint, LEDs make a lot of “cents”. Richard Jabara, COO of Meyer Jabara Hotels, the parent company of the Hilton Ocala Hotel made the requirements clear. “I want our hotels to be as environmentally friendly and responsible as we can make them, but we need to do it in an economically sound manner. I gave Taft-Durst our guidelines – give me a return on investment of 18 months or less.”

“That was the easy part” remarked Maura Taft, President of Taft-Durst, Inc. “LEDs are so energy efficient and last so much longer than any other lamp. The savings analysis demonstrated that the LEDs were going to provide Meyer Jabara Hotels with ROI’s of between 8 and 18 months and as little as six months in some applications.”

Taft-Durst performed an audit of the lighting needs of the hotel and suggested LED products that would not only reduce energy, labor and replacement costs, but do so with products that are much more environmentally friendly than CFLs, which if handled correctly and responsibly, need to be repackaged and taken to a recycling center.

In the lobby areas, 19 watt CFL’s were replaced with Fawoo 8 watt lamps. In the restaurant and elevators, 35 watt halogen MR16’s were replaced with Elation 4 watt MR16’s, and in the hotels hallways the 19 watt CFL’s were replaced with Philips 7 watt A19 globes.

“The consistency and quality of light in the hotel improved dramatically after the installation of the LEDs” remarked Randy Durst, VP of Sales for Taft-Durst, Inc. “LEDs don’t change color as CFLs do as they age. These LEDs are going to last for years.”

Randy Durst also pointed out that many LEDs are now dimmable, which is a must for the hospitality industry. Considering they don’t have mercury in them, nor is any mercury used in the manufacturing process, LEDs are greenest lamp on the market. LEDs typically last for 50,000 hours and are available in a variety of colors; warm, natural and cool white. LEDs don’t give off heat, so the HVAC systems aren’t constantly trying to compensate. And they are available in everything from a chandelier lamp to street lights. You name it, there is an LED for the job.

LEDs are the light of the future – today!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Valencia will replace 1000 streetlights with LEDs

Streets will be brighter, tourists safer, and electrical bills lesser in this Mediterranean resort region, thanks to 1,000 new energy-efficient and cost-effective streetlights using Seoul Semiconductor LEDs.

It’s all part of a program initiated by Revolution LED of Spain to replace existing light bulbs on streets and in public facilities throughout the country with high-quality, energy-efficient lighting.

One thousand street lights using LEDs from Seoul Semiconductor, the global-leading LED manufacturer, have been installed in the municipality of Rafelbunyol.

A year of testing by Revolution LED proved that Seoul Semiconductor’s long-lasting LEDs are up to the job. Seoul Semiconductor LEDs offer the world’s best luminous efficacy (100lm/W) from a single light source. They reliably deliver the necessary brightness and last three times longer than traditional street lights.

Revolution LED reports that energy consumption has been reduced 65 percent as a result of replacing 160 W light bulbs with Seoul Semiconductor’s. The lighting products used in street lights contain 56, 112 and 168 LEDs made by Seoul Semiconductor for three models respectively. The 56 W LED light bulb replaces the existing 160 W bulb and lasts three times as long. The performance of the light bulbs was verified by Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Valencian Institute of Technology.

The program is so successful, Sr. Vice President S.M. Lee of Seoul Semiconductor said, that 3,000 additional lighting fixtures soon will be installed throughout the Valencian Community. In addition, product testing is underway on the Atlantic coastal community of Jerez, Spain, where 23,000 street lights will be replaced.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What kind of lumino-consumer are you?

1 – For you, a bulb is rather:

▲a long-term investment

■ a consumable

● a bulb

2 – When you leave from your home:

● You switch on the entrance light to frighten robbers

■ Better than Versailles

▲Total extinction of lights

3 - The classic bulbs are going to disappear in 2012. It is time …

● to do nothing

▲to change our habits

■ to make stocks

4 - Which are your needs of choice for the purchase of a bulb?

▲the lifespan: the more it is long, the more it is good

● the same fitting and the same power as the one who burned out

■ The intensity: The more it shines, the better it is!

5 – When a bulb is dead:

●You grumble: “already!”

■ You throw it

▲You return it in store to recycle it

6 - For your inside, you are rather

■ A flamme with passion, that has to shine!

●Candles and kerosene lamp

▲Felted atmosphere and subdued light

7 – Switch on the light is for you …

■ A reflex, both day and night

●A budgetary heartbreak

▲A necessary evil

8 – Change a bulb it is for you …

▲An opportunity to save

■ An annoying task

●A dangerous movement, we can sometimes take a discharge

You have a maximum of ▲ :

→ you are lumino-malicious

You are concerned by the future of the planet and conscious of the energy-savings problematic. Obviously, LED and fluo-compact bulbs have no secret for you. You know their key points and their weak points, and you associate them according to your lighting needs and your desire atmosphere.

You have a maximum of ■ :

you are lumino-addict

For you, the light it is everywhere, all the time and with the maximum of intensity. Green speeches leave you cold, because you are convinced that your daily gestures have no impact on the global warming. So, why deny oneself!?

You have a maximum of ● :

→ you are lumino-has been

By conviction, you refuse any technical progress and you close the door on any domestic innovation. You prefer hundred times the dance glow of a candle to the diaphanous light of a bulb, and you switch on the neon of your living room only in case of extreme urgency.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Homelights invite you join the world for the Earth hour at 8:30pm on Saturday, 27th March 2010

Earth Hour will be held on Saturday March 27th at 8.30pm-9.30pm wherever you are in the world. This year Earth Hour aims to be the greatest show of action on climate change the world has ever seen. So sign up, turn off your lights and show the world what can be done.

Homelights invite you join the world at 8:30pm on Saturday, 27th March 2010 to tun off the lights for a brighter future

It’s Showtime!

History of LED Light

LED's or Light Emitting Diodes is basically just a diode that emits a single color light. An LED light is merely a die or semiconductor material, a lead (where the the die is placed) and some encapsulation epoxy that surrounds and protects the die. Pretty simply stuff really but the effects are amazing.

In the 1960's the first LED's were produced which resulted in a red light source. The problem though was the red LED's were not quite bright enough for humans to really be able to see it in normal day light operations. So the first LED applications were mostly indicator lights for military use. As technology progressed in the 1970's additional colors were created and as new colors became available, new uses for LED lights were in demand. LED's were produced in applications such as calculators, digital watches, test devices and more.

It wasn't until the 1980's when new materials were developed to make LED's brighter, more stable and cost efficient. With these advances, LED lights saw rapid growth. Since LED's are over 10 times brighter and more efficient than incandescent, neon etc., the sign industry started to boom.

Today, LED's are the standard in many applications such as traffic control (stop lights, pedestrian signals, hazard signs), message signs and automotive equipment and instruments. Electronic components highly depend on LED lights for many products and Toshiba is the leading manufacturer of LED's today.

LED's have come leaps and bounds since its inception 30 years ago and it does not look like its slowing down. From billboards to laptops to variable message signs and even medical equipment, LED lights are here to stay.

Main advantages of LED Light

Easy to install
Easy to maintain
Brighter than neon
Energy efficient
Energy saving
Cost saving
Safe to touch (no risk of burn)
Lasts up to 50k hours at least

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LED Ornamental Applications

The most spectacular LED applications include those designed for ornamental purposes. The ornamental class includes custom LED lighting designs with the intent to provide an ornamental lighting effect. Such applications may include automotive accent lighting, holiday lighting, artwork, and novelty LED products.

Perhaps the LED ornamental applications are among the most glamorous of all designs. The possibilities are endless thanks to a wide variety of single and multi-colored LED lights. Today's market diversity accounts for a wide variety of LED colors, beam angles, and package styles. In the future, advancing LED technology will continue to promote new ornamental LED lighting applications.

LED Ornamental Applications: Real World Examples

Artificial candles
Artwork illumination
Automotive headlight accents
Automotive interior lighting
Automotive under-carriage lighting
Backsplash lighting
Channel letter illumination
Christmas tree lighting
Clothing illumination
Holiday boarder lighting
Hollywood special effects lighting
Home interior accent lighting
Ink pen illumination
Light sculptures
Light torches
Special props lighting
Toy illumination
Wall washing

Monday, March 22, 2010

LED Utility Applications

Custom LED designs specifically for utility purposes are among the most technically advanced LED lighting applications. LED products classified as utility, perform a very specific task or function. Medical, dental, and plant growth LED array lights include a few basic examples of LED utility applications. Much of the common population remains unaware of the extensive number of abstract LED utility applications available in today's market. In many cases, the LED array may perform only a single function as a part of a larger scheme of operations. As LED popularity continues to grow, the technology is appearing more often in household devices and office equipment. As technology advances, LED utility applications will also continue to prosper. Three design characteristics are commonly associated with LED utility applications.

Hybrid Technology

In the majority of LED utility applications, the LED and associated circuitry operate in conjunction with various other systems. The overall design scheme may feature numerous technologies, often times with no direct relation to LED lighting. It is the entire system, including the LED light and numerous other technologies, which enable functionality.

Specific Optical Wavelength

LED utility applications typically perform a very specific function or task as a sub-component of an advanced system. Specific electromagnetic emissions produced by the LED light typically play a critical role in the overall operation. In many applications, infrared or ultra violet light produced by the LED lamp is beyond visible range of the human eye.

Stand-Alone LED Lamp

A single LED light is often sufficient in most LED utility applications. The radiometric or photometric flux produced by the emitter offers enough energy to perform a specific task or function. In addition, managing a single light emitting diode is more feasible than an LED light bar, where flux from numerous emitters would require strategic focusing.

LED Utility Applications: Real World Examples

Camera Flash
Copy machines
Digital scanners
Fiber optics
Plant growth
Remote controls
Robotic vision
Skin therapy
Ultra-violet charging
Ultra-violet sterilization

Friday, March 19, 2010

LED Indicator Applications

The most resourceful custom LED applications include those designed for indicator purposes. The indicator class includes any custom LED lighting product designed with the intent to provide an optical indication to identify a specific condition or status. Such applications may include aircraft runway lighting, automotive LED tail lights, and electronic message signs. LED availability and cost efficiency promote a wide variety of LED indicator applications. As a result, LED technology is most practical when applied in LED indicator applications. As technology advances, LEDs are becoming less expensive and increasingly efficient. However, the current day technology offers an abundance of new design opportunities for LED indicator applications such as LED brake tail lights. Three characteristics are typically associated with most LED indicator applications.

Medium Luminous Output

LEDs with an extreme luminous output rating are not always necessary for ordinary indicator applications, such as the LED tail light. A reduced luminous output can provide sufficient lighting while reducing heat dissipation and simplifying the overall design. Design costs and power requirements are considerably less.

Narrow Beam Angle

Generally, luminous intensity increases as the beam angle decreases. This promotes visibility from greater distances. Reduced beam angles are more commonly associated with LED indicator applications such as LED brake tail lights. Light emitting diodes containing beam angles between 15 and 70 degrees often provide the best results in most indicator applications.

Colored LED Optical Output

Indicator applications most commonly incorporate colored LED emitters. Aircraft lighting applications typically utilize red, green, and white LED lights. Automotive applications may utilize red, white, and orange. Electronic message signs may utilize single colors or a combination of red, blue, and green.

LED Indicator Applications: Real World Examples

Aircraft anti-collision lighting
Aircraft navigation lighting
Airport obstruction lighting
Airport rotating beacon
Airport runway lighting
Airport taxiway lighting
Airport VASI / PAPI
Automotive LED brake tail lights
Automotive marker lights
Automotive LED tail lights
Automotive turn signal lighting
Control panel indicators
Emergency vehicle signal lighting
Manufacturing equipment indicators
Message signs
Motorcycle brake lights
Motorcycle tail lights
Motorcycle turn signal lighting
Scrolling signs
Trailer truck side markers
Wide-load escort beacon

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

LED Illumination Applications

The most popular and rapidly growing LED applications are those intended strictly for illumination. Illumination applications pertain to any custom LED lighting design with the intent to provide visible light for human environments. A few examples include LED home lighting, office lighting, and LED array lights for special task lighting. LED illumination applications present the most challenging design parameters when compared with alternative applications, such as LED tail lights and LED brake tail lights. This is typically due to thermal issues as well as increased power requirements and higher cost of materials for the LED array. Thanks to advancing technology, light emitting diodes are becoming brighter, more efficient, and less expensive. These advances will lead to many custom LED lighting design opportunities for new LED illumination applications. Four general characteristics can typically identify most LED illumination applications.

High Luminous Output

LED illumination applications typically serve as the primary light source within a given environment. A relatively high luminous output is critical in most custom LED lighting illumination applications. Unfortunately, some common characteristics associated with higher luminous outputs from an LED bar include increased temperatures and power requirements.
White or Warm White LED Emission Color
LED products designed for illumination applications commonly utilize white or warm white LEDs. High power white LED lamps are more common and readily available in a variety of package styles and beam angles. However, some white LEDs provide surface illumination that appears more natural. Colors tend to look better when illuminated by a white LEDs that result in a more naturally appearing surface illumination.

Wide Beam Angle

Increased beam angles are commonly associated with LED illumination applications because of requirements for a broader area of illumination. LED lights containing a beam angle of 70 degrees or greater provide the best results in most illumination applications. Many high power LEDs are available in a 100 degree beam or greater. An optical lens designed to interface directly with the light emitting diode and printed circuit board offers a means of beam angle reduction. This reduction may be necessary if an LED light in the desired beam angle is unavailable or the specific application requires a narrow beam angle.

Direct Light Exposure

Most custom LED illumination applications operate on the concept of direct light exposure. LED emissions radiated directly into the intended environment result in maximum luminous output. Reflectors and diffusers are rarely beneficial in illumination applications. However, modern optical lenses tend to offer an efficient means of beam angle modification.

LED Illumination Applications: Real World Examples

Aircraft interior lighting
Aircraft landing lights
Aircraft taxi lights
Aquarium lighting LED array
Artifact lighting
Auditorium lighting
Automotive headlights
Automotive interior lighting
Bookshelf lighting
Cabinet lighting
Camper/RV interior lighting
Closet lighting
Desk lighting
Hallway lighting
Handheld flashlight
Home interior lighting
Jewelry case lighting
Marine interior lighting
Office interior lighting
Showcase lighting
Stadium lighting
Stairway lighting
Under-counter lighting
Workbench lighting

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chinese Government to promote a new wave of energy saving policy, LED industry to benefit

Environmental issues have become increasingly prominent, the Chinese continue to promote energy-saving policies, research institutions LEDinside said that China is expected by the end of 2010 to a total of 4 trillion yuan investment to stimulate the economy, it is estimated that LED (Light Emitting Diode) industry are also expected to benefit from, and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo will be following the Olympics after the LED set off another wave of peak demand.

With the LED light-emitting efficiency and decrease costs, the future penetration of the LED will also be increased dramatically. LED promising prospects for development, only possession of the poor global economy, but the Chinese government has plans to introduce a series of measures, the prospects for the LED market to pave the way.

China in October 2008 to start a "public body EnEV", called on all levels of government should be energy-efficient products, equipment incorporated into the government centralized purchasing directory, and strictly monitor the situation of energy consumption. At the same time, also published "EnEV civil" provisions of the construction unit should select the right renewable energy for heating, cooling, lighting and hot water supply. It is precisely because of these two regulations to implement and provide local government procurement of energy-saving LED related products, such as a legal basis, LEDinside forecast, in 2009 governments at all levels will follow the implementation of energy conservation policy, and a large number of procurement-related energy-saving products.

In addition, the State Council "to further expand domestic demand, promoting economic growth of 10 measures", it is necessary to come on stream 4 trillion, of which half have used to develop basic construction, LEDinside optimistic about the LED industry will benefit from this government policy.

At present, provinces LED industry development, in April 2007, in order to support LED and solar photovoltaic industry development and growth, Fujian Province promulgated the "Fujian Province, the promotion of LED and solar photovoltaic industry views the development of the implementation (2007-2010)", Chinese are the first introduction of such policies and Fujian Provinces have also activated LED and photovoltaic Electronics test platform, LED and photovoltaic applications, such as product design platform for a number of LED and photovoltaic industries of public technical service platform construction.

In February 2009, Fujian Information Industry Department, organized specifically to promote LED energy-efficient lighting products will attract the province near 30 major application vendors and near 20 LED industry participate, in addition, Fujian has also been actively introduce advanced technology is strong in the Taiwanese capital, Photoelectric foreign enterprises, to further improve the LED industry chain.

LEDinside pointed out that the LED and the photovoltaic industry in Fujian Province output value of more than hundred billion yuan, jumped to the national forefront of the development scale, the local three-an electron is now China's largest chip, wafer manufacturing enterprises, accounting for China's output of 5 percent, the biggest ultra-high-brightness LED epitaxy and chip industries of the industry.

As the field of LED package, Hualian Electronics has been a leader in the mainland, and Zhangzhou Fushun is currently China's largest LED screen manufacturers. LEDinside think, with the LED industry to raise the level of aggregation, at the industry forefront of forward-looking high-end large projects have recently settled in Fujian province to enhance the quality of the development of optoelectronics industry.

At present, Shenzhen is to develop faster LED industrial clustering, in Shenzhen, engaged in the semiconductor lighting technology and product R & D, production and application of more than 700 enterprises, industrial scale of about 15 billion yuan. At the same time, Shenzhen is the world's largest solar power LED lighting production and supply base, LED backlight source of the world's leading production and supply base, LED display The largest production and supply base, LED packaging and specialty industrial lighting in the main producing areas.

However, LEDinside said LED industry chain in Shenzhen high-end aspect than the weak, the relative lack of technological innovation capability, leading enterprises have not yet formed, therefore, the relevant departments in Shenzhen City in drawing up a "Shenzhen LED Industry Development Plan (2009-2015 years) "," Shenzhen City to promote energy-efficient LED lighting products demonstration project implementation plan "," LED industry in Shenzhen City Public Technology Service Platform Construction Program "," about the promotion of semiconductor lighting industry a number of measures "," about a bright LED industry agglomeration park planning studies and related implementation of the proposed "," LED to build a sourcing center for international transactions work program "and other documents, and will be introduced recently.

According to "LED Industry Development Plan (2009-2015 years)", in 2010, Shenzhen will strive to become an international impact on the LED industrial clustering, the estimated annual production value of 28.0 billion industry for more than 2015 built Chinese LED industry in technological innovation an important demonstration of the essential bases and global LED product R & D and production base, it is estimated that annual production value of more than 130 billion yuan.

According to "the promotion of LED Product demonstration project implementation plan", in 2009, Shenzhen will be implemented in the first batch of LED lighting products demonstration project by the city government to undertake projects in the case of business subsidies must and will achieve 50 percent energy savings over the local LED on upstream, midstream and downstream products to include government procurement directory.

Recently, the Guangdong Province Jiangmen City, Bureau of Information Industry will also be "green Jiangmen (semiconductor) light source products in government procurement guidance" formally introduced, and hopes that government departments buy energy-saving lamps to guide consumption and promote the development of energy-saving lamp industry, at the same time advocating energy-saving society minus carbon.

LEDinside noted that in recent years, Jiangmen LED optoelectronics industry of the rapid development of semiconductor lighting industry in 2008 industrial output value more than 3.2 billion yuan, the city involved in semiconductor lighting products company has more than 100 in order to really明丽Group HESHAN Silver Rain Lighting companies represented by 21 large-scale enterprises, is taking shape from the upper reaches of the chip to the package, and then to a variety of lighting products a complete industrial chain.

Jiangmen City Estate Management Bureau of Information Industry and Deputy Chief Technology leaf Hailin said that in 2009 in Jiangmen will implement this policy, is expected to spread throughout the city 100,000 can enjoy government subsidies for energy-saving lamps, the Government of the scheme is expected to stimulate private consumers follow-up of Jiangmen green (semiconductor) industry in the development of light sources is very favorable.

Dongguan, Guangdong Province, beginning from the large scale replacement of LED street lamps, plans at 2 years, in Guangzhou, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhaoqing, Zhongshan, Shantou city, achieve "thousands of thousands" (1000 kilometers 100,000 LED lamps) replacement plan.

In addition to being the implementation of local government procurement of energy-saving measures, LEDinside further said that China will also hold the Shanghai World Expo and Guangzhou Asian Games, Games, Shandong, Shenzhen Universiade, which required large-scale activity of the LED lamps landscape lighting, as well as large-scale billboard project will be bidding on the prospects of LED industry incentives.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

LEDs are increasingly used by automakers for car's lights

IN the lexicon of automakers’ design studios, two abbreviations — D.R.G., for down the road graphic, and D.L.O., for the daylight opening area of the windows — crop up frequently. Together, they refer to the characteristic form of a car that makes it instantly recognizable, the profile that quickly tells a viewer whether the vehicle is a Fusion or a Forester, an Eclipse or an Elantra.

But what happens to the graphic on the road when there is no daylight?

Designers can rely on lighting to help make sure their cars are easily identified in the dark. Besides illuminating the pavement ahead and signaling turns, lights — often referred to as jewelry by auto designers — are being used to express brand identity and model personality. The sapphire blue of high-intensity headlights or the ruby red of LED taillights are being deployed like a signature necklace or an ID bracelet.

The increasing use of light emitting diodes, or LEDs, in recent years signaled the beginning of a new focus on brand character. When Steve Mattin, a veteran Mercedes-Benz designer, took over as Volvo’s design chief, he promised to make the cars more identifiable at night through the use of LEDs. “I want the cars to be recognizable as Volvos from twice as far away,” Mr. Mattin, who left Volvo last spring, said at the unveiling of the XC60 crossover.

The XC60’s sinuously shaped taillight was recently included in a collection of notable designs of the last decade chosen by a respected designer, Konstantin Grcic, for an exhibition in London.Not all lighting signatures need be so complex. Lincoln has succeeded in creating night recognition by simply extending the taillight all the way across its MKX crossover in a bold horizontal band.

A similar shape brightens the MKZ sedan.Audi led the way in using LEDs as an element of its design signature. From the R8 sports car to the recently unveiled A8 sedan, Audi headlights are accented with strings of dotlike LEDs, faintly suggestive of holiday decorations.

Other forms of LEDs are used as taillights, resembling tubes or ribbons of light, on the A4 and A5.Stefan Sielaff, Audi’s head of design, said in an interview last year that LED lighting expressed precision and high tech, key elements of the Audi design language. “But each car needs a personality with lights,” he said. “I have an expert team doing nothing but light design.”

BMW designers aimed for consistency in the night view. For the 5 Series, they added a white brow of light above the headlights and taillights, and a fan-shaped array to its taillights, that give the car nighttime legibility.Infiniti’s taillights are recognizable at night by their circular constellations of red light, like Betsy Ross flags. Both the Nissan Maxima and Jaguar XF offer eye-catching zigzags of taillights.

The Honda Insight hybrid comes by its nighttime signature naturally: its high rear end and V-pattern rear lamps reflect the packaging of its batteries and power plant. On theCadillac CTS Sport Wagon, LEDs are deployed in upright strips that echo the traditional Cadillac tailfin.

Lighting suggests not just identity but the personality of a car, as in one option available for the new Chevrolet Camaro. A bright halo rings the headlights and the hood line overhangs the lamps, lending the muscle car’s face an aspect of concentration and intensity.To judge by recent concept cars, lighting will soon be even more closely tied to the character of each car. In the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept, a plug-in hybrid, the grille is equipped with slats that close and glow blue when the car is powered by electricity, but open and brighten when the car is running on diesel.

Some of the models to be introduced at the North American International Auto Show, which opens on Monday in Detroit for two days of press previews, suggest that such links will grow wider in use. As part of a design study intended to raise the status a subcompact model, Chevrolet’s designers supplied the Aveo RS show car with sophisticated-looking taillights.

Light’s expressive abilities may have been barely tapped. Several years ago, Laurens van den Acker, now vice president for corporate design at Renault, did a design study for Ford called the GloCar. Its surfaces were to be covered with smart LEDs signaling the driver’s mood, pulsing red when locked in a traffic jam. It was lighting that revealed not just identity, but sensibility.

Volvo XC60, top, and Chevrolet
Aveo RS taillights are designed
to stand out.

The BMW M5, top, and Jaguar XF
are quickly identified at night
by their lights.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why are they replacing all of the traffic lights in my town?

The new traffic lights you are seeing are made out of arrays of light emitting diodes (LEDs). These are tiny, purely electronic lights that are extremely energy efficient and have a very long life. Each LED is about the size of a pencil eraser, so hundreds of them are used together in an array. The LEDs are replacing the old-style incandescent halogen bulbs rated at between 50 and 150 watts. Most cities in the United States are in the process of replacing their incandescent traffic lights with LED units because of three big advantages:

• LEDs are brighter. The LED arrays fill the entire "hole" and have equal brightness across the entire surface, making them brighter overall.

• LED bulbs last for years, while halogen bulbs last for months. Replacing bulbs costs money for the trucks and people who do the work, and it also ties up traffic. Increasing the replacement interval can save a city big dollars.

• LED bulbs save a lot of energy.

The energy savings of LED lights can be huge. Assume that a traffic light uses 100-watt bulbs today. The light is on 24 hours a day, so it uses 2.4 kilowatt-hours per day. If you assume power costs 8 cents per kilowatt-hour, it means that one traffic signal costs about 20 cents a day to operate, or about $73 per year. There are perhaps eight signals per intersection, so that's almost $600 per year in power per intersection. A big city has thousands of intersections, so it can cost millions of dollars just to power all the traffic lights.

LED bulbs might consume 15 or 20 watts instead of 100, so the power consumption drops by a factor of five or six. A city can easily save a million dollars a year by replacing all of the bulbs with LED units. These low-energy bulbs also open the possibility of using solar panels instead of running an electrical line, which saves money in remote areas.

Friday, February 26, 2010

How Can a Diode Produce Light?

Light is a form of energy that can be released by an atom. It is made up of many small particle-like packets that have energy and momentum but no mass. These particles, called photons, are the most basic units of light.
Photons are released as a result of moving electrons. In an atom, electrons move in orbitals around thenucleus. Electrons in different orbitals have different amounts of energy. Generally speaking, electrons with greater energy move in orbitals farther away from the nucleus.

For an electron to jump from a lower orbital to a higher orbital, something has to boost its energy level. Conversely, an electron releases energy when it drops from a higher orbital to a lower one. This energy is released in the form of a photon. A greater energy drop releases a higher-energy photon, which is characterized by a higher frequency. (Check out How Light Works for a full explanation.)

As we saw in the last section, free electrons moving across a diode can fall into empty holes from the P-type layer. This involves a drop from the conduction band to a lower orbital, so the electrons release energy in the form of photons. This happens in any diode, but you can only see the photons when the diode is composed of certain material. The atoms in a standard silicon diode, for example, are arranged in such a way that the electron drops a relatively short distance. As a result, the photon's frequency is so low that it is invisible to the human eye -- it is in the infrared portion of the light spectrum. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course: Infrared LEDs are ideal for remote controls, among other things.

When current flows across a diode, negative electrons move one way and positive holes moves the other way.
The holes exist at a lower energy level than the free electrons, so when a free electron falls it loses energy.
This energy is emitted in the form of a light photon. The size of the electron’s ‘falls’ determine the energy level of the photon, which determines its color. A bigger fall produces a photon with a higher energy level and therefore a higher light frequency

Visible light-emitting diodes (VLEDs), such as the ones that light up numbers in a digital clock, are made of materials characterized by a wider gap between the conduction band and the lower orbitals. The size of the gap determines the frequency of the photon -- in other words, it determines the color of the light.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

LED Flood Lighting Will Light Up the Night Efficiently

Almost anyone who is familiar with sports that are played outside is familiar with flood lights. Most flood lights are halogen lamps. However, new technology has now allowed LED flood lights to come onto the market. Just as with using any type of LED light, there are numerous benefits for using LED flood lights. Furthermore, there are just as many uses for these lights as there would be for a normal light. Used for settings both indoors and out, the LED flood lights can come in a variety of sizes to meet every need.

There are numerous uses for LED flood lighting. Some of these would be internal. Museums are known to use floodlights to highlight their pieces. There are several advantages to museums using LED lights instead of halogen. First, they are far more cost efficient. This is common amongst all LED lights. They produce a remarkably bright light for a surprisingly low cost. Second, they have a very long life span and are durable. LED lights typically have a lifespan of about 10,000 hours as opposed to halogen lights that only last for about 1,000 hours. Also, while it is still not recommended to do so, an LED bulb can be dropped or mishandled slightly more than a normal bulb that breaks very easily. Another great feature of LED flood lighting that is a benefit to indoor use is the fact that they put out very little heat. Again, using the example of a museum, the benefits are twofold; they not only help save on electricity themselves, but they keep the need for extreme climate control down to a minimum.

Some of the more well known uses for this type of lighting are outdoors. Many people have seen them be used to illuminate sports fields, football (American style) especially. These lights are usually very large and very powerful. Using LED lights instead could save money and the hassle of frequently changing light bulbs. Another use for them is in the construction field. For projects that require illumination at night, flood lights can provide that. LED lights for this use can come in two varieties, ones that are powered by batteries and ones that need to be plugged into a power source. Battery power can usually provide 8 hours of light and are usually rechargeable. Another outdoor use for LED flood lighting lies within the area of hone illumination. There are many people who enjoy illuminating certain aspects of their house, landscaping, and plants with flood lights from the ground up.

While they used to simply be thought of as lights for "big" places, LED flood lights are being brought into the domestic market as well. They offer many advantages over traditional halogen lamps and are becoming more and more popular in many areas.

Monday, February 22, 2010

LED Pool Lights - Illuminate Your Swimming the Cost-Efficient, Natural Way

Pools are a great luxury to have during hot, sweltering, summer days. However, for most people, the ability to enjoy their pool ends at sundown. While moonlit swims can be fun and relaxing, for many, the lack of illumination makes it too risky to enjoy. However, there is a solution now for those who wish to enjoy their pool no matter what time of day it is. This solution would be LED pool lighting. There are several different forms of this type of lighting. That way, it can be implemented for both above ground and in ground pools.

In ground pools have a major advantage as far as lighting capabilities go. There are LED pool lights that can be installed in the sides and bottom of these pools. If the pool has added features such as waterfalls or fountains, LED lights can also be added there for a greater effect. These types of lights are great because they illuminate the entire pool and can even have effects such as changing colors. These can function as mood setting lights.

For above-ground pools and even for in ground pools as well, there is a variety of floating LED pool lights. These can be found at a very reasonable price and do not require any form of installation. They are simply turned on and then placed in the water. There are lights that are very decorative and come in the forms of flowers (such as water lilies). Some LED pool lights are just plain fun looking, such as floating multi-colored orbs that bob around in the water.

There are numerous advantages that are associated with LED pool lighting. First, there is the efficiency of the bulb. LED bulbs are becoming increasingly popular as people seek to cut power consumption. LEDs can put out a surprisingly bright light for as little power as they consume. This means that be they powered through an outlet or by battery, hardly any power will be used when they are turned on. Batteries will last surprisingly long when used in LED pool lights. Another advantage is their durability and longevity. LED bulbs last much longer than regular fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. This is good news for those who have bulbs that are not easily accessed for replacing.

Pool lighting was once considered to be something attainable by only those with the most resources. Today, however, LED pool lighting is being a very popular and attainable option for those who wish to shed some light on their nighttime swims

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Homelights and Toshiba partners on the LED Market (Official)

It is a real opportunity for Homelights to collaborate with a company like Toshiba who is uncontested leader in leading edge electronics products manufacture and a worldwide reputation brand. The technical know-how and the experience of Toshiba related to commercial proficiency and to expertness of Homelights on the LED market will allow both companies to develop considerably their activities.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lyon illuminates European view on LED lighting

European directives, LED standards, color quality and technological innovation were among the main subjects discussed at December’s ForumLED in Lyon, France.

A comprehensive perspective on the solid-state lighting market, mainly from European speakers and exhibitors but with some international participants, was provided at ForumLED, held in Lyon, France in December 2009. Many French companies and organizations are actively involved in solid-state lighting, with energy efficiency high on the agenda.

In France, lighting is becoming the main energy consumer in office buildings, typically consuming 30-50 kWh/m²/yr, according to Christophe Martinsons of CSTB Grenoble. However, the next building code (RT 2012) will require total energy consumption (i.e. for everything, not just lighting) of 50 kWh/m²/yr for non-residential buildings from 2011, and for residential buildings starting in 2013. LEDs are “excellent candidates,” said Martinsons, to reduce energy consumption, particularly in combination with occupancy sensors.

However, energy is not the only consideration. “Building occupants demand good products, well installed, and safe products that are safely installed,” he said, adding that standards will help LED lighting to meet these requirements. “However, Europe has not produced all the standards needed for LED lighting…yet.”

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What is Color Rendering Index (CRI)?

Color rendering describes how a light source makes the color of an object appear to human eyes and how well subtle variations in color shades are revealed. The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is a scale from 0 to 100 percent indicating how accurate a "given" light source is at rendering color when compared to a "reference" light source.

The higher the CRI, the better the color rendering ability. Light sources with a CRI of 85 to 90 are considered good at color rendering. Light sources with a CRI of 90 or higher are excellent at color rendering and should be used for tasks requiring the most accurate color discrimination.

It is important to note that CRI is independent of color temperature (see discussion of color temperature). Examples: A 2700K ("warm") color temperature incandescent light source has a CRI of 100. One 5000K ("daylight") color temperature fluorescent light source has a CRI of 75 and another with the same color temperature has a CRI of 90.

To further understand the physics of color rendering, we need to look at spectral power distribution.

What is spectral power distribution?
The visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum is composed of radiation with wavelengths from approximately 400 to 750 nanometers. The blue part of the visible spectrum is the shorter wavelength and the red part is the longer wavelength with all color gradations in between.

Spectral power distribution graphs show the relative power of wavelengths across the visible spectrum for a given light source. These graphs also reveal the ability of a light source to render all, or, selected colors.

Below see how a typical spectral power distribution graph for daylight.

Notice the strong presence (high relative power) of ALL wavelengths (or the "full color spectrum"). Daylight provides the highest level of color rendering across the spectrum.

Compare the daylight spectral power distribution with that for a particular fluorescent lamp.

The most obvious difference is the generally lower level of relative power compared to daylight - - except for a few spikes. All wavelengths (the "full spectrum) are again present but only certain wavelengths (the spikes) are strongly present. These spikes indicate which parts of the color spectrum will be emphasized in the rendering of color for objects illuminated by the light source. This lamp has a 3000K color temperature and a CRI of 82. It produces a light that is perceived as "warmer" than daylight (3000K vs. 5000K). It's ability to render color across the spectrum is not bad, but certainly much worse than daylight. Notice the deep troughs where the curve almost reaches zero relative power at certain wavelengths.

Here is another fluorescent lamp.

This spectral power distribution looks generally similar to the one above except it shows more power at the blue end of the spectrum and less at the red end. Also, there are no low points in the curve that come close to zero power. This lamp has a 5000K color temperature and a CRI of 98. It produces light that is perceived as bluish white (similar to daylight) and it does an excellent job of rendering colors across the spectrum.

Above are links to linear and compact fluorescent light bulbs from Topbulb that have a CRI of 90 or higher. If you want a high color rendering bulb to produce light perceived as warm white, choose a bulb with a color temperature of 3000K or 3500K. If you want a high color rendering bulb to produce light perceived as white, choose a bulb with a color temperature of 4000K. For a bulb that simulates daylight, choose a color temperature of 5000K or higher.

Monday, February 1, 2010

LED vs. Neon

So, you have looked at plenty of neon sign sites and have probably looked at plenty of LED sign sites by now and you are asking yourself, "What the heck is the difference?" Don't worry, we have all been through it and end up standing there scratching our heads trying to figure out which one to buy. Is one cheaper than the other? Will one last longer? What will other people think about my decision to purchase a neon or LED sign?
Business signage is an important part of your advertising budget and you want to make the right decision. So let’s compare the pros and cons of LED signs versus neon signs. Here is a list of the most important differences:

Price : Generally, LED signs are about 10% less expensive than comparable neon signs. The initial price difference between LED and neon are, therefore, not a significant factor in determining which sign you need for your business. Notice, however, that I said the “initial price.” When you compare the total cost of purchase, maintenance, and operation of LED signs versus neon signs the difference then becomes sizable. We’ll get into more detail about that in a minute.

Space usage : This may not be a big deal for some businesses, but LED signs are 1/3 to 1/5 the thickness of neon signs. Because neon is a little more bulky than LED lights, neon signs tend to be a little wide and taller than its LED counterparts. That usually is not an issue for most business owners hanging signs in their windows or walls. The biggest difference is in depth. An LED sign will only be 1 inch thick whereas a neon sign will most likely be 3-5 inches deep because the the glass tubing must extend away from its backing.

Shipping and installation : Because LED signs and thinner than neon signs, they are also lighter. This makes them easier to ship and install. In fact, our signs come complete with hanging hardware—it’s as easy as hanging a picture.

Brightness : One of the most important features of LED signs is their brightness and clarity. LED technology produces a sign that is very bright yet clear and easy to read from a distance. Neon signs, however, tend to look a little blurry from far away. The clear glow of an LED sign is therefore more appealing to customers and leaves a clear image in their mind as they drive by your business. An excellent and effective form of advertising. And, LED signs are bright and easy to see even in direct sunlight, whereas it can be hard to tell if a neon sign is on or not in the daylight.

Green factor : No, not the color green but green in the environmentally-friendly way. LED signs and lighting use very low power. LED signs use only 10 watts of power—that’s 6-10 times less than comparable neon signs. This low-power usage also makes LED signs safe and cool to the touch. Low-power usage also means you save a lot of money on operating your LED signs. Also, unlike neon, LED signs do not leak toxic gases (like argon and mercury). Neon signs slowly leak their gases out, which is why you sometimes see neon signs flickering or with part of the sign out.

Maintenance : LED signs have virtually no maintenance. There are no gases, no glass tubes, no argon or mercury problems and LED lights don't run out. LED lights are just that...they are small, extremely bright lights (LED stands for light-emitting diodes). LED lights don't have as many issues or problems because its simply little lights. Neon signs will eventually lose all of the neon inside the glass tubes which means you have to replace the gas by taking it to professional neon sign manufacturer or simply buy a new sign. Of course this process takes 10 years or more but eventually it will happen. Another added bonus of LED signs—they are easier to clean than neon signs because there are no tubes to clean off (and those tubes get hot!). LED signs are also high durable and last up to 100,000 hours, even if left on 24/7.

Animation : LED business signs are available in all kinds of flashing and animation options. Because they are made of many separate lights (instead of a continuous glass tube), LED signs offer more animation options than their neon sign counterparts. Also, many are available in your choice of custom colors to match your business’s unique style and personality.

Add it all up and it is easy to see why bright LED signs are the wave of the future. They are a great, eye-catching, budget-friendly way to attract customers. Light up your world the LED way!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Los Angeles is literally basking in a whole new glow based on LED Technology

Before: The orange glow of high pressure sodium lights on 6th Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River before they were replaced with LEDs.

The city has decided to replace its street lights and bus stop lighting with LEDs. The bus stop lighting will be solar-powered and off the grid.
LA's Bureau of Street Lighting has been actively testing out different types of energy efficient lighting to replace the public lighting that currently includes a combination of incandescent, mercury vapor, metal halide, and high pressure sodium lights.
In 2009, the agency began an LED street lighting energy efficiency program to actively replace its existing 209,000 streetlights. When complete, the city's energy consumption for public lighting should be cut by 40 percent and save 40,500 tons of carbon emissions per year, according to city statistics.
Now the city has decided on which specific lights to go with. Many of the street lamps will be lit by LED Lights. Because the bus lights are self-sufficient, they will not need to be tied into the city's electric grid and will allow the city to remain lit even in the event of a blackout.
These lights will also give the city more freedom to replace existing lights or introduce lights in new places without having to dig up sidewalks or tie into electricity poles, cutting down on installation costs.
But in addition to making the city more energy efficient, the switch from an abundance of high pressure sodium lights across the city's highways to LEDs is also drastically changing the city's look. Before and after photos provided by the city of the 6th Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River illustrate a clear change in tint from orange to whiter lighting.

After: The 6th Street Bridge after high pressure sodium streetlights were replaced with LEDs. The difference between before and after the replacement is spectacular.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why do I need a resistor with an LED ?

The short answer: to limit the current in the LED to a safe value.
The long answer: LEDs are semiconductors, diodes in particular. The current flowing in an LED is an exponential function of voltage across the LED. The important part about that for you is that a small change in voltage can produce a huge change in current. That is the most important concept of this article. Resistors aren’t like that. The current and voltage in a resistor are linearly related. That means that a change in voltage will produce a proportional change in current. Current versus voltage is a straight line for a resistor, but not at all for an LED.

Because of this, you can’t say that LEDs have “resistance.” Resistance is defined as the constant ratio of voltage to current in a resistive circuit element. Even worse, there’s no real way to know exactly the relationship between current and voltage for any given LED across all possible voltages other than direct measurement. The exact relationship varies among different colors, different sizes, and even different batches from the same manufacturer. When you buy an LED, it should come with a rating that looks like this: 3.3V @ 20 mA typical. That gives you one point along the operating curve. Usually that’s a safe operating point. You may get a maximum rating in addition. It may be in the form of either a voltage or current. For example, a lot of people report buying “5V blue LEDs.” These are really not rated to operate continuously at 5V in most cases.

The other thing I’d like you to take away from this article is the idea that it’s more useful to talk about driving an LED with a current of a particular size, instead of a voltage. If you know the voltage across an LED, you can not determine the current flowing in it, unless you are operating it at the exact point along the curve that’s described in the specs. Worse, being “off by a little” in the forward voltage can have a drastic effect in the current. So the approach I prefer is to select a current-limiting resistor in order to achieve a target current in the LED.
Most 3mm and 5mm LEDs will operate close to their peak brightness at a drive current of 20 mA. This is a conservative current: it doesn’t exceed most ratings (your specs may vary, or you may not have any specs–in this case 20 mA is a good default guess). In most cases, driving the LED at a higher current will not produce substantial additional light. Instead, the junction (the working parts of the LED) has to dissipate the excess power as heat. Heating the junction will decrease its useful life, and can reduce the output of the LED substantially. Heating it enough will cause catastrophic failure (producing a dark emitting diode).

To illustrate these ideas, I conducted an experiment. I built a simple circuit consisting of a variable voltage supply driving an LED directly. I varied the voltage across the LED and measured the current that flowed. I had a 3000 mcd blue LED and a 5000 mcd white LED available to test, both 5mm. The results are in the graph below. It’s the most important thing in this article, and it’s worth repeating: a small change in voltage can produce a huge change in current. Note especially the portion of the curve between 3.2V and 3.4V. The current changes by a factor of 4 even though the voltage varies by 0.2V. While the specifics will be different for every LED, they all will have this sort of relationship. Overdriving an LED a little is going to degrade it substantially. Both the LEDs in the test were destroyed by the higher drive currents. They still lit up, but at a fraction of their original brightness.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What are the electrical characteristics of LEDs?

It’s useful to think about two main types of LEDs—the familiar indicator LEDs that come in 5mm and 3mm epoxy packages, and “illumination-grade” LEDs, which are high-output devices, designed for lighting.
A typical indicator LED has a forward voltage rating between 2 and 4 Volts of DC. You may see maximum ratings above that. A typical drive current for indicator LEDs, even high-brightness ones, is 20 milliamperes (mA). From this you can see an indicator LED dissipates a modest amount of power—a few tens of milliwatts compared to the few tens of Watts a familiar incandescent bulb uses. In other words, the power used by an indicator LED is one thousandth of that used by a familiar light bulb.

Arrays are constructed to take advantage of this low power consumption. A series string of ten blue LEDs will take a 33 VDC forward voltage to light, but still only draw 20 mA of current from the source. So the supporting wiring can be less expensive for an LED array compared to a light bulb (which may draw an Ampere of current—fifty times as much as the LED). For parallel arrays, the current combine. So you can drive 10 blue LEDs in parallel from a 3.3V source, but the current drawn will be 200 mA. This flexibility in array construction is part of what makes LEDs very popular in mobile, battery-powered devices. The designer can arrange LEDs to take best advantage of the power source that’s available.

Illumination-grade LEDs have comparable forward voltages to indicator LEDs. This is a reflection of the fact that the junction material is the main determinant of the forward voltage. But the junctions in illumination-grade LEDs are typically larger, and can draw more current, and dissipate more power (while producing more light). A Luxeon Star LED has a drive current of 350 mA, and dissipates about 1 Watt of power.
Another important LED spec is maximum reverse voltage. A diode conducts current when a forward voltage is applied, but will not conduct if a reverse voltage is applied, up to a point. Reverse voltages in excess of the maximum can cause the diode to fail.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What makes an LED such a good colored light source ?

If you want a colored light, LEDs can’t be beat for efficiency. The process that gives off the light makes light of a certain wavelength, which is a function of the junction material. The efficiency of that process is much higher than with incandescent lamps—15% for LEDs compared with 5% for incandescent. Then when you filter an incandescent light down to a single color, you give up as much as 90% in the process. So when you need a colored light, such as a traffic signal, or an exit sign, LEDs have a significant advantage.

Conversely, LEDs aren’t yet as efficient at making white light. LEDs commonly make white light by the process of exciting a phosphor, which gives off other wavelengths of light, giving a combined effect of a white light. The conversion of the phosphor isn’t perfect, so some efficiency is lost.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

HomeLights LED quiz: Fill the quiz and win fantastic HomeLights LED items

1.LED is the English acronym for Light Emitting Diode


2.LED bulbs and spotlights do not contain Mercury or any other gas


3.There are 4 types of LEDs


4.LED give off much less heat than incandescent and halogen bulbs.


5.LED do emit either UV nor infrared radiation


6.LED is insensitive to temperature changes


7.Lumen: This is the unit that measures the luminous power emitted by a source (or flux)


8.CFL has longer lifetime than LED


9.Consumption in Watts: This expresses the bulb’s real electricity consumption.


10.It is possible to buy HomeLights Led items in France


Pleas send your answers to The winner will receive fantastic HomeLights LED light items!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

LEDs last for 100,000 or 50,000 hours.

This statement is a heresy! Everyone knows the game about the “weakest link”... This applies perfectly to the luminous sources with LED technology. LED spotlights and bulbs are assemblies of components, but which component is the weakest link in this assembly?
The diode itself has a life span of 100,000 hours, but the transformer (or ballast) does not work for more than 30,000 hours. The transformer that regulates the LED current is, therefore, the assembly’s “weakest link”, which will limit the life span of a LED luminous light for the general public to 30,000 hours. So, for the moment, systematically avoid products announced as having life spans of more than 30,000 hours.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to properly choose your LED spotlight or bulb?

How to properly choose your LED spotlight or bulb?
In order to properly choose your LED luminous source, you must first of all ask yourself some essential questions:

For which uses? (this will help you to decide on the desired luminous power)

Be careful with dreamlike salesmen! At present, it is impossible to find LED lighting luminous sources for less than €20/25. Of course, if you only need signposting or decorative lighting, the products under €20 will do the job perfectly.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

3 types of LED

There are several types of electroluminescent diodes (LEDs) with very different technical specifications.
The low power (LoP) LEDs are generally used in spotlights and decorative, signposting or atmospheric bulbs, for their luminous power is relatively low. Nevertheless, this technology offers the advantage of being cheap.

The SMD (Surface Mounted Device) LEDS offer sufficient lighting power to be incorporated into the bulbs or spotlights called “support lighting”. This technology offers an excellent lighting power/price ratio.

The high power (HiP) LEDS offer sufficient power to be incorporated into the so-called “direct lighting” bulbs and spotlights. So, there are spotlights on the market fitted with these LEDs that are capable of replacing 40-watt halogen spotlights, but they only consume 4 watts (i.e. 10 times less). However, this technology is relatively expensive to buy, but it proves to be very advantageous when used thanks to the three significant savings created.

So, 3 high power (HiP) LEDs will produce a luminous power that is well above 20 low power (LoP) LEDs. Consequently, the product will be more expensive.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

LED traffic lights don’t cause accidents, do save lives and energy

After an Illinois drive was killed by a car running a snow-covered red LED traffic light, a number of blogs and newspapers ran headlines such as LED traffic lights don’t melt snow, do cause accidents.

But in fact, LED traffic lights save lives. LEDs are up to four times brighter than incandescents and can be seen in bright sunlight as well as foggy conditions. Even more importantly, they last up to ten times longer than incandescents, so the danger of a burnout is greatly reduced.

So it’s a shame that these headlines based on a single unfortunate incident may discourage some holdouts from switching to LEDs that would actually save lives and energy. Switching to LEDs can cut energy costs by more than 80 percent, saving almost $600 per year in power per intersection. Portland, Oregon, for example, is saving $380,000 per year in energy and reduced maintenance.

Bill Kloos, Portland’s Signals and Streetlighting Manager, said, “The LEDs have reduced transportation maintenance costs by $45,000 a year in off-hour call out costs and replacement bulbs. LED modules have a life of six years or more while the current bulbs have only a two-year life. In addition, we’ve been able to save 1,400 hours of valuable staff time per year previously used for group relamping and apply that time to other maintenance needs.”