Interesting Facts about LED Lighting

Interesting Facts about LED Lighting

20 April 2023

LED lighting has revolutionised how we light many areas of our lives, including business signage, street lighting, vehicle indicators, etc. LED lighting is a proven and successful choice that has replaced many inferior alternatives with an effective solution requiring reduced maintenance and energy to operate over long periods.

Everyone will interact with one of these during their daily activities, but despite their popularity, there are many things people are unaware of regarding LEDs. Read on to discover interesting facts related to these amazing lighting devices.

1. LEDs Transmit Data With Li-Fi

Li-Fi (short for Light Fidelity) is a wireless communication technology that uses light waves instead of radio waves to transmit data and was first introduced by Harald Haas during a 2011 TEDGlobal talk in Edinburgh.

The technology is based on the principle of Visible Light Communication (VLC), which uses light waves to transmit data between devices. Li-Fi uses subtle fluctuations in LED light to transmit data from the transmitter to the receiver. To encode the data, the LED light is switched on and off at an imperceptible speed, creating slight, invisible fluctuations.

One of the main advantages of Li-Fi over Wi-Fi is its potential for much higher data transfer rates. Li-Fi can theoretically achieve data rates of up to 224 Gbps, much faster than even the most advanced Wi-Fi technologies currently available. Another advantage of Li-Fi is its improved security. Since light waves do not penetrate walls and are not susceptible to interference from other wireless devices, Li-Fi can provide a more secure communication.

However, there are some limitations to the technology. One limitation is the need for a clear line of sight between the transmitter and receiver, as light waves cannot pass through solid objects like walls. Additionally, the range of the light waves is limited, which could make it difficult to deploy Li-Fi in large-scale applications. Despite these limitations, they are highly effective in areas otherwise susceptible to electromagnetic interference, such as aircraft cabins, sensitive hospital areas and military applications.

Li-Fi has the potential to become an important wireless communication technology in the future, particularly in applications where high-speed data transfer and security are critical, such as in healthcare, transportation, and defence. In addition, as LED technology is improved each year, the number of applications for LEDs in Li-Fi grows with Li-Fi used in commercial workplaces and retail.

2. LEDs in Healthcare Treat Skin Conditions

LED lighting is already a popular choice for the internal lighting of a medical building as the tunable LEDs can be adjusted throughout the day to support both patients’ and staff’s natural circadian rhythm. LED lighting in healthcare is a common sight, but not many people know how LEDs help with medical treatments.

LED Photobiomodulation (PBMT) has effectively reduced inflammation and improved recovery time after surgeries or injuries. Additionally, athletes also commonly use PBMT to enhance their performance.

PBMT works by decreasing nerve sensitivity by reducing the pain-inducing chemical Bradykinin in the affected area. Furthermore, PBMT stimulates the production of essential elements such as collagens, elastin, and fibroblasts, which are crucial for skin health. Improved circulation resulting from PBMT leads to tighter skin and faster tissue healing, making it an excellent tool for improving skincare long-term.

The two most used light therapies are blue and red LED light treatments. For example, Blue light is used in PDT (photodynamic therapy) to assist with skin cancer treatment, both pre and post-other treatments, and prevent neonatal jaundice. Red light therapy helps improve natural healing by stimulating the energy centres of our tissue cells; this is known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). They have also helped with many other conditions, from dental pain, Dementia and Tendinitis. The optical radiation emitted from these medical LEDs is what dictates how they will affect the exposed patients, which is why LED manufacturers must know every aspect of the diodes they are creating for medical applications.

3. LEDs Are Eco-friendly

Efficient Energy Usage

LEDs are a beneficial choice for the environment for many reasons. The primary source of this is the reduced energy each LED uses. Compared to alternative lighting sources, LEDs operate at an increased efficiency of 80-90%, used solely to emit light. Other lighting sources convert only 10% of their used energy into light., which usually means more energy is used to get the desired results.

Non-Toxic Materials

LED lights are highly recyclable, with roughly 95% of the LED being easily recyclable and containing no toxic elements such as mercury. However, mercury is used in other lighting choices, such as incandescent bulbs, which will harm the environment when disposed of.

Incredible Longevity

A typical LED bulb has a lifespan of between 25,000 and 50,000 hours of continuous use, sometimes equating to more than ten years. Compared to incandescent bulbs, which typically last around 1,000 hours, and fluorescent lamps, which typically last around 10,000 hours, this lasts significantly longer.

It is worth noting that variations in voltage, temperature, and humidity can have an impact on an LED bulb's lifespan. An LED bulb, for instance, may have a shorter lifespan if used in a hotter environment than in a cooler one. Similarly, an LED bulb may not last as long if used in an environment with constant voltage fluctuations. However, they remain a more environmentally friendly option.

4. LEDs are used in Forensic Investigations

LEDs are increasingly installed in various analytical tools for forensic analysis. These adaptable miniature lights make the tools used portable and able to produce many different light wavelengths in high intensity. As a result, they are being used in a variety of ways to aid in forensic investigations, including:

Crime Scene Investigation: Illuminating a crime scene with specific wavelengths of light that can reveal different types of evidence, such as blood, semen, or fibres. For example, blue LEDs can be used to detect trace amounts of blood, while UV LEDs can detect bodily fluids. The intensity of the light will provide the sufficient contrast needed to see evidence, even on dark backgrounds or even when it's painted over.

Document and Forgery Analysis: LEDs are also used to analyse documents and detect forgery. For instance, UV LEDs can examine documents and detect alterations, while blue LEDs can reveal watermarks.

Fingerprint Analysis: LEDs enhance the visibility of fingerprints. For instance, forensic investigators can use red LEDs to illuminate fingerprints on porous surfaces, while green LEDs can enhance the visibility of latent prints on non-porous surfaces.

Trace Evidence Analysis: LEDs analyse trace evidence, such as hair, fibres, or paint chips. For example, investigators can use LEDs of different wavelengths to distinguish between different types of fibres or paint.

5. LED Colour Temperatures Affect the Light

LEDs transfer only minor amounts of heat when used, making them a safe choice for most lighting solutions and electrical applications. LED light manufacturers must consider the LED colour temperatures when designing bespoke systems. Whilst it does relate to the heat from an LED, the noticeable results are more connected to the aesthetics of the light emitted.

The specific temperature is measured in Kelvins (K) because it provides an absolute temperature measurement. Here are some examples of how different temperatures will affect the final results of a white LED:

Warm white (2700K-3000K): This colour temperature range is often used in residential settings such as bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. It creates a cosy and inviting atmosphere, mimicking the warm glow of a traditional incandescent bulb.

Soft white (3500K-4100K): This colour temperature range is often used in commercial and retail settings such as offices, hospitals, and retail spaces. It produces a brighter and more energetic light than warm white but is still considered a comfortable and relaxed tone for people around it.

Neutral white (4100K-5000K): This colour temperature range is often used in workspaces and task-oriented environments such as kitchens, bathrooms, and garages. It is a cool, clean, natural-looking light promoting productivity and concentration.

Daylight white (5000K-6500K): This colour temperature range is often used in outdoor and industrial settings such as warehouses, factories, and parking lots. It is a bright, cool light that simulates natural daylight and provides high contrast and clarity.

Cool white (6500K and above): This colour temperature range is often used in technical and scientific laboratories, hospitals, and studios. It is a bluish-white light that provides excellent colour rendering and is ideal for tasks that require high precision and accuracy.

6. Underwater LED Lighting

Due to its numerous advantages over alternative lighting options, LED lighting has emerged as a popular selection for underwater applications. For example, cave divers benefit from these compact lighting sources as reliable ones while swimming in dark underwater areas.

LED lighting's energy efficiency is one of its major advantages for underwater applications. LED lights are a less expensive for long-term energy efficiency and reliable intensity. Additionally, LED lighting generates less heat, lowering the risk of causing harm to wildlife or underwater equipment.

LED lights are ideal for harsh underwater environments because they are extremely durable. In addition, they are reliable underwater lighting choices because they resist shock, vibration, and impact.

LEDs can also detect certain substances underwater by emitting light at specific wavelengths that cause the substances to fluoresce. For example, some pollutants or chemicals may fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light. Therefore, LEDs emitting ultraviolet light make it possible to detect the presence of these substances in the water. Similarly, LEDs can detect other substances that fluoresce under different wavelengths of light.

It is an excellent lighting solution for underwater environments and provides excellent visibility in aquariums, swimming pools, and marine research applications due to its numerous advantages.

7. LEDs Help Preserve Food

Commercial LED lighting manufacturers help keep our food fresh with carefully created lights. LED are essential for a food protection method called Photobiological Disinfection. LEDs give off light at specific wavelengths that can harm micro-organisms' DNA and cell membranes, causing them to die or stop growing. This prevents the growth of harmful micro-organisms like bacteria and fungi that can cause food spoilage or contamination.

For instance, blue and violet LEDs produce light at wavelengths that are particularly effective at eliminating bacteria, whereas ultraviolet (UV) LEDs produce light at wavelengths that effectively eliminate both fungi and bacteria.

Food can be protected using LEDs in a variety of ways. They can be installed, for instance, to stop fungi and bacteria from growing in food storage areas like refrigerators and freezers. They can also be used to disinfect surfaces and equipment in food processing facilities to lower the risk of contamination.

LEDs are useful for food preservation, in addition to their disinfectant properties, because they don't produce much heat and they don't make food products warm. They are also energy-efficient and have a long lifespan, making them a cost-effective food preservation and safety option.

8. NASA Grows Plants In Space

In a similar application, NASA has been researching growing plants in space using LED lights, and the results have been outstanding. Traditional lighting options, such as fluorescent and incandescent lights, are unsuitable for growing space plants due to their high energy consumption and heat production. On the other hand, LED lights consume less power and generate less heat, making them an ideal choice for growing plants in space.

LED lights have proven to be an effective option for these experiments in space due to their energy efficiency and low heat production, which make them an effective lighting choice with the reliable safety required for any space travel.

Additionally, LED lights provide a high degree of flexibility in the wavelength of light they emit, allowing scientists to optimise the light spectrum for plant growth. Plants require specific wavelengths of light to grow, and LED lights allow scientists to tailor the light spectrum to the plants' needs.

NASA's research has shown that plants grown under LED lights in space have thrived and produced surprisingly high yields. This breakthrough has significant implications for the future of space exploration with renewable oxygen filters. Additionally, Future colonisation, such as SpaceX’s plans to land people on mars to stay, will require healthy plant life grown under reliable LED lighting, as growing plants in space can provide a sustainable source of food and oxygen for astronauts or colonists.

These are just a few of the amazing facts behind these essential lighting solutions. As experienced custom LED optic manufacturers, we love all the varied applications our products are used for, and we embrace the ways they improve our daily lives. You can learn more about LED features in our resource hub. Alternatively, you can contact us to learn about our work specifically and how we can help with your next application.

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