BBM Team

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LED There Be Light

CFLs did away with the incandescent bulbs and now it is their turn to make way for LED lights. LED lights offer advantages such as long lamp life, low heat output, small size, durability and energy savings. LEDs consume only about 20 per cent of the energy used by incandescents. And as almost 20 per cent of the world’s electricity is used for lighting, making the switch to LEDs would substantially cut down on energy costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

LED lighting systems are extremely flexible and a single lighting system can create an almost infinite number of effects, moods and ambiances – be it in retail spaces, offices, hospitality structures or outdoors. LEDs also offer immense design flexibility in colour changing, dimming and distribution – the small-sized units can be easily combined into a combination of shapes, colours, sizes and lumen packages.

Pike Research, a market research firm, predicts that by 2020, LEDs will account for nearly half of the $4.4 billion U.S. market for lamps in the commercial, industrial and outdoor stationary sectors. The same holds true for other countries, albeit in a longer time.


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But LEDs may not last long on the market. According to experts, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) may be the next big thing on the lighting market and may one day replace LEDs as the most energy-efficient alternative to conventional lighting. Market research firm NanoMarkets believes that the global market for OLED lighting will be $4.8 billion by 2016.

OLEDs are similar to electro luminescent lighting, in which a sheet of material is excited so that it emits light. An OLED light source is a thin, flexible sheet of material comprising three layers – a polymer or sublimed molecular film sandwiched between two layers of electrodes, one of them transparent. Current is passed through the material until it emits light through the transparent layer.

Why LEDs Score

Long life: Can exceed 100,000 hours, as compared to 1,000 hours for tungsten bulbs

Robustness: No moving parts, no glass

Size: Typical package is only 5 mm in diameter

Energy efficiency: Up to 90 per cent less energy used

Non-toxicity: No mercury

Versatility: Available in a variety of colours

Cool: Lesser heat radiation than HID or incandescents

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