Let there be light!


K S Someswara lists out the advantages of using LED lights. They are energy efficient and flicker-free, causing no discomfort to the eye.

Traditional lighting systems such as incandescent bulbs are estimated to emit only five per cent of light for 95 per cent of heat energy. Also, on an average, about 23 per cent of total energy consumption is from domestic and commercial lighting. This is also responsible for more than six per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

With technological advancements, fluorescent tubes came as an improvement over incandescent bulbs. These are brighter and comparatively more energy-efficient. This lighting is prevalent even today, to a large extent. The use of electronic chokes of late has improved their performance.

The advent of CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs is a step further in terms of energy-efficiency and has revolutionised the concept of lighting itself. In spite of their advantages, these fluorescent and CFL bulbs have other aspects one needs to pay attention to.

The mercury and phosphorous content in these lights cause health hazards and also affect the ecosystem. They need a proper disposal system after use.

Today, LED technology (light emitting diodes) has come into sharp focus. The application of the same can be seen at many places, from traffic lights to motor head lights, computer and TV screens, and laptops.

This apart, domestic/commercial lighting systems also use the same technology. Switching to LED lighting could reduce energy consumption by nearly 40 per cent.
According to many studies, this would avoid emission of large quantity of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The light emitting diode is a simple mechanism through which light is sourced with low energy.

The diode used here is a component which allows electricity to pass through directly. This means electric current is converted into lighting very quickly and efficiently. It does not contain any toxic material unlike its predecessors. Also, it does not emit any harmful UV/infra red rays. The luminous efficiency of LEDs is very high (130 lumens/watt).

There are certain myths about the cost of the LED unit and its performance in the long run. Though the initial cost may be more, this is offset in about five years. The energy efficiency and its contribution to the environment are all positive parts of the same. A 6W LED can give the performance of an ordinary 60W bulb in brightness.

The light emitted is very cool and noiseless. Almost all LED light output is in the desired direction and doesn’t disperse. It gets instantly switched on, and has a dimmer option as well. It also has much wider optimum temperature and can withstand extreme cold conditions.

Recently, researchers have come out with a more revolutionary lighting technology which is suitable for both domestic as well as commercial utility. In this new technology, the bulbs are made with the help of Field Induced Polymer Electroluminescence (FIPEL) technology. These lights are flicker-free and also shatterproof and easy on the eyes.

As part of this technology, three layers of polymer and nanotube material with dielectric layers are sandwiched together. When electricity is applied, the electrons excite the electro-luminescent polymer to emit light and carbon nano tubes doping seem to increase the amount of light emitted.

Lighting with this technology gives off a natural white light. Such lights have the potential to be used in many areas where traditional lighting is in operation. They are also long lasting (at least a decade under normal conditions).

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