LED LIGHT SYSTEMS
Munfordco has supplied large projects with quality construction equipment and supplies, now they have added high quality, energy saving LED light systems.
1. Small format. This allows for more controlled application and flexibility in luminaire design. It can be great for hidden applications such as showcases, architectural lighting, highlighting, and other tight applications.
2. Directional. LED technology naturally radiates light in 180 degrees, making it potentially more efficient in most applications than incandescent and fluorescent lighting that naturally radiates in a 360 degree field and typically makes use of reflective surfaces to direct the light.
3. Robust and sturdy. There’s no fragile filament or large glass enclosure to break.
4. No significant ultraviolet or infrared radiation. This is good for fragile artifacts such as paintings, fabrics, and other materials sensitive to ultraviolet radiation (UV), and goods like food and chemicals, which can be damaged by infrared heat (IR). Note, however, that while LEDs do not radiate heat, they do produce it. More about this later.
5. Potential long life. This could reduce replacement and maintenance costs. However, with LED technology, the concept of useful longevity is not a simple one, and caution is needed. More about this later as well.
6. Potential high efficacy. The potential for high efficacy is inherent in the technology itself, but that doesn’t mean that every LED is highly efficient. Many design and material decisions impact the ultimate performance of an LED luminaire or replacement lamp, from the LEDs themselves, to the driver and other electronics, thermal design, and reflector and diffuser materials.
7. “LEDs produce no heat.” Actually, LEDs do produce heat, but they prefer to keep it to themselves. All lighting technologies have some inefficiency that results in wasted energy. That energy is either radiated as ultraviolet or infrared waves along with the visible light, or is not radiated, remaining with the light source itself as heat. Management of this heat through heat sinks or other means is a key element of LED lighting design, because this excessive heat can significantly impact the performance of the LED components. The box on page 40 (“Energy Waste in Common Light Sources”) shows a basic comparison of common lighting technologies and where the energy goes; it highlights the higher heat issue with LED technologies.
8. “LEDs are more efficient than any other light source.” They certainly can be, but LED product quality and efficiency still varies widely. The majority of available LED luminaries and replacement lamps provide useful efficacies beyond incandescent and most fluorescent products, but some are still lagging. The takeaway: Be aware that not all LED products are considered equal in terms of light output and efficacy.
9. “LEDs last 100,000 hours to forever.” Fortunately, this rhetoric has toned down in recent years, but lifetime claims are still a concern. The key point is that all light sources degrade with time, including LEDs. Most stop working due to filament or cathode failure (catastrophic) before a critical light output level is reached. LEDs, having no filament or cathode, will potentially continue to operate for a very long time. However, their light output will diminish over time, eventually reaching unacceptable levels; their emitted color may shift; or the complete product may fail due to driver or other component failure.