What is LED Lighting?

 

The letters LED stand for light-emitting diode. The movement of electrons through a semiconductor material causes tiny light sources to become illuminated. A small amount of heat is released backwards, and according to the Energy Star website, well designed LED products are cool to touch.

 

This is still a new technology and being developed. Developers are working to make the light brighter, as most LED lighting right now is more suited to task lighting and not particularly useful for general or ambient lighting. Often, a number of tiny LEDs are used in a single fixture to make it brighter.

 

When designed properly, an LED circuit will approach 80% efficiency, which means 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light energy


Advantages of LED Lights

 

The key strength of LED lighting is reduced power consumption. When designed properly, an LED circuit will approach 80% efficiency, which means 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light energy. The remaining 20% is lost as heat energy. Compare that with incandescent bulbs which operate at about 20% efficiency (80% of the electrical energy is lost as heat). In real money terms, if a 100 Watt incandescent bulb is used for 1 year, with an electrical cost of 10 cents/kilowatt hour, R880.00 will be spent on electricity costs. Of the R880.00 expense, R700.00 will have been used to heat the room, not light the room. If an 80% efficient LED system had been used, the electricity cost would be R230.00 per year - there would be a cost savings of R650.00 on electricity during the year. Realistically the cost savings would be higher as most incandescent light bulbs blow out within a year and require replacements whereas LED light bulbs can be used easily for a decade without burning out. 

 

  Our white LED lights currently come in packages which contain 36 or 48 LED lamps and can be adapted for use with any power supply or casing. Our clusters allow for conversion to operate from all common caving batteries, e.g. FX5/Kirby pack down to two AA cells, in case portability is needed. We have produced a seven-LED cluster light source as an alternative to low wattage light bulbs and a possible portable light source.