Facts about LEDs: what has changed in the last 6 years

25.01.2022

In 2016, we wrote an article „11 facts about LED lighting or why it is better not to put LED lamps in the store”. The topic caused a real stir. Since then, the LED industry has evolved; therefore, in a new article, we will talk about the issues that have already lost their relevance, and the issues that have become even more important.

The LED revolution took place before 2014 and there have been no major changes in the industry since then. Manufacturers are only gradually improving efficiency of LED products. For outdoor lighting, the efficiency of linear luminaire modules and some diodes has increased to 200 LM/ W. And for indoor lighting, nothing has changed significantly: the efficiency of LED modules with a high color rendering index is still in the range of 130 — 150 LM/ W.

ТLED service life

Nothing much has changed in the service life of LEDs. They can work up to 50 thousand hours if a certain number of requirements are met: the correct lamp with heat removal and dissipation and a complete driver.

As before, a properly designed system can work long and reliably, regardless of the technology of light sources. For example, in 2015 we opened the Andre Tan store in Kharkiv. It has been operating for 6 years, and not a single metal halide lamp (and there are more than 100 of them) has burned out.

Special Spectra

Modern LEDs have become much better at transmitting colors. For example, Philips has released a line of Premium White and Premium Color LED modules, which significantly improved the characteristics of visual perception of light. The range of LED modules of special spectra for highlighting bread, meat, cheeses, etc. has expanded.

In 2016, in order to create high-quality lighting scenes, we could only use PHILIPS Elite Series metal halide lamps. With the release of the Premium White line, it is now possible to create lighting with very transparent light, visual comfort and with a high color rendering index of 93%.

Predominance of the blue spectrum

The technology of producing white LEDs from blue has not changed, so blue is still dominant for most market products. Exceptions are special series of LEDs, in which, due to the better conversion of the blue spectrum into others, the blue spectrum is almost leveled. They have an improved color rendering index and a light temperature of 3000 K, 2500 K, 2700 K, 2800 K. However, this significantly reduces the efficiency of diodes. Such series make up about 5% of all products on the modern market and rarely reach the mass consumer.

Ripple

The problem of ripple has changed: today you need to choose drivers more carefully, because each manufacturer has series with different ripple coefficients. For example, Philips has the Xitanium series with a ripple of less than 5%, but the same manufacturer has the Certa Drive series, some models of which have a ripple of up to 30%. They are designed for different purposes, so when planning lighting, this must be taken into account.

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Mindless design decisions./b>

In the pursuit of trends, interior designers often neglect the functionality of light. They use track spotlights, which are actually accent lamps and are not intended for bedrooms or office premises, create lighting with a predominance of blue in the spectrum, a high ripple index, and an incorrectly selected light temperature. How is this dangerous for humans?

  • In bedrooms, lamps with a predominance of the blue spectrum block the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for human circadian rhythms and is very important for normal sleep. A high percentage of pulsation produces the stress hormone cortisol in the body. This leads to constant fatigue, irritability, and absent-mindedness.
  • Installing intense blue-spectrum radiation in a children’s room harms the retina of children’s eyes. Recently, the problem has become even more urgent due to the irrational use of track spotlights in bedrooms, dining rooms, children’s rooms, and bathrooms. 
  • If we talk about trends in LED lighting in office premises, then it is necessary to take into account the correct grouping of local lighting — the one that illuminates the workplace, and general lighting — the one that illuminates the overall space of the room. 

Harm to individual products

It is still not advisable to put LED lighting with a temperature of 4000 K or higher on individual food products, for example, milk in a clear bottle. Under the action of LED, the structure of certain proteins, vitamins and trace elements is destroyed.

Conscious street lighting

Recently, the streets of the city stopped using cold lighting of 6500 K, and switched to a more comfortable one with a temperature of 4000 K. In park areas, they began to use LEDs with 3000 K, which are pleasant to the human eye and have a less crushing effect on the population of urban birds.

Advantages of LEDs for retail

When properly designed and used, the light can increase conversions and average receipts in stores, regardless of technology. The flexibility and variability of LED equipment has significantly expanded the available tools of light engineers and designers. Previously, there were not so many spectra: almost everything was in cold colors, and what was in warm colors was of poor quality. Now the market offers a variety of LEDs with different spectrum saturation, which allows retailers to increase sales significantly.

Technology has become more flexible. Here are some examples in the table below.

Then

Now

Fluorescent lamps, for example, T8, had a standard length of 60 cm, 1.20 m, 1.5 m.

The LED lamp can be any size

The length corresponded to a certain power.  

Different powers for different lengths. Conditionally, for a 14 cm linear LED-module – from 12 W to 120 W.

The temperatures in fluorescent lamps were 3000 K, 4000 K and 6500 K.

Diodes can have 2500K, 2700K, 3000K; 3500k, 4000k, 4200k, 5000k, 6000, 6500K, up to 22,000 K.

There were some highly specialized Spectra. For example, for aquariums.

A 3000K or 4000k diode can have multiple spectrum options for meat, bread, vegetables, etc

 

Choice of lighting fixtures(lamps) = expertise

Although technologies allows you to create the right light scenes and influence conversion, there are few specialists who can do it properly. In addition, there are many side issues: the correct design of lighting scenes, constant monitoring of components, taking into account individual indicators and series.

You need to buy products only from trusted brands and pay attention to specific indicators: ripple coefficients, color rendering indices. Professional customers should delve into the topic on their own or contact professionals to find a really high-quality comfortable light.

Imbalance from the wrong light

Entire industries have emerged in the field of improper use of light: coaches, work-life balance, and so on. Very often, they replace fatigue from lighting with informative saturation. In fact, some of the problems are solved very easily — by reducing the impact of incorrectly selected and poor-quality light.

The problem of the wrong light doesn’t end when a person leaves the office. At work, they produce enough cortisol, at home, because of the blue color in the spectrum and track spotlights, melatonin is blocked — the hormone of „rest and relaxation”. The person does not recover and accumulates fatigue. Thus, up to 40% of emotional burnout occurs solely due to improper use of light.

The article presents some of the most important changes that have taken place in the lighting industry since 2014. We, Nova Light, constantly keep our finger on the pulse and take these changes into account, because we understand that the quality of our work depends on them.