Light-emitting diodes, LEDs, have existed for more than 40 years, but only recent innovation and technology advances have made them bright enough to provide useful lighting in commercial and residential settings. Because the special semiconductor chips are made from ultra-high-purity materials under tightly controlled conditions, LEDs today are able to sustain high light output under demanding operating conditions.
When operated properly, LEDs do not burn out like normal light bulbs. Rather, they dim over time. The most common industry standard for rating the “lifetime” of an LED is the point at which the light produced is only 70% of the initial lumen value. Under proper operating conditions, most LEDs have a lifetime exceeding more than 50,000 hours (>5 years of continuous operation). This longer lifetime can generate substantial maintenance savings.
Light-emitting diodes are a special type of semiconductor that uses the electricity to create an electric field inside the tiny chip. This electric field enables the very highly efficient creation of light inside the chip. Unfortunately, due to tiny defects at an atomic level and optics of packaging surrounding the chip, some of this light never escapes to the outside world where we can see it. Today, the best chips are producing about 30% of their theoretically expected efficiency, but many industry experts are confident that this value could be increased to 60% or greater in the years ahead.
Reduced Energy Costs
Currently, LED luminaires are generally more expensive than those using traditional light sources, but they can use as little as 1/10 the energy of traditional light sources and produce equivalent light output, thus producing significant energy savings. Depending on the hours of usage of the luminaire, the payback periods can be quite short.
Cooler Operating Temperatures
LEDs produce no infrared (IR) or ultraviolet (UV); consequently they are considered to be cooler than traditional sources and radiate less heat. However, LEDs do indeed produce heat as they generate light and this heat must be conducted away from the LED die. This thermal management is one of the most important factors in determining the performance and life of the LED.
LEDs utilize less energy than conventional light sources, significantly reducing energy consumption. For every 1000 KWH of energy reduced, it has the effect of reducing .703 Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) which is the CO2 impact from 79 gallons of gasoline or 750 pounds of coal burned. You have reduced other greenhouse gasses; it’s as if you removed a passenger car from the road for about 2 months or eliminated 1,684 miles driven or eliminated .223 tons of waste going into a landfill.
Additionally, when it comes time to take a LED out of service (many years down the road), one can safely and easily dispose of it through normal means. The tiny semiconductor chip is safely encapsulated and generally does not contain harmful materials such as mercury or lead that can be damaging to human health and the environment.
By creating high efficacy light engines, Permlight Technologies helps LED technology fulfill its potential as an environmentally friendly technology. We recognize that making the right choices today regarding LED technology will have a positive impact on our planet tomorrow.