LEDs are reliable and bright
But LEDs are poor quality, right?
LEDs have been criticised for not being as bright as current lighting alternatives and producing an odd colour. This was true in the past but recent advances in technology have created a brighter, more efficient lighting source that is finally ready for you. Gone are the days of poor quality LEDs (except from unlicensed and dodgy sources), we are in the age of high quality LEDs that are going to revolutionise the way we receive light.
“A 9 watt LED can now produce a similar amount of light to a 15 watt CFL and a 60 watt incandescent light,” says ESIC Lighting Product Director Stefan Maric. LEDs are producing the same amount of light, similar brightness, to light forms currently being used in homes but at a lower energy consumption level.
Caution: Do not look directly into an LED to test its brightness – it is bright and it will hurt.
In regards to LEDs producing colours other than what we’re used to, there is something called the Colour Rendering Index (CRI). The CRI measures the colour accuracy of a light. The closer this light is to daylight, or the light produced by the sun, the higher the CRI. Epistar has reached a CRI greater than 85 and CREE has reached CRIs in the 90s. That means they are 85-90% similar to the light from the sun, and the technology is only going to improve with serious competition between LED chip leaders.
Still wondering if Fred in the bakery down the street was right when he claimed LEDs were poor quality? Take a look at these organisations who are toting the quality of LEDs for all to see.
The Wilhelm Restaurant Group Inc. has just installed CREE LEDs in their restaurant chain. Employees have already voiced their preference for LEDs over CFLs, noting they are very bright, easy on their eyes and enhance the general appearance of the food [sold in the restaurants], said Paul Belle, Vice President of the Wilhelm Restaurant Group, Inc. “The light is not offensive like CFLs can be [and] the LEDs give off a warm, white light,” said Belle. “The best way I can describe it is to compare the light to a high-definition television. Everything under the LED lighting appears to have a better clarity, like HDTV versus standard definition”.
Ever seen the iconic ball dropped at midnight each New Year in Times Square, New York? LEDs. “The ball used to be lit by 100 incandescent lights but is now powered by LEDs that use less than half the amount of power and generate nearly three times the brightness,” said Jeff Straus, the President of Countdown Entertainment which has been involved with supervising the countdown for 17 years.
A small town named Culpeper in the United States of America has realised the benefits of a quality light at higher efficiency. The town’s spokesperson Wally Bunker announced they switched a sample of street lights to LEDs because they have found it is “brighter and it leaves a very white footprint [which] allows you to illuminate more at less cost”.
So the next time Fred’s critical voice pops up in your head, remember that LEDs are a continually improving technology that is now ready – and Fred needs to catch up.
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