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18.07.2014

Fight of technologies: why light-emitting diodes?

The Russian market of the LED equipment began its development no more than 5 years ago and at the present moment endures a phase of intensive growth. The energy saving technology based on the application of light-emitting diodes provides an increase in the economy of the electric power almost by 10 times upon transition from the use of incandescent lamps, twice upon transition from luminescent and mercury lamps and by 1.5 times upon transition from sodium lamps.

Light-emitting diodes force out other light sources thanks, mainly, to its high luminous efficiency and its big service life. For example, Japanese Nichia (in laboratories which light-emitting diodes of a white luminescence were invented in the early nineties) now serially produces light-emitting diodes with luminous efficiency of 130 and more lm/W in lots, with service life that can reach 100000 h.

Nevertheless, there are cheaper light sources in which the energy efficiency and service life, although somewhat inferior, is still comparable to light-emitting diodes: luminescent lamps of T5 (luminous efficiency of 100 lm/W, service life of 28000 h) and metal halogen lamps (MGL, luminous efficiency of 80 lm/W, service life of 20000 h). These specified sources sometimes add such "niche" decision as induction lamps. Why then it is necessary to be guided by light-emitting diodes?

Light-emitting diodes, due to their small size, allow for a new way to approach the design of illuminants. Light from these can be focused and sent to the right place precisely. This is their major advantage compared to luminescent and induction lamps.

MGL has a big warm up time, about 1-3 minutes, and most importantly, after an emergency shut down the lamp can be turned on no earlier than 10 minutes. At the illumination of sports facilities in which broadcasts are conducted, special lamps allowing faster restart at the price of reduction of service life are used, but their use on production is unacceptable. Another disadvantage of MGL is a considerable change of the emission spectrum, which becomes noticeable after 6000 hours of work. Because of this it is quite often necessary to replace lamps that formally did not yet outlive their usefulness.

Further, the service life of luminescent lamps and MGL depends on the quantity of switching on/off cycles, while light-emitting diodes can be switched on/off nearly as much as necessary and their service life will not decrease from it. All these make light-emitting diodes a preferable choice when used together with intellectual systems of lighting.

"The majority of LED lamps can work in a wide range of temperatures. The director general of LLC AtomSvet, Vadim Dadyka, says that this is their clear advantage in street lighting and the illumination of buildings. For example, LED AtomSvet® lamps are capable of shining smoothly at a temperature from-60 to +60 °C. Eventually, the main characteristics of LED lamps practically do not change. Lamps have strong cases with an aluminum structural shape. Polycarbonate glass is capable to maintain high shock loadings."

Light-emitting diodes, unlike some traditional light sources, do not contain mercury and other toxic substances polluting the environment. Therefore for LED lamps, special measures for utilization are not required. Low power consumption, qualitative light and the lack of pollution to the environment facilitate the passing of ecological certification for the enterprises at which LED lamps are installed. In particular, without modern lighting it is difficult to receive the international certificates of LEED and BREEAM most fully estimating the impact on the environment.

"Light-emitting diodes spend the minimum quantity of energy, and it is necessary to replace them much more less than ‘classical’ lamps. Therefore, their contribution to ecology, if not to consider costs of production and installation of massive metal heat sinks, will be always considerable: the less emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the less waste." - Milos Kovacevic, GIP, the appraiser on BREEAM system, the member of council on ecological building of RuGB makes comments.

According to the McKinsey company (Lighting the Way, 2012), on a global scale in 2016 the share of LED illuminants in the market of industrial lighting in terms of money will make 21%, and by 2020 — 74%. Certainly, skeptics can note that this is largely connected to the fact that LED lamps are more expensive. But if the cost of lamps in a power supply system and management is removed, which for light-emitting diodes is more expensive, data on a share of the market will make neighbors — 19% and 37% respectively. Thus, it is expected that in 2016 the world market of LED industrial lighting will reach a point of 1 billion Euros, and in 2020 — 2 billion Euros.

"Today, light-emitting diodes provide the luminous efficiency surpassing all available light sources. Thus, today only two segments still have price questions to LED decisions. These are household lamps: retrofits and street sodium lamps. But also this and that market will "be punched" in the nearest future at the expense of the growing output and at the expense of the continuing growth of the luminous efficiency of light-emitting diodes. Today, to create projects on sodium lamps is an utter nonsense; this is the fixation of ineffective decisions for a decade forward. Replacement of lamps of DRL by sodium is a patching of "Trishkin´s caftan," says Evgeny Dolin, the Director General of Association (NP PSS).

At the same time, light-emitting diodes also have shortcomings. First of all, it is certainly a higher cost in terms of 1 lm of light stream in comparison with other sources used in industrial lighting. Advantages realize the light-emitting diodes only when using in correctly designed illuminant, otherwise parameters of the lamp can even be lower than when using traditional light sources. Serious shortcomings for industrial lighting are rigid restrictions on temperature. It does not allow for the establishment of large quantities of let-out models of LED lamps, for example, in foundry shop. At the same time. The samples of LED lamps that are capable of working at a temperature of about 100 degrees centigrade are already created.

Features of LED lamps design

The correct approach is to develop a light initially under the use of light-emitting diodes as a light source; the leading global manufacturers do just that. However, a considerable number of the companies making LED lamps for industrial application go an easy way: They take as a basis lamps for traditional light sources, and establish in them light-emitting diodes. As a result, it is possible to save on development, and also the organization of the production of new components for the lamp.

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The obvious examples of this are lamps like "Highbay." The bell-shaped type of such lamps in the past was dictated by the restrictions imposed by traditional light sources. But such form is not optimum. The bell-shaped lamp, because of its big surface of the case, is the real dust collector. Besides, such lamps together with sub-weight "eat off" to 1.5 m from the useful height of the room. Upon transition to light-emitting diodes, little-known Chinese producers began to reproduce the same design simply instead of the MGL LED matrix. But light-emitting diodes allow realizing essentially the other design of "Highbay" - in the form of a parallelepiped of small thickness. Each light-emitting diode is supplied with an individual lens. As the light-emitting diode is a fixed light source, there is an opportunity precisely to place it relative to the lens. In turn, it allows sustaining a demanded curve of luminous intensity more precisely. The lens array can be combined with a plafond: It became possible thanks to emergence of a new grade of Bayer Macrolon LED polycarbonate. The Russian company "AtomSvet" makes lamps with its use, in particular.

What are the reasons for skepticism?

It is possible to divide the reasons that prevent the use of LED lighting as either objective or subjective.

The objective reasons are connected with the restrictions caused by a financial component. In most cases the use of light-emitting diodes pays back itself, but for 3-5 years. At the same time the planning horizon in the majority of the Russian companies makes about 2 years.

The subjective reasons are connected with the mistrust of LED lighting. It can be both quite natural mistrust to new technology and the result of unsuccessful introduction of cheap LED lamps at the enterprise. Lack of an effectively working system of certification in Russia does not allow estimating the quality of the lamp. In these conditions it is necessary to be guided by the international certificates, first of all GS, CE and ENEC. If the producer has these certificates on production it is possible to be quiet for quality. As for decrease in probability of acquisition of unfair production, it is possible to recommend only the most general things: not to pursue the lowest price even if it is a question of the non-Chinese origin production at first sight.

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Video of the manufacturing process and advantages of AtomSvet® LED lighting fixtures

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