As lighting LED products have become affordable market penetration has increased to the point that they are expected to take 36 percent of the lighting market in 2016.
In the domestic lighting LED market, the primary driving force behind adoption is lower costs, while in the commercial and professional fields the ability to efficiently control lighting levels is important.
A LED, or light emitting diode, lights up when a direct current is passed through it. Modern LEDs produce a natural white light and consume less than half the energy used by alternative forms of lighting. Although a LED has a narrow beam, all-round performance is achieved through fitting several LED chips around the luminaries so as to emulate conventional light fittings.
A characteristic of a light emitting diode is that it has negligible resistance once sufficient voltage is applied to light the diode. This means some method of controlling the current is required to prevent uncontrollable fluctuations in light output and to avoid damage due to excess current.
LED lamps intended to replace older types of light fittings have a controller, also known as a driver, built into the lamp base. Larger systems, such as those used for shop displays or as domestic downlights, use a separate driver that controls a number of LEDs connected in series.
Frequently, there is a need to be able to dim the light output. Traditional dimmers use triacs or other electronic devices to phase control the AC voltage so that current only flows during part of each AC cycle. Although this works well with incandescent lighting, phase control dimmers can play havoc with LED drivers, causing unacceptable flickering and poor control. For commercial and professional applications, the ability to achieve a smooth transition from full power to complete darkness is crucial, and drivers must be fully compatible and rated to work with both the forward control type as well as the reverse control type of phase control dimmer.
Why You Should Change
LED lights use less energy than other types of domestic and commercial lighting, and their long lamp life means that total running costs are lower than incandescent and CFL lamps. When fitted with a compatible driver, they are fully dimmable so that the right mood can be created. Additionally, early issues of poor color rendition are a thing of the past, provided lamps are selected from reputable manufacturers.