LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lighting technologies continue to benefit from widespread diffusion on the national and international market, as they are eco-friendly alternatives to traditional lighting technologies. This recognition of values - on an ecological, economic and functional level - between producers and consumers means that the LED lighting market is clearly growing, according to technicians' estimates and forecasts. Only in Italy - as emerges from the "Efficient & smart lighting report" of the Polytechnic University of Milan - will the LED market go from 900 million euros in 2015 to over 1.5 billion euros expected for 2020.
The estimated growth clearly affects different areas of application. In 2020 – again citing the aforementioned report – it is estimated that 400 million LED light sources will be used for domestic lighting. By that date, in public lighting LED lighting technologies should reach 3 and a half million, while in the industrial/tertiary sector the market should grow by 80% compared to 2015, with 20% of Italian industries benefiting from LED technologies . The overall picture would result in total energy savings of 10.8 TWh per year.
Advantages and areas of use of LED lighting
As mentioned, among the most significant fields of application of LED technology are those of private lighting, public and industrial lighting, as well as the automotive sector. The advantages of its use concern fundamental aspects such as energy saving, the reduction of maintenance costs linked to the useful life of the product, the quality of the luminous flux, in full compliance with the RoHS II community directive. Specifically we can include the following strong points of LED lighting:
Energy saving. For the same flux emitted, the LED source absorbs a smaller amount of energy than traditional lighting devices. Thanks to the wide collimation possibilities, the luminous efficiency of LED devices is high with reduced consumption and a notable reduction in CO2 emissions. It is estimated that for the same amount of lighting, LED technology achieves greater energy savings than 50% compared to traditional technologies.
Dimming. Adjusting the luminous flux is one of the options allowed by LED technology, keeping the color temperature and light free from any visible alteration, but with the possibility of partializing consumption according to needs.
Environmental Protection. LED technology operates in full compliance with regulation 2011/65/EC (also known today as RoHS II – Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) which replaced regulation 2002/95/EC. This is because - unlike some older lighting technologies - there are no toxic or environmentally harmful materials present in LEDs, a factor which positively influences the disposal of exhausted light sources. Furthermore, these sources do not emit any UV and IR rays.
Useful life and maintenance. If powered with an adequate current and appropriately cooled by a correct dissipation system, LED technologies ensure a useful life in the order of tens of thousands of hours. The significantly longer lifespan of traditional lighting technologies - for example incandescent and fluorescent lamps - means that the frequency of replacement is very reduced, thus reducing the maintenance costs of the equipment.
Quality of light. The light emitted by the LED source has a high color rendering, fundamental for the perceptive activity of color by the human eye. Focal point in the choice of LED technologies for road lighting and in the automotive sector, LED "white light" allows you to achieve effective and safe lighting with lower energy consumption.
Notes on the operation of the devices
As mentioned, proper thermal management of LED fixtures is key to their durability; it is therefore necessary to provide a cooling/dissipation system that allows the technology to withstand high temperatures. Furthermore, to optimize LED technologies - and guarantee their effectiveness in terms of operation and energy saving - the excellent quality and design of theoutline electronics. The characteristics of the electronic components - in terms of dimensions and functionality - must be suitable for the design of the LED product, in order to ensure correct management of the air flow, therefore better lighting performance, stability and, as mentioned, useful life and effective energy and economic savings.
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