Can LED lighting deliver?

Incandescent lamps are cheap but tend to have short lifetimes. The light emitted by incandescent sources is perceived as particularly pleasant because these hot radiators generate a continuous (or full) emission spectrum. But this very fact means that they waste much of the electrical energy supplied to them. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are actually the least compact of all the various lamps commercially available at present (Figure 1). While CFLs are certainly energy efficient, replacing an incandescent light bulb with a CFL is not just a matter of screwing out one lamp and screwing in the other. While the CFL thread fits the lamp holder socket, the lamp doesn’t always suit the luminaire – and it is not uncommon for users to reject the energy-saving CFL on aesthetic grounds.

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Highlights

  • Briefly describes the physics of LEDs and how LED lamps work.
  • Discusses the use of LED lamps in practice.
  • Analyses the efficiency of LED lamps.
  • Considers potential power and colour problems of LEDs.
  • Discusses LED lamps as a viable and more energy efficient alternative.

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