Lighting – LED Lighting and Decor
Lighting – LED Lighting and Decor. It’s been a great year for LED lighting technology thus far. As 2020inds down, it is a good opportunity to look back and see which of our articles our readers deemed most valuable. We noticed an important trend: you are interested in learning how LED lighting technology compares to conventional types of lighting. Without further ado, here are Stouch Lighting’s best-performing blogs this year – look for more of these in 2021!
Lighting – LED Lighting and Decor. With nearly 8,000 views this year, how LEDs stack up versus high and low-pressure sodium lighting solutions was our most popular topic this year. Common applications for sodium vapour lighting include street lighting and parking lots as well as for tunnel lighting where colour rendering isn’t a major issue. High-pressure sodium lights are typically used in outdoor environments for organizations like schools, large commercial buildings like hospitals, or municipalities managing city lighting on a budget. In fact, it’s highly likely that HPS lights are in your neighbourhood – unless you’re in a municipality that has conducted an LED retrofit. They are easily recognizable by their distinct yellowish glow.
- What is a Low-Pressure Sodium light? Low-Pressure Sodium Vapor (LPS) lights are a specific type of gas-discharge light (also known as a High-Intensity Discharge, HID or arc light). The bulb principally contains solid sodium metal inside a borosilicate glass tube that vaporizes once the lamp is turned on. During start (while the sodium is still in solid form) the lamp emits a dim reddish/pink glow. Once the metal is vaporized, the emissions become the characteristic bright yellow associated with sodium vapour lamps. The spectrum of visible emissions from an LPS light is actually very close together (589 and 589.6 nm, virtually monochromatic) resulting in the colours of illuminated objects being nearly indistinguishable.
- What is a High-Pressure Sodium light? High-Pressure Sodium Vapor (HPS) lights, similar to LPS lights, are a specific type of gas-discharge light (also known as a High-Intensity Discharge, HID or arc light). The principal difference between low and high-pressure sodium lights is the operating pressure inside the lamp. As indicated by the name, “high” pressure sodium vapour lights operate at a higher internal pressure. The arc tube is made of aluminium oxide and the sodium metal is combined with several other elements like mercury which counterbalances the yellow glow with some white to light blue emissions.
To learn how LEDs and HPS / LPS lights compare head-to-head in lighting characteristics, read the full blog.
When you think of the stereotypical office setting with harsh, bright lights overhead, you’re most likely imagining fluorescent lights. Perhaps the stereotype is getting to people, and they’re looking to replace fluorescents with LED fixtures; our LED versus fluorescents blog garnered nearly 3,000 hits since March. Fluorescent lighting technology has been used in many applications (primarily interior), but it’s a great candidate for an LED retrofit. For all their benefits, fluorescent lights are pretty inefficient as compared to LED lighting technology. Read below for a brief description of fluorescent lighting, or read our head-to-head-comparison here.
- What are the fluorescent lights? Fluorescent lights are a specific type of gas-discharge light (also known as a High-Intensity Discharge, HID or arc light). CFL is an acronym that stands for Compact Fluorescent Light. Standard fluorescent lights are available in tubes (generally 48 to 84 inches in length). CFLs are much smaller. They are still tubes but they are “compact” as the name implies. CFLs were designed to replace standard applications for incandescent bulbs as they are both more efficient and longer-lasting. Fluorescent lamps produce light by converting ultraviolet emissions with a fluorescent coating on the inside of the tube. UV radiation is generated in the first place by an electrical charge that is run through the inert mercury glass internal to the bulb. The gas is excited by the electricity and releases ultraviolet radiation as a consequence. Fluorescent lights require ignition which is typically provided by a voltage pulse or a third electrode (an additional metal part) internal to the bulb. Starting is relatively simple with small tubes but can require significant voltage with larger lights. Fluorescent lighting used to require a “warm-up” period in order to evaporate the internal gas into plasma, but now there are several near-instantaneous starting technologies for fluorescent light (those include “quick-start,” “instant start,” and “rapid-start”). Additionally, as the light heats up it requires additional voltage to operate. Voltage requirements in fluorescent bulbs are balanced by a ballast (a magnetic device in older bulbs and an electrical one in newer fluorescent technology). As the fluorescent light ages, more and more voltage is required to produce the same amount of light until eventually, the voltage exceeds the fixed resistance provided by the ballast and the light goes out (fails). Fluorescent lights become less and less efficient over time because they must use more and more voltage to produce the same lumen output as the light degrades.