Everything You Need to Know About LED Lighting

ATG Electronics was founded in 2001 in California. Today, the company is a global leader among LED lighting suppliers for retrofitting conventional lights with high quality, cutting-edge LEDs.

ATG has expert lighting engineers that have years of experience in providing effective and affordable outdoor lighting solutions for companies, such as outdoor and parking lot lighting. These solutions provide safety and security in a broad range of outdoor applications.

Moreover, ATG Electronics is a leading expert in indoor/office lighting. We offer cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing designs that simulate natural lighting. This helps employees confidently and safely complete their work without undue eye strain and maintain a positive attitude throughout the day.

Of course, none of these benefits would have been possible without the invention of LED lighting.

A Brief History of LED Lighting

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are typically very small light sources—only about 1 square millimeter or less—that efficiently convert electricity into light. They release very little heat and emit light rays in only one direction. These characteristics make them much more energy-efficient and cost-effective than other types of lighting. For instance, other light sources must use reflectors to channel light emissions in a certain direction, and incandescent bulbs emit 90% of their energy as heat.

The concept of electroluminescence—which is at the heart of LED lighting—was first developed in 1907, and the term itself was coined in 1,936. However, it was General Electric scientist Nick Holonyak, Jr. who invented the first viable LED light in 1962. This predecessor to modern LED lighting used Gallium Arsenide Phosphide (GaAsP) as its semiconducting material. GE referred to this innovative new lighting product as “the magic one.”

At first, LEDs only produced red light, and were primarily used for small pieces of electrical equipment and circuit boards. These early LEDs were highly durable, but had a low lumen output.

However, engineers quickly developed orange LEDs, and then LEDs that emitted other colors, such as green and yellow. Starting in the late 1970s/early 1980s LEDs became compatible with a broader range of applications. Multiple LEDs could be connected to a single circuit. Towns and municipalities began using LED lighting for traffic lights and other outdoor applications. The practicality of LED lighting for such uses gradually caused an upsurge in popularity, and an increased demand for LED products.

Nowadays, third-generation LED technology is nearly ubiquitous. LED products can be found in an expansive range of industrial, government, commercial, and residential applications. Modern LED lighting boasts longer lifespans, brighter outputs, and optimized energy efficiency.

LED Lighting vs. Incandescent Bulbs vs. Halogen Bulbs

While LED lighting has a reputation as the most efficient type of lighting currently available, there are other options that can be utilized in commercial settings. Three other types of lighting that are commonly used are:

  • Incandescent bulbs. In these types of light bulbs, an electric current conducted through a thin wire heats a filament until it begins to radiate light. Over time, the continuous heat burns the bulb’s tungsten filament until finally it breaks or “burns out,” thus extinguishing the light source.
  • Halogen bulbs. Halogen bulbs represent a design improvement upon the traditional incandescent bulb. While the radiant light still comes from a heated tungsten filament, halogen gas within the bulb mixes with vapors from the tungsten and causes these vapors to resettle back upon the tungsten as deposits. By this process, more time elapses before the filament breaks, and the bulb’s lifespan is extended. Halogen bulbs use quartz envelopes instead of glass due to their higher durability under constant heat exposure.
  • Compact fluorescent lights (CFL). CFL bulbs are designed as replacements to incandescent bulbs and can last six times as long as their counterparts. However, CFL bulbs are primarily used in residential applications, and thus are not directly relevant to a comparison of commercial lighting options.

LED Lighting vs. Incandescent Bulbs

LED lighting offers many advantages over incandescent bulbs, including:

  • Longevity. LED lights can last more than 25 times longer than their incandescent counterparts. The average lifespan of an incandescent light bulb can extend to about 1,000 working hours, whereas an LED product can perform up to 30,000 working hours. 
  • Cost efficiency. LED lights use a minimum of 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Over a 20-year period, this translates to LED lighting costs that are only 16% of those associated with incandescent bulbs.
  • Environmental impact. LED lighting offers a low carbon footprint compared to incandescent alternatives. Whereas an incandescent bulb may produce as many as 4400 lbs. of CO2 every year, a comparable LED light will only produce 514 lbs. in that same time frame.

LED Lighting vs. Halogen Bulbs

LED lights compare favorably to halogen products as well. Let’s examine the same three factors mentioned above:

  • Longevity. Like incandescent bulbs, LEDs can outlast halogen bulbs by 25 times or more.
  • Cost-efficiency. Halogen bulbs may consume an average of 90 watts of power per hour. In contrast, LED lights only consume 8 watts, greatly reducing electrical costs.
  • Environmental impact. While halogen bulbs do release minimal UV emissions, LED lights release near-zero UV emissions, making them much eco-friendlier than their halogen counterparts.

Clearly, LED lighting is the preferred option over competing products in several areas.

What are the Advantages of LED Lighting?

There are many LED lighting benefits that cannot be matched by other manufactured light sources. In this section we will briefly discuss some of the many advantages of LED lighting for indoor and outdoor solutions.

  • Energy efficiency. As previously mentioned, LED lighting is much more energy efficient than the alternatives. Translated into financial terms, LED lighting can provide lighting-related savings on electricity bills of over 90% compared to incandescent and halogen products.
  • Longevity. Since LED lights can last anywhere from 25-50 times longer than traditional bulbs, companies can save both labor and material costs on bulb replacements. Premier LED lighting can perform constantly for as long as seven years without requiring a replacement.
  • Durability. LEDs utilize a semiconducting material—rather than a filament or halogen gas—as the energy medium for their light emissions. Additionally, LED circuit boards are connected using soldered leads. This means that LED lights are sturdier than more traditional options that use quartz or glass envelopes.
  • Excellent CRI. The color rendering index (CRI) measures how well a light source reveals an object’s true colors compared to natural light. LED lighting boasts excellent CRI, which makes it a wonderful option for outdoor/nighttime applications. 
  • Adaptability to different climates. LED lights perform well in very cold temperatures, in contrast to fluorescent lights that demand higher voltages in similar situations. This makes LED lighting an excellent choice for outdoor applications that are subject to extremes of hot or cold.
  • Safety. LEDs only produce 3.4 BTUs/hour compared to the 85 BTUs/hour that incandescent bulbs release. LEDs are almost always cool to the touch, which increases safety for maintenance workers and other users.
  • Eco-friendliness. LEDs are highly recyclable and green-friendly, especially when compared to lighting options that utilize mercury or other toxic substances.
  • Versatility. LED lights can be used in a wide variety of ways, from combination clusters for traditional lighting to isolated light sources for smaller applications.

Partnering with The LED Experts

Since the 1960s, LED lighting has proven to be an innovative, energy-efficient, and cost-effective alternative to more traditional lighting systems. It offers expansive and substantial benefits in commercial applications and compares favorably to its counterparts in the lighting industry in nearly every category.

At ATG Electronics, we have the expertise to provide an LED lighting solution tailored to your specific needs. We can help you save on energy costs, reduce the man-hours needed for your lighting system’s maintenance, and enhance the experience of your employees and customers alike.

If you’d like to learn more about what a partnership with us as your LED lighting suppliers can mean for your company, reach out to us today to request a quote. As your LED experts, we can ensure that your company will enjoy brighter times ahead.

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