L.E.Ds are superior to the traditional halogen style rotators, WHY?
First of all what does L.E.D stand for ?
Simply it means "light emitting diode." A diode is an electrical component with two terminals which conduct the electricity only in one direction. With an electrical current, the diode emits a bright light around the small bulb.
They are superior to traditional lights because they use far less energy which means a much lower strain on a vehicles electrical system or batteries. Meaning you can generally leave your car engine off for a long time, while the lights are on without having to worry about getting a flat battery, like in the old days! Perfect for emergency vehicles and public utility vehicles such as traffic control utilities and trucks, as well as construction and plant machinery.
LEDs are made completely differently from the traditional, incandescent bulbs that Thomas Edison invented in 1878, and not much has changed since then.
So why are LEDs Different
LEDs release energy (light) in the form of photons. They are solid state with no filaments to burn out, and LEDs are measured in lumens* which calculates the actual ‘brightness’ of the light that the eye ‘sees. They are made from a transparent epoxy plastic, not glass so are very durable if dropped or impacted. LEDs won’t just burn out like traditional bulbs...leaving you in a dangerous situation. They will never let you down because they just fade slowly giving you plenty of time to replace them, but with 50 to 100,000 working hours, you’ve got plenty of time before you would need to change them, if at all.
LEDs use direct current instead of alternating current so they won’t flicker like incandescent lights. They will stay working. LEDs are made so that all the LED modules forward instead of in a circle as do traditional bulbs. At Hazard Warning Concepts we are able to offer our customers a wide range of emergency vehicle lighting products with specialised lenses that enhance the natural direct LED beam in 3 different ways. The TIR lens is designed to refocus the LED light into an even more high-intensity beam; with the Linear 1 lens spreads the natural beam so it covers a wider peripheral output.
LEDs have built-in color or can use a coloured lens cover to create the color as is still the case with standard tail lights. These days there are many led colors to choose from, but that was NOT always the case. It took many years of dedicated research before LED colored lights other than red were developed. Green, yellow, and Amber appeared in 1971, but it took 22 more years in 1993 for the world to get a blue LED. White was created just 2 years later in 1995. It’s hard to believe that it took over 30 years for an ordinary, cheap string of multicolored LED Christmas lights to become available but now we see them being used in most emergency and utility vehicles worldwide.
Why Watts NOT Lumens
At Hazard Warning Concepts we use ‘wattage’ when referring to the intensity of our LEDs because our customers are more familiar with that measurement than with lumens, the correct term for measuring the brightness of LEDs. But just remember, a 1-Watt incandescent bulb is NOT the same as a 1-Watt LED. A 15W LED can produce much more light than a 60W traditional bulb. A 1-Watt white LED can produce up to 300 Lumens/watt depending on its size, voltage, and the temperature, that’s why there is always a range when measuring lumens/LED.
Remember: A lumen is the brightness of a light that the eye actually sees, and even that is different, as you well know, during the day and the night. So there are a lot of variables when discussing the brightness (the lumen count) of an LED which makes measuring LEDs in lumens somewhat confusing. We apply the K.I.S.S method (keep it simple stupid!)
Research and Development
LEDs efficiently convert electrons into photons which produce powerful, eye-squinting, blinding light that generates far less heat than the older bulbs, but they can be harmful to your eyes if you stare directly at them because they are so much brighter than incandescent lights. LEDs are now in traffic lights, Emergency vehicle lights, and signal lights; that’s why the lights are much brighter than they used to be and why it’s almost impossible, when passing by, to look at them when they are flashing in full force!
Year after year, government tries to limit the use of the old and soon to be obsolete incandescent bulbs, as they are inefficient, costly, and do not have a long operational life. R&D teams are ever improving LED products by creating many different kinds of LEDS for home and industry including emergency vehicle warning solutions. Consumers are baffled by the number to choose from which vary so much in color, shape, size, and lumens and, though much longer lasting, are also much more expensive than traditional bulbs. It is impossible to predict how the LED industry will evolve into the future, however one of the most popular manufacturers CREE has no doubts at all. It has publically stated that its goal is to make the world 100% LED.