LED vs’ Induction for Parking Lot Lighting

LED and the induction lamps lead the race in lighting quality and energy efficiency among industrial lighting.  Which is best though?  Which is actually number one when it comes to commercial lighting needs?  No matter which one you choose you can be sure of one thing, anything is better than the traditional edisonian bulb.

How LED Lights Work?

Edison’s incandescent light bulbs work by heating up a filament.  This causes the majority of all energy produced to be lost in heat.  LED on the other hand, uses highly-conductive materials and dynamic atomic charges to create light.  All particles have either a positive charge or a negative one.  When an LED lamp is switched off, every particle runs to its polar opposite, all the negative ions are attached to a positive ion. LED lamps turn on via an atomic disruption. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) are semi-conductors which means that when electrons pass through it, the resulting energy production converts into light, much more efficient than the CFL or the incandescent.

How Induction Lights Work

The mechanism of the induction bulbs is very different, it uses an electromagnetic field to accelerate the mercury particles and help them mix up the inert gases krypton and argon.  The mercury makes the UV light and a covering inside the tube help make it visible.  In this way, the induction lamps are similar to traditional bulbs but since mercury in the induction lamps uses an electromagnet to start moving rather than simple metal prongs, many industries prefer the induction bulbs. Unlike the incandescent bulbs (the Edison style bulbs), induction lamps don’t require a fragile electrode burning inside the bulb to produce light. This allows the bulbs to burn for up to 100,000 hours!

Bulb Lifetime

In comparing the two there has been rigorous research and valid observation that the induction bulb does indeed last longer than the LED.  It has been noted that the induction bulb lasts up to 80,000-100,000 hours whereas the LED lasts for up to 50,000 hours.  Induction lamps are the better choice when light needs to be scattered from one place to another.  For example, many well lit parking lots utilize induction lights.

Lighting Your Parking Lot

One of the best features of induction lamps is the ability to scatter light across a wide space of land. Parking lots have a lot of features which using induction lighting. Its actually the perfect partnership as Parking lots and induction lamps go hand in hand providing excellent lighting at comparatively cheaper prices. They can easily be mounted on a pole or installed into a facade of a building, imagine that! In addition, parking lots usually require lights with greater longevity and higher productivity which is where induction is superior to LED. They are green, efficient, energy saving and probably best for your parking lot. All in all, induction and LED have pros and cons, induction might be better when trying to light up a parking lot but LED would be beneficial when trying to shoot light in a specific direction.

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Satisfying the High-Lighting Demands of the Commercial Sector

Energy for Lighting can use up to 60% (in schools) and 31% in retail stores of an entire organization’s budget.  However, there are energy saving alternatives.  One of the most popular replacement for household lamps is Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s).  CFL’s reduce energy consumption by 75% but due to the non-suitability of CFL in industrial and commercial settings we look further to more viable and realistic solutions.  There are two options that satisfy the high-lighting demands of the industrial and commercial sector while remaining cost effective. The two front runners are in fact Magnetic Induction Lamps (also called Induction Lights) and Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lights.

Induction Lamps vs LED

Induction Lamps create light by using an electromagnetic field to excite mercury particles mixed in an inert gas like argon or krypton. The mercury creates a UV light and a phosphor on the inside of the bulb or tube filters the energy into visible light. This is a type of fluorescent light. Unlike a standard energy fluorescent light this does not use electrodes in the tube. On the other hand, the light emitting diodes are just tiny light bulbs that fit easily into an electrical circuit. But unlike ordinary incandescent bulbs, they don’t have a filament that will burn out, and they don’t get especially hot. They are illuminated solely by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material, and they last just if a standard transistor.   Induction lamps are known to last much longer than a simple LED as they have an extremely long life.

The induction lamp can be properly and completely sealed as they don’t require electrodes to work thus increasing its life by a substantial amount, its very energy efficient often working for more than 80 lumens per watt. It also has the potential of lighting up both small and large areas depending on which induction lamp one uses whereas the LED has some distinct features which make it an excellent choice for any customer, the LED is extremely energy efficient outputting more than 135 lumens per watt and are known to run for more than 50000 hours if correctly engineered, it lights instantly as it requires no warm up period whatsoever.



Industrial Uses

Before going along and purchasing any one of the two the customer must understand what he clearly needs the light for.  If for example you need light which provides more scattered and focused lighting LED’s can provide both and are exceptional in one directional lighting whereas induction lamps fail to pinpoint light in a direction, but are much more successful in illuminating a large area.

As for industrial purposes Induction Lighting stands higher than LED as LED is renowned for one directional lighting, in an industrial setting LED would only cause dark spots and shadows whereas induction lighting has a wider beam angle creating a much more even spread of light. LED cannot withstand extremely hot temperatures usually having a range of (-20*C-50*C) whereas induction lights can tolerate temperatures up to 70*C. Induction Lighting is highly efficient and has been proven time and time again in high power lighting on the other hand LED is yet to prove itself in industrial conditions and per its many features would fail to supersede induction lighting.

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What you don’t know about LED light intensity curves for grow light apps

The light intensity curves for LEDs, regardless of whether they are collimated with a lens or reflectors, follow a bell shaped curve (often referred to as a “Lambertian” curve). The 50% intensity point for an LED with no optic (bare LED) is virtually always at approximately 120 degrees (60 degrees in each direction).
The 50% point (known as the “beam angle” or “viewing angle”) is a lesser number of degrees depending on the collimating specification used. The beam angle is the total angle in both plus and minus directions.
What is not commonly known by those not experienced in the physics of LED light emission and optics is that the Lambertian LED light intensity curves can be very misleading in terms of how much light is actually arriving at the receiving end.
The emitted light travels in a straight line whose length varies as the angle increases. A beam of LED light traveling at an angle of 45 degrees from straight ahead is at a diagonal, which is the hypotenuse of that 45-degree angle. That is, the light must travel 1.414 farther to reach its destination. For angles greater or less than 45 degrees, that diagonal distance is more or less.
Furthermore, it should be noted that light intensity (just like radio and sound waves) decreases inversely as the square of the distance. This characteristic is known as the “inverse square law.” That means that the light traveling diagonally, per a 45 degree shift to the left or right decreases by 1.0/1.4 x 1.4 or 1/1.96 = 1/2 if rounded off. The result is that the intensity of the LED beam of light, traveling at a 45-degree angle toward a wall, is reduced by 50% from what it would be if just traveling straight ahead at zero degrees.
Consequently, when one looks at a Lambertian LED intensity curve, or a “polar intensity plot” one must divide any value by the correction factor in order to know how much the light level is being attenuated before arriving at the target end.


Figure 4
shows a typical grow-light configuration, with the lighting place 2 feet above a 4×4 ft. growing area. It is well known that uneven light can adversely affect growth objects. Not only is inadequate light an issue, however; too much light can be an equal concern. In an ideal situation, the light would be perfectly even across the 16 sq. feet of growing area. Achieving such a perfectly “homogeneous” light level is next to impossible in grow light systems. Even near-homogeneity is difficult to achieve without substantial expense or attenuation of received light, as when substantial diffusion is used.

While it is clear that high efficiency homogeneity is virtually unachievable, it is unnecessary to accept the severe light level variations resulting when LED optics are not carefully chosen with the “inverse square law” in mind.

Figure 5 shows what happens with typical grow light optics specified as “90 degree” and “60 degree” lenses or reflectors.

Not only does the received light drop off faster; the optic for a 21 mm COB LED can result in the received light level received, instead of the expected 50% drop off at the prescribed beam angle, actually being far worse. Figure 4 shows that the typical COB optic causes a drop off in received light, down to only about 20% at 45 degrees in one direction, resulting in a 5:1 light variation across the grow area. In fact it is common to see variations up to 8:1 or more in a small area grow-light configuration where collimation is used.

The optimized EvenBeam lens has only dropped to 50% lens matching the emitted-light reduction of a so-called 90-degree optic. A similar reduction takes place for a 60-degree optic, where the 60-degree EvenBeam lens exhibits only half the drop-off. The EvenBeam lens, over a full 80 degrees has only a 40% drop meaning the light level across the 4×4′ area varies no more than approximately 1.4:1.
Part of the challenge has to do with the size of the COB. A typical lens for a 3mm LED might be only about 12mm in diameter to be able to collect all the light emitted up to 180 degrees and redirect it. That means a lens for a 21mm LED should ideally be at least 7 times larger, approximately 140-150 mm (close to 6 inches) in diameter. Instead of using such a far larger diameter, the EvenBeam lens is shape-optimized to minimize the sharp drop-off at the wider angles so there is not such a disparity of light levels across the growing areas.

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