April 16th, 2018
Advancements in LED Technologies
Tremendous advancements have been made in LED technologies in the past few years. Within the lighting industry, LED technology has become one of the driving forces behind new lighting concepts and applications. Because of that, rapid change has occurred in product design because of these ever more powerful light sources.
One of the more radical advancements, which has promise in the LED arena, is the nanotechnology referred to as “quantum dots”. Being hailed a breakthrough in efficiency, these ultra-small crystals possess unique properties that can be tuned to emit light throughout the visibility spectrum. This is important because when these particles are in a confined state, they have the potential to provide more options for color while producing an improved white. The quality, uniformity, and tonal color of an LED source greatly add to its desirability in usage in commercial production applications. Color stability in fact is one of the more exciting advancements seen recently. Using inorganic packaging along with flip-chip mounting, the properties of the phosphor layer are matched to each chip’s individual characteristics. As a result, companies can now offer white LEDs that have a very specific fixed color temperature without the binning necessary to account for natural variation in color.
Another great advancement in LED technologies has to do with the materials used in their production and the resulting efficiency of that production. With one new technology, LED lighting can be made with a combination of organic and inorganic materials. The net effect of this technology is rather than typical four or five layers of material being necessary in making the product; this new material requires just one layer. This dramatically lowers the cost of production and makes the manufacturing process easier. This is resulting in lower cost for LED light sources even though performance continues to improve. This opens up the technology to more and more potential applications all the time.
LED technologies are now being used in a much broader range of designs and applications than ever before. When first unveiled, there were significant limitations of performance, price, and color control. Now, this energy-efficient lighting technology is being utilized in a diverse array of products including standard replacement light bulbs, as well as strip lights, dimmable lights, ceiling lights, high bay lighting, and street lighting. As experts continue working, even more design options will become available.
Additionally, LED lighting is increasingly being used in automotive lighting applications. Everything from small interior accent lights, high tech instrument panels and even exterior lamps are now using LEDs. LED usage in exterior lamps has been in place for several years now for relatively low power applications in rear tail lamp or CHMSL stop lamps. However recently, the technological advancements made in the technology have allowed expanded usage in forward lighting for headlamp and fog lamp applications. In addition to their efficiency and long life, using LED’s in forward lighting has allowed entirely new styling concepts to be applied to the lamps allowing intricate signature and DRL lamp designs to be created. Audi, Tesla, and Cadillac to name a few were quick to incorporate these styling elements and utilize decorative light pipe designs as key styling features. With the further advancement of LED’s that make high beam and low beam lamps feasible for LED usage, the sky is the limit in terms of design flexibility possible.
For almost any product requiring illumination, it seems the future of lighting is based on LEDs.