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Super Bright LED Lighting
LED Light See Through Cow Presentation
Avitra manufactures custom LED light packages for a variety of exhibits, industries and scientific purposes. Super Bright LED lighting is perfect for display cases, custom exhibits lighting, under cabinet lighting, task lighting, light boxes, confined spaces, special effects lighting, test equipment, high vibration applications and hard to reach spaces.

  • LONG LIFE, Up TO 100,000 HOURS
MR16 Type Lamp

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) have been available for decades, mostly in the role of small status indication lights on electronic instruments, and numeric displays. They became the standard in those applications due to their low cost, long life, durability, and low power consumption. As the name implies, an LED is a semiconductor junction similar to a common transistor. It emits light, centered around a particular wavelength, when an electric current is passed through it. It is characteristically a small device that emits a small amount of a particular color light. The color is determined by the chemical makeup of the semiconductor junction. Red, green, and yellow have been commonly available for a long time. Blue is a later addition to the marketplace. It was more difficult to develop and is more expensive to manufacture.

Speed Of Light LED Panel

Recent advances have resulted in increased usefulness of the LED. White is an uncharacteristic color, since white light is an even spread of all visible wavelengths. Using a phosphor coating over a blue semiconductor junction creates a white light output, similar to the technology of a fluorescent light bulb. High intensity LEDs were also developed, enabling applications in illumination rather than just indication. Individual LEDs can now be grouped together in arrays to develop a light intensity suitable for more general illumination.

Today, high intensity LEDs are being used as the light source in industrial pilot lights and warning beacons, emergency exit signs, vehicle signal lights, and traffic signals. More uses are being developed regularly. General area lighting and illumination are becoming sensible options for LEDs in select instances.

So where can LED lighting make sense? Here are the strengths of LEDs, compared to the other standard lighting options:

LED Light And Shadow Box

The rated operational life of the LED is 100,000 hours, which is 11 years of continuous operation, or 22 years of 50% operation. Contrast this to the average incandescent bulb, with a life of 5000 hours. If the lighting device needs to be embedded into a very inaccessible place, using LEDs would virtually eliminate the need for routine bulb replacement. The design of custom exhibitry could be greatly simplified if the designer did not have to worry about easy-access portals for bulb replacements.

A comparison should be made between the cost of LEDs vs. traditional options. With traditional options, figure the cost of replacement bulbs over the life of the exhibit and the labor expense to replace them. These are significant factors, especially where there is a large number of installed bulbs. In addition, consider the logistical problems with bulb replacement issues: patrons viewing a broken exhibit before the staff finds that it needs a new bulb; multiple bulbs that will fail at different times, etc. Constant vigilance is required to keep every bulb operational. These issues can all be virtually eliminated with the LED option.

LED Custom Length Rail

Another strength of LEDs is reduced power consumption. When designed properly, an LED circuit will approach 80% efficiency, which means 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light energy. The remaining 20% is lost as heat energy. Compare that with incandescent bulbs which operate at about 20% efficiency (80% of the electrical energy is lost as heat). In real money terms, if a 100 Watt incandescent bulb is used for 1 year, with an electrical cost of 10 cents/kilowatt hour, $88 will be spent on electricity costs. Of the $88 expense, $70 will have been used to heat the room, not light the room. If an 80% efficient LED system had been used, there would be a cost savings of $53 on electricity during the year. (The panel (right) is an example of a custom lighting control system which demonstrates the speed of light)

Due to operating efficiency, LEDs do not generate as much heat as incandescent or halogen bulbs. Light box exhibits or backlighting can be a particularly good fit for LEDs. The risk of heat damage to artifacts, and flammability is greatly reduced.

As previously mentioned, LEDs come in a variety of colors. An LED array can contain any mix of the available colors (white, red, yellow, amber, green, or blue) to achieve the desired lighting effect.

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The white color has a quality similar to a cool white fluorescent. It is a little heavy on the blue tones and a little spare on the greens. Reds and yellows can be added to a mostly white LED array to warm up the tones. LEDs of these listed colors emit virtually zero ultraviolet light, so artifact damage from ultraviolet is not an issue.

LEDs are solid state devices, so they are rugged and suitable for outdoor use. They are typically specified to operate in a temperature range from about -15 to +175 degrees Fahrenheit. Usage in outdoor kiosks, for example, would be a good fit in most area climates.

LEDs are "instant on" and "instant off" devices. Contrast this to fluorescent and compact fluorescent lighting, where time delays and flickers are common at startup. In fact, LEDs are often used to pulse light at frequencies that are higher than is visibly discernible. So strobing, and other intensity modulation effects can be accomplished rather easily.

By nature, the LED is a low voltage device. Depending on circuitry, LED arrays can operate at either low or high voltages. A low voltage LED system would make the wiring in a display case much simpler and safer than using a series of 120 Volt bulbs. A 120 Volt LED system would be more convenient in permanent installations or where placing a power supply would be difficult.

LED Light box

The cost of using LEDs for illumination should be carefully evaluated for each application. As compared to traditional lighting devices, an LED system would be more of an investment at installation. Considering the long-term costs, reliability, safety, and artifact preservation issues, an LED lighting system could look very attractive. The best use of LED lighting is typically for small area illumination, as opposed to general room lighting. Products are available with standard connection bases, to accommodate retrofits. Custom configurations are also available.

AVITRA is committed to bringing its clients accurate information on available LED illumination products, and matching the right technology to the right application. Call Jim or Tom at 847-803-4832 to discuss the best lighting options for your project.

Avitra LLC, 1567 South Cora Street, Des Plaines, Illinois, 60018