All about LED lamps

On our eyes, there is a real revolution in lighting: the world is rapidly moving to LEDs. Just five years ago, LED lamps were still a technical novelty, and now LED lighting is used in all areas of life: LED lights can be found even in villages, many offices, hotels and public buildings are illuminated with LED lights, the vast majority of concert and theatrical lighting has become LED. Lamps of this type appear in many apartments, because they can be bought even in grocery stores, and in goods for the home their assortment is wider than other types of lamps.


The LED lamp is a rather complex electronic device with several dozen details on which the quality of light depends, its safety for health and the longevity of the lamp.

⇡ # Pros and Cons

LED bulbs have many pluses compared to conventional incandescent lamps:

  • Cost-effective – with the same amount of light, a modern LED lamp consumes 7-10 times less electricity.
  • Durability – LED lamp serves 15-50 times longer than usual.
  • A little heat – the baby does not burn with the LED lamp in the table lamp.
  • Same brightness at different network voltages – unlike incandescent lamps, LED lamps shine as brightly when the voltage in the network is low.
  • Ability to install an LED lamp, much brighter than an incandescent lamp, in a lamp that has a power limit.
  • The light of good lamps is visually indistinguishable from the light of incandescent lamps.

There are also advantages when compared with compact fluorescent (energy-saving) lamps (CFL):

  • Ecology – absence of hazardous substances (any mercury in the flask contains mercury).
  • Economy – the lamp consumes less energy at the same light flux.
  • The LED lamp instantly lights up at full brightness, and the CFL gently gains brightness from 20% to 100% per minute at room temperature and is much slower at low temperatures.
  • CFL has a poor spectrum, consisting of peaks of several colors. The spectrum of the LED lamp is much closer to the natural illumination and light of the incandescent lamp.

But, of course, there are also disadvantages:

  • The high price.
  • The presence in the market of lamps with poor quality of light (ripple, poor color characteristics, uncomfortable color temperature, inconsistency of the light flux and the equivalent of the filament lamp declared.)
  • Problems with some lamps with switches having an indicator.
  • Brightness control (dimming) is supported only by some expensive models.

⇡ # Understand the savings

The main advantage of LED lamps is the saving of electricity. With the same amount of light emitted from the lamp, the LED lamp consumes 7-10 times less electricity than a conventional incandescent lamp. Even now you can buy 6-watt LED bulbs – “pears” and 4-watt lamps – “candles”, which give the same amount of light as a 60- and 40-watt incandescent lamp, respectively.

I figured out what would be the cost of electricity when lighting a two-room apartment with conventional and LED lamps. Of course, this is an approximate calculation, but it allows you to comprehend the order of figures of possible savings.


Calculation of savings for a two-room apartment

On the packaging of any incandescent lamp, a service life of 1,000 hours is indicated. If the lamps really work for 1,000 hours (unfortunately, they often burn out much earlier), in the corridor and room of the lamp will have to be changed twice a year, and in the kitchen and in the bedroom once. At a lamp cost of 30 rubles for the purchase of new lamps will go 690 rubles. LED lamps do not have to be replaced every six months, because their service life is 15-50 thousand hours. It is from 7 to 22 years old when used for 6 hours per day.

To buy lamps for this apartment will go 4 045 rubles (7 lamps E27 6 W for 240 rubles, 11 “candles” 4 watts for 215 rubles.), And they will pay back in less than a year.

⇡ # LED and energy saving lamps

LED lamps are undoubtedly energy-saving, but the word “energy-saving” is fixed to compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), and CFL and LED lamps are completely different things.


Compact fluorescent lamp and LED lamp

CFLs appeared in widespread sales about ten years ago, and it was expected that they would replace incandescent lamps. However, CFLs were a dead-end branch of evolution. These lamps have many drawbacks: the lamp tube contains mercury, the lamp slowly flares up and does not shine at all in the frost, CFL has a poor spectrum consisting of peaks of several colors.

From July 1, 2016, in accordance with the RF Government Decree No. 898 of August 28, 2015, all state and municipal enterprises and institutions will be prohibited from buying through the public procurement system any lamps containing mercury (including CFL). Already, the number of CFLs in stores is constantly decreasing, and soon they will disappear altogether.

Compare the spectrum of incandescent light, fluorescent lamp and LED lamp.


Spectrum of incandescent lamp, fluorescent lamp and LED lamp

The spectrum of the LED lamp is much closer to the natural light and light of the incandescent lamp.

⇡ # A bit of history

For the first time, the Soviet physicist Oleg Losev discovered the glow of a semiconductor junction in 1923. The first LEDs were called “Losev Light” (Losev’s light). First there was a red LED, then in the early 70’s appeared yellow and green LEDs. The blue LED was created in 1971 by Yakov Panchechnikov, but it was very expensive. In 1990, Japanese Suji Nakamura created a cheap and bright blue LED.


Oleg Losev and Suji Nakamura

After the appearance of the blue LED, it became possible to make white light sources with three crystals (RGB). Such sources are still used in concert and decorative lighting.


In 1996, the first white LEDs, using a phosphor, appeared. In them, the light of a blue or ultraviolet light-emitting diode is converted to white by means of a special chemical substance applied over the light-emitting crystals.


Luminophor light-emitting diode

In 2005, the efficiency of such LEDs reached 100 lm / W, which made it possible to start using phosphor-based light-emitting diodes for lighting. Now the most efficient white LEDs are already 200 lm / W, serial lamps with standard bases – up to 125 lm / W.

⇡ # Types of LED lamps

LED lamps repeat all possible types of incandescent lamps, halogen and fluorescent lamps. The usual lamps are “pears”, “candles” and “balls” with socles E27 and E14, “mirror” lamps R39, R50 with E14 socles, and R63 with E27 base, spots with caplets GU10 and GU5.3, capsule microlamps with socles G4 and G9, lamps for ceilings with a socle GX53.


Types and socles of LED lamps

LED bulbs use different types of LEDs. In the very first LED lamps, conventional LEDs were used in a plastic housing. Such lamps are called “corn” (Corn) for visual similarity with corn cob.


Corn Lamp

Now the LEDs in the cases are used in lamps quite rarely, and, as a rule, these are powerful LEDs.


LED lamps on high power LEDs in cases

Most modern lamps use open-body LEDs and LED assemblies.


Lamps on open-frame light-emitting diodes

Recently, LED emitters COB (chip on board) have been increasingly used. In them, many LEDs are coated with a single phosphor.


Lamps on COB-assemblies

COB – led filament, in which a lot of LEDs are placed on a metal, glass or sapphire strip coated with a phosphor.


The construction of an LED thread and a lamp on filaments

Even the Russian word “filament” appeared, which some manufacturers began to use.

Another newest technology – Crystal Ceramic MCOB. On the plate of transparent ceramics there are many LEDs. The plate on both sides is coated with a phosphor, so this radiator almost uniformly shines in all directions.


Lamp with emitter Crystal Ceramic MCOB

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