Light-emitting diodes and their applications in energy-saving lighting

Moram, M A


New light-emitting diode technology offers significant promise for reducing energy usage in lighting and display applications. This paper introduces light-emitting diodes, sets their performance in context and predicts how an ultimate reduction of up to 15% of our total electricity consumption could be achieved if light-emitting diodes were to replace existing forms of household, commercial and street lighting. This would be achieved not only through the increased luminous efficacy of light-emitting diode light sources, but also by increasing the power factor of the entire lighting unit and by introducing control systems that take advantage of the long-lasting, fully dimmable nature of light-emitting diodes. However, the high cost of light-emitting-diode-based lighting is the main barrier to widespread consumer uptake. Consequently, this paper outlines routes towards improved performance and lower costs, both for light-emitting diodes and the units they are built into. Because light-emitting diode lighting can offer additional benefits not offered by current technology, such as their application in indoors wireless data transfer, commercial breakthrough will be driven initially by demand for niche applications. In the long term, however, low-cost light-emitting diode lighting technology is likely to play a significant role in energy demand reduction both in the developed and the developing world.

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Department of Materials
Imperial College London
Royal School of Mines
Exhibition Road
London, SW7 2AZ - UK