LEDs have advanced far enough to phase out halogen MR16 lamps.
According to LEDs Magazine, low voltage LED lighting now has the capability to reach 90+ CRI without sacrificing on efficacy. In the past, halogens were used in many retail applications because of their color rendering and narrow light distribution abilities. However, halogens were lacking in service time and energy efficiency. LEDs covered these deficiencies, but they were not able to provide comparable color rendering, as most maxed out at 80 CRI and 90+ models had lower efficacy.
Three MR16 design models from Cree – 20-watt, 35-watt and 50-watt halogen equivalents – were used to demonstrate the possibility of an LED variation that did not sacrifice efficacy for color rendering. All three of the designs were able to match or surpass efficacy for their halogen counterparts.
Although LEDs are the best lighting source overall for commercial lighting applications, the technology will always have some deficiency. However, research is continually targeting those weaknesses and introducing solutions through new products.
During October, Cree alone released four new LED devices to the market. More game-changing products and usages for efficient lighting will enter the market as demand remains high.
The rise of ‘Li-fi’
Chinese researchers at Shanghai’s Fundan University claim they have discovered a way to transmit Internet using light from LEDs.
CCTV reports the scientists implanted a microchip in the bulbs which allows visible light to carry data. Using a 1-watt LED bulb, data speeds of 150 megabits per second can be achieved.
“We use this notebook as the Internet, using the cable to connect it with the generator, which you can imagine as the light bulb,” stated professor Chi Nan. “It is like a router, transmitting the network signal into light signal, which you can receive as long as you are under the light. The receiver is like a wireless card, which turns the light signal into a network signal to connect our computers.”
The light from LED lighting systems will act as a transmitter, whereas Wi-fi uses radio frequencies. Of course, the only caveat is that transmission cannot occur if the lights are turned off or not visible.
At the moment, Li-fi technology is still in the developmental stages. Chi and her staff seek to create smaller and more stable microchips to improve the technology. Even still, the development of internet transmission through LEDs shows energy efficient lighting is the illumination source of the future.