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Cold Cathode


The Benefits of Cold Cathode


We talk to ACDC about the benefits of using cold cathode at a time when technological advances cast a shadow on the technology.


There was a time when the cold cathode was used for all manner of installations. The light source has a number of positive benefits that make it a positive choice. One of the most important benefits is longevity, as the lamp does not deteriorate when it’s switched on or through repeated flashes. Cold Cathode has an average life of 45,000 hours, rivaling that of LED lighting. This assurance of the desired light output means that the lamps last much longer at the levels desired, and as a result are suitable for a number of large-scale installations where a constant need for maintenance would cause a problem. The lights can also be bent to almost any shape, making the design limitations of cold cathode much smaller than many light sources. ACDC are a world leading provider of cold cathode lighting, and are at the forefront of ensuring that cold cathode adapts with changes in technology. The company has


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worked on a number of high profile installations across the world, and believes that the use of cold cathode provides designers with flexibility to be creative. The company is currently the busiest it has ever been with cold cathode; “Admittedly, this year has been a little quiet, but for the next 5 months we are going to be supplying over 8,000 metres per month” explains CEO, Gareth Frankland.


Many companies have moved away from the use of cold cathode in recent times, preferring the energy efficiency and simplicity of LEDs. The LED has been an excellent advance in lighting technology, but there are a number of areas in which LED cannot compete with cold cathode for performance. “While LEDs and some fluorescent sources have had an impact, it is fair to say that cold cathode is still the best pound for pound solution for continuous even illumination” continues Frankland. However, this is only true to an


extent, and LED has replaced certain traditional cold cathode applications such as a three-lamp RGB colour change. “An RGB LED system does provide a better solution in terms of colour saturation, size and punch, and although the cost is slightly higher, they do represent an excellent solution,” explains Frankland.


One main factor that ACDC believes cold cathode still has on its side is that the LED provides an intermittent light source, whereas the light in a cold cathode is similar to that of a fluorescent, giving a perfectly smooth Omni-directional effect, with lamps able to be butt together to give a continuous unbroken line of light. ACDC have completed a number of high


profile cold cathode installations in the past, and are continuing to champion the technology today. In their opinion, although LED lighting does offer a number of positive benefits, there are not enough reasons to replace all cold cathode uses


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