LED Technology

LED technology: Benefits, challenges and the future ahead

GD Rectifiers design and manufacture customised cooling solutions for power LED lighting manufacturers. In this exclusive article with CIE, they explain the benefits, challenges and the future ahead for LED lighting


ED Lighting is a crucial part of everyday life, and it is used in outdoor lighting predominantly for urban areas such as street lights and for safety precautions such as lighting on railway tracks and used in signalling. LED lighting is also heavily relied upon inside too, from powering lighting in our homes to large scale buildings such as hospitals, factories and environmentally conscious businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint.


LED (Light emitting diode) lights have a much longer lifespan than other types of lighting, they operate for 25,000-50,000 hours compared to regular energy-saving bulbs that operate for a maximum of 8,000-15,000 hours. LEDs are a preferred choice in households and workplaces today because of their relatively low light output and instantly bright appearance when switched on. This desired effect is achieved by the way LEDs produce light, it takes place through the use of a semiconductor that emits light energy when an electrical current is passed through it. Research shows that both LED and halogen bulbs work fine in low temperatures whereas CFLs don’t.

LED lighting is used in various outdoor applications including: lighting streets and roads, car parks, garages and building exteriors.

Advantages of LED lighting 1) Long service life

The long service life of an LED is one of its main benefits. If you left an LED fixture on for 8 hours a day, it would be expected to last 20 years before needing a replacement bulb. 2) Energy efficient

LED lighting is the most efficient way to light a room today, and is thought to be around 80-90 per cent more energy efficient than a regular bulb. 3) Durable

LED lights are known for being extremely durable, they are resistant to shock, vibrations and external

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impacts, making them the perfect solution for outdoor lighting. 4) Safe

LED Lights are free form toxic chemicals making them a safe and more energy efficient alternative to ordinary CFL, halogen and incandescent bulbs. 5) No UV emissions

LED’s produce very little infrared light and close to no UV emissions, making them a good choice for goods and materials that are sensitive to heat and UV emissions. 6) Design Flexibility

Flexible in design, they can be combined to any shape and any control of light, colour and distribution. 7) Consistent performance Flexible in design, LED lights operate reliably under extreme hot and cold temperatures and can maintain their performance, whereas a standard lights performance will deteriorate over time. 8) Instant lighting and switching LED lights provide instant lighting, ideal for large infrastructure projects and contributes towards energy saving benefits. 9) Light disbursement

An LEDs light can be directed to a specific location without the use of an external reflector, still achieving higher application efficiency than conventional lighting.

10) Low voltage power supply LEDs will operate with even just a low voltage power supply, making them an ideal choice for outdoor environments, by connecting an external solar-energy source.

Challenges of LED lighting One of the major challenges of using LED bulbs is the quality, they can vary depending on where you buy them from because the LED market is currently a self-regulated one. Often the outcome of an LED bulb is not always a desired one; some consumers prefer dimmer lights that feature more of a traditional, yellow tinge.

Components in Electronics

LED lights are considerably more expensive than CFL (Compact Fluorescents), halogens and incandescent bulbs but they can last between 25-30 years. Also, LED light bulbs cannot always be dimmed initially, some will require an upgrade to a dimmer that recognises low electrical loads. LED lights cannot compete with the colour rendering of halogen or incandescent light bulbs which means it can sometimes be harder to achieve a consistent light output in your home or workplace with LEDs.

The future of LED technology Lighting technology is set to become more complex, more intelligent and easily integrated in to new designs and prototypes throughout the electronics industry. LED lighting will lead the way for new innovations and manufacturers, distributors and contractors will have to be knowledgeable about the ever-growing field of interconnected lighting products in order to stay ahead of the latest technologies and LED opportunities. The development of warm-dim LED technology is beginning to tone down LEDs traditional stark white colour which until now made LED a hard choice to use as a primary lighting source. Warm-dim technology will dynamically shift the current and future applications of LED lighting management systems. The added feature and introduction of dimmability will enable more opportunities for LED than ever before.

The biggest future opportunity ahead for LED lighting is the ability to encourage general adoption of smartphone and IoT technology. If adopted, LED lighting could prove to be a novel way of delivering new capabilities to users. LED lighting in future could be used as an alternative alarm signal rather than loud noise. Today we rely on noise pollution to alert us to important communication or potential danger, in years to come we could be relying on visual communication and signals to inform us of

emergencies. This is particularly a good idea for users who have impaired hearing or for users who live in remote, secluded areas. Connecting smoke alarms, security alarms and baby monitors to the LED lighting network could have numerous benefits. LED lights could also be used in workplaces when a building loses its power, the LED lighting could be used as an effective way to show users the quickest and safest way to exit the building. LED lighting systems connected via PoE (Power of Ethernet) can still operate in a power outage if the network has battery back-up.

Until now, the main purpose of LED lighting has been to improve energy efficiency and to reduce the costs of lighting in the long-term. The endless capabilities for LED Technology in the future will connect IoT devices and sensors with with a simple user interface, creating more sophisticated lighting systems and technologies, whilst increasing their proficiencies. All LED lamps and IoT devices are individually IP-addressable which means they can provide a personalised response.

Today LED lighting is used for most outdoor lighting requirements and experts suggest that almost all outdoor lighting is expected to be LED by 2025.

Custom cooling solutions

GD Rectifiers works with some of the UK’s leading LED lighting companies to provide custom cooling solutions. GD Rectifiers supply heatsinks used for cooling power LED lighting devices, they work with customers on the design and build of customised solutions, as well as providing technical advice and support on the entire process. GD Rectifiers are able to design initial prototypes, pre-production samples and a full production run for most power LED lighting cooling requirements, including LED Heatsinks.

For further information on GD Rectifiers’ extensive range of LED Heatsinks, please call our team today on: 01444 243 452 or email:

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