Creating artificial light is essential nearly anywhere today, whether in industrial or urban or private settings, ever since the pioneering work of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison created light bulbs and related devices many use today. Mines, boats, homes, parking garages, parks, museums, and much more all require light, and knowing what kind of lights to install and how and when to replace them is essential to keeping any area lit up just right. Terms like lumen maintenance, halogen bulb, LED canopy fixtures, and more may come up when dealing with artificial light technology.
The Types of Bulbs
Artificial light can come from bulbs and displays of different types, each with different strength of light, lifetimes, and maintenance needs. Ever since Nikola Tesla created induction lighting in the late 1890s, many have sought new ways to keep the lights on. Induction lighting, as explained at Bulb American, works when mercury in a gas fill a bulb, and to turn on the light, electricity is applied and the gas gets excited. UV light is given off, which is transformed into visible light by the phosphor coating the bulb. A high frequency generator and power coupler provides the energy for an induction bulb; there is no electrode like on a traditional light bulb, and electrodes degrade over time with use. This means that an induction bulb may last up to 100,000 hours. 60 or 70 lumens or even more can be given off per watt where induction lighting is used.
LED lights, meanwhile, do not even need gases or electrodes to operate, and they require very little power or maintenance for the amount of light that they give off. An LED tube may last up to 50,000 hours, and these lights can be used nearly anywhere, for any level of lighting. They are efficient; LEDs use about 15% of the power that a comparable halogen bulb needs, and can put out up to 85% more light, too. And given how 22% of all American electricity goes toward lighting, according to the Department of Energy, increased LED use may vastly improve efficiency and save a lot of money for homes and commercial buildings alike when LED cluster lighting is used.
LEDs can wear out over time, however. As explained at Westinghouse, lumen maintenance is an issue for these types of lights. What is lumen maintenance? It is the comparison of how much light an LED display puts out at a given time and how much light it gave off when it was brand new. Often, 70% of the original light amount is the lowest amount accepted from an LED, so when lumen maintenance reaches 70%, an LED light’s owner may decide to replace the bulbs and displays. So, an LED with a 25,000 hour lifespan will give off 70% of its original lumens after 25,000 hours of use. Lumen maintenance is important to keep track of so LED replacement can be done when needed. A poorly lit area is generally not desired.
LEDs are flexible; they can be used as small light sources like on a desk lap, or even as a flashlight. LED canopy fixtures, meanwhile, can be very useful for marine industries. These lighting rigs can be placed on docks, piers, or buoys, giving off strong light so that boaters can see them and avoid them. Similarly, a commercial fishing boat can have LED fixtures on it so the crew can see what they are doing as they work in low lighting conditions. Such arrays can be easily installed and taken down at will. LED warehouse lighting is another option for industrial use, and LEDs can be used for outdoor lighting. LEDs can be installed into short metal posts that guide people along walkways or keep them clear of hazards such as steep slopes, streets, or outdoor pools or ponds, especially in low lighting conditions. These outdoor lights can even be decorative for outdoor displays along walkways and along gardens and flower beds, or near sculptures.