With an increasing number of electronics and gadgets incorporating LED lighting and technology, you might think LEDs are something new. However, LEDs have been around for quite a while. In fact, they were invented in 1962 by General Electric scientist and inventor Nick Holonyank Jr., who holds 41 patents. The digital age we’re in has brought his light-emitting diode technology front and center. Here are some of the new LED technology that should be on your radar.
What Are LEDs?
Let’s first begin with what LEDs are. Short for light-emitting diodes, LEDs are a semiconductor light source that emits light when an electrical current passes through it. Light is produced when the particles that carry the current (known as electrons and holes) combine together within the semiconductor material.
Traditional lighting such as incandescent, halogen lamps, and gas discharged fluorescent lights generate more heat and use up to 85% more electricity. Their bulbs also burn out having to be replaced and over time their light quality begins to fade. However, LEDs last up to 50,000 hours, which is 20 to 25 times longer than standard bulbs. They also provide bright light, can be adjusted for brightness, and have vivid color saturation.
Finally, LED lights can emit over a trillion colors and be used to create large-scale displays. This allows for more than just colored lighting, but also the ability to create easy to read text and display HD motion graphics, images, and video. Oversized LED displays are crafted in modules so that smaller sections can be repaired or replaced as needed.
New LED Technology
Now that you have a better idea of what LEDs are, let’s discuss some of the exciting advances in this versatile technology.
1. Smart Lighting
Elevate your indoor lighting with LED smart bulbs. They look similar to a standard bulb but come with a variety of features. This includes connecting to an app so that you can turn them on and off remotely—or at least without getting up. You can even pair some brands with Alexa, Echo, and other voice-activated technologies. A standard LED smart bulb starts at around $5. Pay more for bulbs that dim, provide multiple colors, or connect to solar panels.
As smart home or office technology, you can track a variety of data points such as energy consumption and even how often lights are on when no one’s in the room.
2. Wireless Lighting
One of the downsides of traditional lighting is that it requires hardwiring. But, what if you need lighting somewhere temporarily? Or where the current hardwired lighting isn’t sufficient?
The growing range of rechargeable, battery-operated, solar power, and wireless power transfer (WPT) LED lights are impressive. Some can even be powered via two different methods. For example, solar power and battery-powered. Or USB rechargeable and WPT.
- USB rechargeable lamps
- Bright battery-operated flashlights
- Solar-powered lanterns
- Battery operated headlamps
- Temporary WPT ceiling lights or wall sconces
- Rechargeable WPT art and display lighting
- Solar powered outdoor motion, garden, and floodlights
- Rechargeable LED light strips or decorative string lights
- Color changing light panels for artistic displays
- And more!
3. Mini LED Lights
As we know from our smartphone flashlight, a large light source isn’t always required—which is where mini LEDs come in. Mini LEDs are so new that most consumer products are only in the beta testing phase. The objective is to leverage this light technology for wearable clothing and accessories. The LEDs are placed on lightweight and ultra-thin squares or rectangles (just a bit thicker than a sheet of paper) to provide a miniature light source. The current challenge is finding a lighting level that is both functional and appealing to a large range of consumers, as mini LED brightness levels are not currently designed to be adjustable.
A few potential options for this new LED technology include:
- Outdoor running gear with LED safety lighting built-in.
- Mini LED strips used on bicycle tires.
- A gym bag, backpack, laptop bag, or purse with a built-in light to easily see what’s inside.
- Unique LED phone cases
- And more!
4. Micro LEDs
If you have an LED TV you are already familiar with lifelike HD picture quality, but micro LEDs take things to the next level. The picture quality they provide makes you feel like you are viewing a movie, TV show, or image in real life. Just like the names sounds, micro LEDs are ultra-small, using millions of LEDs to create displays.
What makes this technology different is that each LED is individually addressable, eliminating the need for LCDs. This micro technology is currently being utilized to create wall-sized TVs and digital displays. For example, a TV that displays life-like artwork when you aren’t watching TV. Samsung and Sony already have a few options, most of which are commercial, as the price starts at over $150,000 per display.
5. Everyday LED Signs
While not a new LED technology, digital signage is more popular than ever. With the pandemic creating a need for social distancing, digital displays became a means of communicating from afar.
Businesses with existing digital displays went beyond advertising to sharing uplifting photos to connect and engage those who drove or walked by. Many businesses utilized their existing digital signs for a variety of general communication. For example, to share their changing business hours or how to connect with them remotely. Safety messages such as social distancing protocols were also shared on signs from afar. With the ability to update the signs in real-time and a viewing range of 1 block or more, businesses across many industries ordered new digital displays. From basic scrolling signs to signs that can share HD images and videos, digital signs remain in demand.
If you would like to learn more about upgrading to digital signs for your school, church, or business—we invite you to reach out to Mega LED Technology today. Your new LED technology will be built to order to ensure it meets your unique needs! If you’re in the market for a Digital LED sign, reach out to one of our experts, for a no pressure, hassle-free quote!