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The Latest in LED Lighting

LEDs are the latest in energy-efficient lighting technology, offering high efficiency, long rated life and durability. As a new technology, LED (light-emitting diode) products are evolving rapidly. Once limited to applications such as small electronics and exit signs, LEDs can now be seen lighting up homes, businesses, parking garages and city streets.

The following are some of the most important recent trends and innovations in LED lighting.

Omnidirectional LED products have increased in light output and now come with built-in wireless connectivity. Products with a light output of 3,000 lumens and color rendering of more than 80 CRI are available. LED filament lamps mimic the look of vintage incandescent lamps that have tungsten filaments.

Drop-in LED tube replacements for linear fluorescent lights produce an average output of 2,100 lumens. Their outward-directed light provides illumination equivalent to linear fluorescent but at more than 120 lumens per watt. In addition, they're available with embedded wireless connectivity, occupancy sensing or daylight sensing.

Purpose-built LED fixtures replacing fluorescent fixtures are designed for maximum performance. Light output of more than 4,000 lumens (compared to 5,600 for two-lamp T8 fixtures) are available. Some suspended indirect LED fixtures emit light in all four directions. Zero plenum systems do away with fixtures altogether and replace drop ceiling support bars with LED light strips.

LED edge lighting is a new approach where a glass light sheet is etched on both sides, with LEDs mounted around the edge. The LEDs direct their light through the thick, horizontal glass. The light is refracted by the etched surface and emits uniformly. Another variation aligns the LEDs along one edge of a rectangular sheet that hangs vertically.

LED light output continues to increase, and 15,000 to 68,000 lumen fixtures are now available for high-bay lighting applications such as warehouses and sports facilities. Lighting efficacy has increased to over 200 lumens per watt. Drop-in mogul screw base lamps operate either with ballast bypass or with existing magnetic ballasts.

The LED market continues to grow and the future looks bright as new products enter the market and prices continue to fall.

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