A wide range of lighting products are used to illuminate interior spaces. These include candelabras, chandeliers, track lighting and recessed lamps. Among them grid ceiling lights are commonly used in commercial buildings, schools, and other interior structures. A recent trend in interior lighting is to replace fluorescent lamps with LED light panels which provide lighting capabilities at far greater efficiency and life span than are provided by fluorescent bulbs.
LED Lighting Technology
LED panel lights emit high intensity light due to the scientific principle of electroluminescence. Electroluminescent materials generate light an electrical current is received, triggering the movement of electrons and releasing photons. The technology also produces a point-like luminescent body, which makes it easy to produce LED light fixtures in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The average LED panel light technically has 6 parts. There is the light source (the LEDs), the light guide plate, the diffuser, the reflective panel, the housing and the solid backing. However, they could also be fitted with a heat sink system for better thermal management and dimmer mechanisms such as a high-efficiency constant current driver and constant voltage power adapter.
LEDs are usually made of aluminum, arsenide and gallium. The guide plate is typically made of PMMA or PC sheet. PMMA (Polymethyl Methacrylate) is widely used, but PC (polycarbonate) is ideal for high-temperature conditions. PMMA resin is also more resistant to vibration compared to the glass and tungsten filaments of conventional light bulbs, which makes LED panel lights more durable. The lightweight frame and the solid backing are usually made of aluminum.
Electroluminescence produces high intensity light, and the brightness is further intensified by the reflector. The dot matrix design on the light guide plate creates uniform lighting. The diffuser also enhances the light distribution, which is why LED panel lights create a soft, comfortable glow that is ideal for workplace settings.
LED technology is tremendously energy efficient. A single 39W LED light panel could produce the same luminescence as five 25W CFLs, or six 100W incandescent light bulbs. A LED lighting circuit could also be designed in such a way that up to 80% energy efficiency is achieved. Most incandescent light bulbs operate at only 20% efficiency, which means that 80% of the energy utilized is converted to heat energy, instead of light energy. The reduced heat emissions could also lead to savings in air-conditioning costs. Note that the savings in energy usage would be compounded by reduced maintenance costs because the light bulbs do not have to be constantly replaced.
Supposedly, LEDs could last up to 100, 000 hours. However, manufacturers estimate actual usability span to 60, 000 hours. That means they could remain fully functional for more than 6 years of continuous usage, or 13 years if used for only 12 hours daily. That is far better compared to the incandescent bulbs, which have life spans of 1, 500 to 5, 000 hours, and even CFLs, which have life spans of 6, 000 to 15, 000 hours.
The design and features of led panel lights make them ideal for use in indoor settings. There are various installation options as well – they could be built-in, recessed, mounted or suspended. They would make a great replacement for the traditional down light lamps used in most lobbies, hotels, conference rooms, offices, hospitals, libraries and residential buildings.