November 2008

Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) look very promising. They are more efficient than incandescents without the downsides of CFLs (mercury, fragile) and they have the potential to become less expensive than regular LEDs. Because of their thinness and flexibility, OLEDs also hold the promise of being used in all sorts of applications.

OLED technology is developing rapidly, although it’s not ready for us to sell to you at http://www.LEDInsider — yet!

In late 2005, Osram announced “a breakthrough in polymer-OLED technology by achieving a record 25 lumens-per-watt (lm/W) of device efficiency”. Now, they are announcing that they manufactured warm white OLEDs with an efficiency of 46 lm/W and a life of more than 5000 hours at a brightness of 1000 cd/m2. That’s close to the efficiency of CFLs, and more than twice that of incandescent lamps.

At LEDInsider, we are committed to bringing you the best and latest technology at the best prices. As soon as we can sell you OLEDs, we will have in on our website – If you go to the website and sign up to receive notices of new developments, you will be the first to know when we can sell you OLEDs

An experiment with low-cost, solar-powered light emitting diode (LED) lamps that is lighting up the lives of a handful of families in rural India could become a beacon of hope for millions of poor people worldwide who currently rely on kerosene lamps and other lighting solutions that are toxic–and frequently lethal–when used indoors.

Solar Lighting Eliminates the Need for Electricity in Rural Areas
The Grameen Surya Bijli Foundation (GSBF), a Bombay-based nongovernmental organization that is committed to bringing light to rural India, installed the $55 lamps in about 300 homes. About 100,000 villages in India still do not have electricity, and the cost of lighting those villages by traditional means is prohibitive. The solar LED technology eliminates the need for electric lights. After the initial cost, solar energy continues to light the lamps free of charge.

“Children can now study at night, elders can manage their chores better,” one relieved villager told The Christian Science Monitor. “Life doesn’t halt anymore when darkness falls.”

LED Lamps Provide Safer and Better Light For Less
Replacing kerosene lamps with clean solar-powered LED lamps also provides healthier and safer living conditions as well as better light for less money. According to The Christian Science Monitor, about 1.5 billion people worldwide use kerosene to light their homes, but the fuel is dangerous.

Separate reports by the Intermediate Technology Development Group and the World Health Organization indicate that indoor air pollution from kerosene and similar fuels used for indoor lighting and cooking cause more than 1.5 million deaths annually. The risk of fire is another significant health hazard with kerosene lamps.

Kerosene Expensive and Dangerous
Kerosene is also expensive for people living in poverty. In rural India, for example, buying kerosene requires nearly 4 percent of a typical household budget. Finally, LED lamps are simply more efficient and provide more useful light. According to The Christian Science Monitor, LED lamps produce “nearly 200 times more useful light than a kerosene lamp and almost 50 times the amount of useful light of a conventional bulb.”

“This technology can light an entire rural village with less energy than that used by a single conventional 100 watt light bulb,” says Dave Irvine-Halliday, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Calgary, Canada and the founder of Light Up the World Foundation (LUTW). Founded in 1997, LUTW has used solar-powered LED technology to light nearly 10,000 homes in 27 developing countries.

Strategies Needed to Reduce the Initial Cost of LED Solar Lamps
For the program to work long-term in India, GSBF says it will be necessary to lower the cost of the LED lamps by manufacturing them inside India instead of importing them from China and elsewhere. Manufacturing the lamps locally would lower the cost from $55 to $22 per unit, but building a factory would cost approximately $5 million, and investment capital is not easy to find.

Larry West,

OLEDs (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) are paper-thin, flexible sheets of polymers or plastic materials that illuminate when an electrical charge is applied. A key advantage of OLEDs is that they are flexible so that they can be incorporated into things like clothing, wallpaper, refrigerators, cars.

General Electric Global Research has been working on OLEDs for the last decade. In 2003, GE came out with a 2’x2′ OLED light source. For a behind-the-scenes look at what is going on, check out this recent blog post by one the GE engineers involved in OLED development.

“Hi folks. One of the questions I am most often asked about OLEDs is the potential product applications. What are they going to look like as a lighting product? Well, if you want a glimpse into the future of OLED lighting, check out this video our Lighting team put together. It’s pretty cool and really shows some of the exciting lighting applications OLEDs could make possible. Enjoy!”

Here is link to the Video on YouTube –

We at LEDInsider always strive to provide you the latest and greatest and most cost-efficient lighting on the planet. We are doing our part to “bring great things to light” whenever it helps you. Check out current special deals at

US Lighting Industry Statistics
Just how big is the US lighting industry? Well, here are some interesting facts:

* There are approximately 4 billion light bulb sockets in the US. This includes both residential and commercial.

* Of the 2 billion residential sockets in the US, only about 10% are compact fluorescent.

* The US purchases about 2 billion residential light bulbs a year or about 5.5 million bulbs a day.

* The average US house has 45 bulbs in 30 fixtures, there are 116.9 million US households. (2006)

* The US spends approximately $71 billion a year in electricity on lighting. That is 22% of the total US electricity bill. (2006)

* The average US electric rate is $0.1008 / kWh or about 1o cents. (2006)

* Average US household use for lighting: 1950 kWh per household (2002)

* Philips passed GE as the largest US light bulb manufacturer with it’s November 26th 2007 purchase of Genlyte. Prior to that GE, a company founded by Thomas Edison in the 1800’s, was the largest manufacturer of light bulbs.

* Philips has announced that they will phase out the manufacturing of incandescent light bulbs by 2016. The first large lighting manufacturer in North America to support the shift to more efficient lighting technologies. (2007)

* In California, an estimated 73 million incandescent light bulbs and 6 million compact fluorescent are sold each year. (2007)

These facts are compiles from various sources including the Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Philips.

Light a brighter future!

Glorious Good Day. The focus of LED Insider is on helping create a brighter future for you and the planet. It is our intention to offer continual updates on the world of lighting to give back to humanity and the planet.

We spend considerable time researching all things green, from bamboo to sustainable and renewable energy and in doing so, we’ve discovered a few facts:

* The US spent $326.5 billion on electricity in 2006. $140 billion just in residential electricity. (from Department of Energy, Energy Information Advisory)

* 22% of the electricity consumption in the US is for lighting. (from the US DOE EIA)

* The use of LED for lighting can reduce electricity consumption by 90 to 95% when compared to incandescent bulbs with a similar luminosity.

At only a 50% savings in lighting the US could save $35 billion a year.

This kind of savings results in a huge carbon offset for the country. The kind of results worth making happen.

Our emphasis will be on those aspects of lighting that are energy efficient: healthy for you and the planet. As such you will see information on LED lighting, solar lighting, new lighting technologies, and light used for health care to name a few.

We look forward to sharing more with you soon.

With great belief in a greener tomorrow,

Your friends at LED Insider

Here is how LED light bulbs work:

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LED’s are now found on almost every electronic device including MP3 players, DVD players, TV’s, clock radios and computers. LED’s have been popular for decades, however today they are cheaper, brighter and come in more colors than ever before. While the incandescent light bulb has been the light of choice for at least 100 years, many believe the LED will soon replace it.

What is an LED Light Bulb?
LED’s are very similar to traditional light bulbs, except that they fit directly into an electrical circuit. LED’s do not have a filament, so they generally last for a long, long time without burning out. Because there is no filament, LED’s do not get hot and require far less electric power than traditional light bulbs due to their efficiency. In fact, LEDs are illuminated by electrons that run through the semiconductor material that LEDs are connected to.

What is a Diode?
An LED is a light emitting diode. A semiconductor diode is a two-terminal device, sometimes described as a pn. An LED is fabricated from a semiconductor material. One side of the semiconductor is attached to the P side which is the anode; the other side of the semiconductor is attached to the N side, the cathode. Electricity can flow from the p side to the n side. However, no electricity can flow in reverse. In effect, therefore, a diode is a unidirectional conductor.

Components of an LED Light
Common components of an LED include: A whisker which is connected to the anode, the anvil, which is connected to the cathode, a lens to illuminate the light created for distances and a high impact plastic casing to protect the LED.

The Color of an LED Light
LEDs are available in a variety of colors. While popular colors include red, yellow and green, one of the most difficult colors to create is white. In fact, it is currently not possible to create pure white for mass production. Most LED flash lights or light bulbs today that are white in color are actually not pure white, but whitish-blue.

LEDs Offer Many Benefits
There are many reasons why LED Light bulbs continue to be popular. Here are some of the main benefits they offer:
* LEDs are extremely efficient and require very little current to illuminate. Since they do not have a filament, LEDs don’t heat up, making them perfect for many electronic applications where heat is detrimental. In a traditional light bulb, the vast majority (sometimes more than 80%) of the electricity used to illuminate a light bulb is wasted not in light, but in heat.
* LEDs are manufactured within an epoxy resin epoxy, which means that that they are virtually indestructible. Compared to a traditional light bulb, an LED is far more durable.
* LEDs can be mass produced. Just like traditional light bulbs, they are extremely affordable to produce in large numbers.
* LEDs are considered to be solid state devices. Solid state refers to any item that has no moving parts. When an item has no moving parts, it is generally more reliable because of less friction and fewer parts that can malfunction.

What are LEDs?

LED stands for light-emitting diode. LEDs are small light sources that become illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material.

At LED Superstore, we will sell you the very best in LED lighting – great products at great prices!

Low-Powered LEDs

LEDs used to draw attention to something, such as an exit sign, 
a green power button on a computer, or a red blinking 
light on a video camera.

High-Powered LEDs

LEDs used to illuminate an area. ENERGY STAR qualified LED lighting uses multiple illuminator LEDs inside a fixture to produce white light.

Indicator LED illustration illuminator LED illustration

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What is Solid-State Lighting?

LED desk lamp with many LEDs

Many tiny LEDs are used in
each fixture.

LEDs are part of a family of lighting technologies called Solid-State lighting. This family also includes OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). OLEDs (pronounced OH-leds) consist of sheets of carbon-based compounds that glow when a current is applied through transparent electrodes. While not yet market ready, OLEDs will function like a thin film on a wall or ceiling that illuminates a room. Like LEDs, OLED technology is advancing rapidly.

Solid-State lighting (SSL), most commonly seen in the form of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), has the potential to revolutionize the efficiency, appearance, and quality of lighting as we know it.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that rapid adoption of LED lighting in the U.S. over the next 20 years can:

  • Deliver savings of about $265 billion.
  • Avoid 40 new power plants.
  • Reduce lighting electricity demand by 33% in 2027.

How are LED lighting products different from other lighting, like fluorescent or incandescent?

LED lighting is more efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting than incandescent and fluorescents lighting. LEDs emit light in a specific direction, whereas an incandescent or fluorescent bulb emits light — and heat — in all directions. LED lighting uses both light and energy more efficiently.

For example, an incandescent or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb inside of a recessed can will waste about half of the light that it produces, while a recessed down light with LEDs only produces light where it’s needed — in the room below.

Incandescent bulbs create light by passing electricity through a metal filament until it becomes so hot that it glows. Incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat.

In a CFL, an electric current is driven through a tube containing gases. This reaction produces ultraviolet light that gets transformed into visible light by the fluorescent coating (called phosphor) on the inside of the tube. A CFL releases about 80% of its energy as heat.

LED lighting products use light emitting diodes to produce light very efficiently. The movement of electrons through a semiconductor material illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs. A small amount of heat is released backwards, into a heat sink, in a well-designed product; LEDs are basically cool to the touch.

Basic parts of LED lighting

LED lighting starts with a tiny chip (most commonly about one square millimeter) comprised of layers of semi-conducting material. LED packages may contain just one chip or multiple chips, mounted on heat-conducting material called a heat sink and usually enclosed in a lens. The resulting device, typically around 7 to 9 mm on a side, can be used separately or in arrays. LED devices are mounted on a circuit board, which can be programmed to include lighting controls such as dimming, light sensing and pre-set timing. The circuit board is mounted on another heat sink to manage the heat from all the LEDs in the array. The system is then encased in a lighting fixture, architectural structure, or even a “light bulb” package.

Note: The DOE ENERGY STAR LED lighting program does not currently cover LED “bulbs” designed to replace regular screw-base incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs will be included as soon as these products can meet the stringent requirements of the program.

Aren’t all LED lights highly efficient and long-lasting?

LED with normal color after 100 hours
LED discolored after 1000 hours

After less than a year of use, a poorly designed LED product can flicker, shift in color, look dim, offer uneven light, or continue to use power when turned off, among other problems.

Not necessarily. LEDs have been efficient and long lasting as indicator lights in electronics for years, but using LEDs to create stable white light for general lighting presents new challenges. The key to success is smar
t design. To qualify for ENERGY STAR, LED lighting products must pass a variety of tests to prove that the products will display the following characteristics:

  • Brightness is equal to or greater than existing lighting technologies (incandescent or fluorescent) and light is well distributed over the area lighted by the fixture.
  • Light output remains constant over time, only decreasing towards the end of the rated lifetime (at least 25,000 hours or 22 years based on use of 3 hours per day).
  • Excellent color quality. The shade of white light appears clear and consistent over time.
  • Efficiency is as good as or better than fluorescent lighting.
  • Light comes on instantly when turned on.
  • No flicker when dimmed.
  • No off-state power draw. The fixture does not use power when it is turned off, with the exception of external controls, whose power should not exceed 0.5 watts in the off state.

Bad design can lead to a wide range of problems, some immediately observable and some not. Poorly designed products often come with exaggerated claims while failing to deliver on the quality specifications above.

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