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The future looks bright – using LED technology to light highways and urban areas saves big percentages of energy usage. Not only do LEDs use much less energy to produce the same level of light as other technologies, but also, because they produce a white light, the human eye will see in “true” colour and the brain will perceive the presence of a person or object in a much shorter time – thus improving road safety and personal security.
AFTER – white light makes colours more true and aids perception
Photo: Ewen Cafe
White light – The light emitted by LED sources is characterised by a high colour rendering which captures true colour perception. The result is a “more natural” vision of outdoor environments. Research has shown that this dramatically improves road safety, especially in urban environments where cars, cyclists and pedestrians interact.
High luminous efficiency – Based on the same light flow, LED sources absorb less power than traditional lamps, as up to 80% of the energy is transformed into light, rather than heat. LED technology therefore yields a substantial energy saving and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.
Dimming – LED technology allows an easy and reliable light output regulation with the colour temperature remaining unchanged. The ability to network, monitor and remotely control LEDs is a key catalyst in the development of Smart Cities. Read more on Intelligent Lighting Control
Enviromental protection – LEDs are compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) standard. These light sources do not contain any toxic and damaging substances that could affect either the environment or health. In addition, LEDs do not emit UltraViolet or InfraRed rays.
Expected Lifetime – With a stable power supply and an appropriate heat dissipation system able to cool the LEDs to a stable temperature, the light source achieves an expected lifetime of tens of thousands of hours.
Maintenance – Due to its long lifetime and maintenance limited to cleaning the glass, the use of a LED light source guarantees a substantial reduction in maintenance costs.
Flexibility – LED is a compact source which lends itself to being used in many different kinds of installation.
AEC’s R&D department have developed the Comfort Light Optic – a total reflection optical system which manages the LED source by means of high efficiency aluminium reflectors and tempered glass protection closure screen. This perfect combination of materials ensures high quality, high efficiency and easy to clean products.
The Comfort Light Optic delivers:
Maximum luminous efficiency
Comfort Light Optic minimises refraction and reflection losses inside the optical unit. The optical system is composed of multiple reflector arrays which can be formed to achieve the photometric geometry required for specific applications. The protective glass is designed to ensure maximum product performance in environments subject to high levels of pollution (eg. tunnel).
Optimum lighting performance
AEC’s Comfort Light Optic offers high lighting performance in terms of distance between poles and unevenness on the road. Its high efficiency maximises the luminance and illuminance levels in full compliance with the international regulations and energy saving standards.
LED source protection
AEC utilise highly transparent tempered glass to optimise the efficiency of the luminaire and also ensure maximum protection of the LED light source from shock and external agents.
Comfort Light Optic minimizes the level of glare from the light source in compliance with the safety requirements imposed by the standard relating to laser sources. This safety standard was drawn up to protect the observer from potential photochemical and photobiological damage and is a compulsory requirement to achieve the CE mark. According to EN 62471 reference standard, AEC LED lighting systems are included in an EXEMPT GROUP CATEGORY (no photobiological risk).
LEDs convert around 80% of the energy they consume into light. This means they operate at a much lower temperature than traditional luminaires. However, their optimum performance can be compromised if heat is allowed to build up and it can curtail their life expectancy by a large degree. Effective heat dissipation is built in to every AEC LED luminaire design.
The heat dissipation system designed by AEC is highly efficient and guarantees high thermal resistance. The heat sink design is validated by thermic tests performed in certified laboratories to ensure the thermal design functions effectively across a range of temperatures from -40°C to +50°C.
The R&D department uses sophisticated simulation software to predict the thermal behaviour of the heat sinks. Their advanced systems of thermal measurement and accurate reliability calculation, has allowed them to develop world-leading LED luminaires with outstanding expected lifetime.
Retro-fitting existing street lights with LED modules can save hugely on capital outlay, but there are a number of factors to consider before making this choice:
Luminaire compatibility – LED modules are generally smaller than traditional lamps, but the heat dissipation system needed to keep them at their optimum operating temperature also needs to be accommodated within the luminaire. The shape of the luminaire may also restrict the configuration of LED modules and reflectors that can be used, which means the level of light output could be lower than previously achieved.
Pole Spacing – The beauty of LED luminaires is that they can be dimmed. Pole spacing is crucial to the effective design of a dimmable lighting system, to ensure there are no dark spots between lights even when fully dimmed. Techlight can advise you on whether your current pole spacing meets the needs of your LED retro-fitting project. Read more on Lighting Design
“Low environmental impact technology” recognises the importance of addressing global problems such as the over-consumption of natural resources, unacceptable levels of pollution and the need for waste reduction, from the very beginning of the production system through to the recycling process and waste disposal.
The composition of LEDs ensures their eco-compatibility. LEDs are fully compliant with EU directive RoHS which restricts the use and disposal of products containing mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, polybrominated biphenyl ethers and, most importantly, lead.
All AEC LED lighting systems are made with recyclable materials such as aluminium, steel, glass and plastic that can be easily reused in many production processes.
In terms of sustainable development, LED technology significantly reduces the environmental impact of road lighting, producing a lower level of CO2 emissions. The increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere exacerbates the greenhouse effect contributing to the rise in the global average temperature. General climate warming has led many countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol: an agreement in which Nations officially agree to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
LED street lighting is delivering a quantum leap in cost savings, energy efficiency, lighting quality, reduced light pollution and increased road safety. AEC recognise that LED technology is changing at a fast pace, and they continually invest in development to ensure their lighting ranges remain at the forefront of LED technology.