Lighting. Friday , September 21st , 2018 - 19:36:49 PM
It may be easier to think of colored LEDs (RGB) and white LEDs in terms of another industry: Automotive. RGB LEDs are like the internal combustion engine: Reliable, abundant, easy to use and manufacture, and fairly well developed in terms of the potential for new or breakthrough technologies. There are lots on manufacturers and each has their own set of patents and "tricks of the trade" to help give themselves some marketing leverage over the competition. White LEDs are like the alternative energy industry for transportation: Quite varied, still relatively "new", still needing to be market proven, more expensive, more challenging to manage. There are many manufacturers, each using a different technology or combination of technologies to achieve what they believe is the "the next big thing." Following this analogy, RGB LEDs are mature enough to compete on cost alone and the drop in costs is what fuels new applications for colored LEDs that had not been thought of previously. White LEDs, on the other hand are still developing technically and should not be shopped based on cost alone. The need for quality and longevity is what fuels the further research and development into white LEDs.
The proper name for color temperature is The Correlated Color Temperature (CCT). The CCT is described in degrees Kelvin (starting at absolute zero). It is backwards in a way, because when a color of a light source has a high temperature associated with it, it is considered to be a cool color, and if it has a low temperature it is a warm color. Lighting sources with a CCT rating below 3200 K are usually considered "warm", while those with a CCT above 4000 K are usually considered "cool" in appearance. Using a light with a high Correlated Color Temperature will give a greater perception of brightness in the space than lower ones. When calculating a color temperature (CCT) we take the light we are looking at, and compare it to a Blackbody standard base line color model that has radiant power at all wavelengths of light, and where our color falls according to the base model will tell us what our color temperature is. Even at a given Correlated Color Temperature, color can vary. To avoid such variation, the EPA recommends you purchase bulbs from the same manufacturer at the same time. The color temperature rating is listed on the product packaging.
Technology has evolved rapidly in the lighting industry over recent years and shows no signs of abating. With the continued legislation against inefficient light bulbs and consumers looking to make savings, energy efficient bulbs will be the way forward. LED, CFL and halogen energy savers are the main options and each type has a role to play depending on the situation and lighting requirements. Always make sure to buy good quality lighting from a trustworthy company and avoid those out to make a quick profit, especially where LED is concerned. Finally, remember when choosing light bulbs an energy saving calculator is the best way to compare technologies.
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