In a truly staggering breakthrough in LED intensity that will have wide ramifications on electricity use worldwide, the Finnish LED producer Obelux has developed by far the most powerful LED of all time.
In response to aviation industry requests, Obelux created a flashing High Intensity LED that delivers 200,000 candelas. Current technology in the aviation beacon lighting field delivers just 10 candelas. This marks an incredible 20,000-fold improvement on the old Xenon technology.
These will be installed on over 150 meter tall buildings and masts, replacing the flashing red aviation obstacle lights that are currently in place on masts and tall buildings to warn airplanes. Boosting brightness even further, they will be in groups of three, so that each can deliver 600,000 candelas.
Energy consumption? Just 350 watts!
Surprisingly, the aviation need for better lights is actually greatest during daytime, in fog and cloud cover. This breakthrough greatly improves daytime aviation safety in poor visibility conditions.
So that they don’t create night time light pollution, the incredibly brilliant LEDs can be dimmed to as low as 2,000 candelas, while still vastly improving the visibility of obstacles, compared with today’s 10 candela warning lights.
The new LEDs meet Federal Aviation Administration and International Civil Aviation Organization regulations and will be available for the industry in January 2011. (tech data pdf)
Not only are these much brighter, but they will deliver over ten years of reliable life, which also contrasts with the yearly maintenance now needed by the traditional Xenon aviation lighting technology.
Aviation lighting is a specialized market, where extreme weather conditions effects the structure and design of these LEDs, but this technology jump will surely have huge ramifications in the general lighting market.
The company – which in typically droll Finnish understatement describes itself on its website as “solvent” – is not just a leader in making LEDs for specialized industries, but also in lighting for architecture.
With this advance in technology, the incandescent light bulb, which has so long been a unit of measure of both our carbon footprint and of our intelligence, is about to become as much a historical artifact as gas-lighting.
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