LED lights don’t even have to try, their minimalistic design lends them an effortlessly futuristic look. But it’s not all about appearances, as LEDs are indeed at the forefront of technological advances.
Philips has longed been a driving force behind LED lighting innovation. One of their latest creations is what they name “Hue”, a LED bulb that can not only change colour, but which can also be dimmed or brightened wirelessly and light up following the pulse of speech or music, controlled from an iPad.
The applications are almost limitless: you can programme your LED lights so that you don’t have to walk into a dark house; the colour of the lighting can be altered to fit your state of mind, which could be used to increase productivity in the office; and lighting as we know it, with a wire connected to a bulb, could well disappear altogether, replaced by glowing walls, floors and ceilings, with all the design capabilities you can dream of.
LED lighting is already very popular for being programmable into various patterns and for use in live displays. From there, it was only a naturel step to try and make it accessible wirelessly and remotely through smart devices.
Hubbell and Lighting Science Group have created LED lights with plug-and-play links using Bluetooth wireless technology. Although it offers limited capabilities at present, due to a lack of interconnected systems, it is certainly one area to watch.
The price of LED lights has come down considerably since they first came out, but they are still more expensive than conventional bulbs, delaying their global adoption. This may, however, soon be a thing of the past thanks to silicon.
The most important component of an LED light is the chip, made with a semiconductor compound layered on top of a sapphire wafer which is relatively costly, but some LED chip companies have been investigating the possibility of replacing the sapphire wafer with a silicon wafer. Silicon being nothing more than sand and carbon heated at high temperatures, it is abundant and inexpensive and this area of research is, without a doubt, one of the most promising in the world of LED lighting.
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