LED Technology Overview for 2016

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So, it’s 2017, and already February – the month that gives us the perfect excuse to celebrate with our loved ones, and reflect on our precious memories together. As we reminisce, let’s also take a look back for the biggest trends and developments made in lighting technology throughout 2016.

2016 made a huge impact and difference in the history of lighting technology. This is the year where most of the expectations to further enhance lighting technology systems have been achieved. Most of these trends and developments include the further enhancement of LEDs, and an expansion of different ways & procedures on how we can use them in different applications.


Some of these successful technology developments were in the field of horticultural lighting systems and automotive applications;

Horticultural LED System – In early 1990s, researchers state that the advantages and characteristics of LEDs, greatly contributes to the plant’s growth and production – such as the capability to generate high light level/intensity with low radiant heat output, controllability and energy efficiency, and are far more effective than the recent fluorescent and incandescent lamps that were used as a supplemental lighting for crop production.

Research had found that spectral composition control, or the capability of LEDs to adjust wavelengths to match a plant’s photoreceptor or the plant’s sensitivity to light, can improve chlorophyll absorption for photosynthesis process. This greatly affects a plant’s morphology and phytochemical properties which are responsible for the plant’s growth and development.

These characteristics and capabilities brought the LED industry to be one of the leading devices when it comes to horticultural lighting, and they are extremely in demand. It was also one of the most successful trends in the market during the year 2016. Enhancements were focused on energy efficiency and the development of innovative products.

We expect to see further enhancements and developments throughout 2017, such as improved thermal management and cost-effective LEDs for indoor farming.

Another successful trend that came from 2016 was the use of LEDs to automotive applications such as headlights and backlights.

LED Headlights – From the traditional halogen and HID (Xenon) headlamps which are commonly found in the market, vehicle manufacturers decided to turn to LED as another option.

Some of its advantages over the halogen and HID headlamps are its long operational life in which it can last for about 50, 000 hours, and it’s capability to generate directional light rather than diffused, making them an excellent choice for headlights. LED headlights are also capable of producing 3600 Lumens per bulb compared to halogen headlamps that emit around 1000-1700 Lumens per bulb. LED headlights are capable of generating this high level of brightness while maintaining low power consumption.

LED Backlighting – As mentioned above, LEDs are also being used today as backlights and had adopted the LED TFT-LCD backlighting in today’s vehicles and in most transportation vehicles around the world such as trucks, trains, planes, and boats.

LED backlighting started in infotainment systems, in which the LCD screen that was mounted at the centre of the dashboard provides an easy to read control panel. This helps the driver and passenger to easily view and track their location, perform audio tuning, as well as several other tasks. Vehicle manufacturers also permanently install cabin backlighting that requires no accessibility for replacement due to LEDs long operational life, which surpasses the vehicles estimated life.

Another great feature that LED backlighting offers is its dimming capability. As the interior of an automotive vehicle is subjected to different ambient lighting conditions, that range from high intensity of light coming from the sun to complete darkness, the LED backlighting offers wide dimming ratios that are not possible with the previous CCFL backlighting.

Although LEDs were just recently applied to automotive vehicles, they have shown a strong growth in the automotive market during 2016 and are expected to have continuous and rapid development throughout this year.

There’s no doubt that the LED has lived up to expectations during 2016 when it comes to horticultural and automotive lighting applications. On the other hand, other new LED technologies that hit the market last year, such as human centric lighting, hasn’t had quite the impact that was anticipated. This adapts to the specific needs of the user to achieve maximum quality of light and Li-Fi, which refers to light based communications technology, that delivers high-speed mobile communications in a similar manner as Wi-Fi.

We may also expect further improvements this year for human centric lighting and Li-Fi that promises to bring network communications on a different level by allowing transfer of data via light.

We are looking forward to seeing what new other developments 2017 will bring!