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2011 Light Trend: LED’s the Way to Be
Monday, June 13, 2011
Excellent event lighting is an integral aspect of any superior event. Not only is sufficient lighting crucial for guests to see their whereabouts, but lighting also sets a mood, creates a style, and contributes to the theme of any event. This year LED lights are quickly becoming the industry standard for their efficiency and elegance.
LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are found everywhere in everyday life: calculators, remote controls, cars, and street lights. Unlike traditional incandescent lights, LEDs do not have a filament that can burn out, and thus last much longer. They work by running electrons through a semiconductor material, more commonly known as a diode. In a regular light bulb, warming the filament generates excessive amounts of heat, which basically becomes wasted energy. Since LEDs do not use a filament, they do not waste any energy or produce any excess heat, meaning they use up to 75% less electricity than regular bulbs. Previously the materials making up the semiconductors were so expensive that the costs of LEDs outweighed the benefits. But in the last 10 years with their prices going down, LEDs are quickly becoming the go-to source for cool ambient light.
In addition to having a low heat output, low energy consumption, and long life, LEDs are often wireless and very small, making them easy to hide for a mystical lighting effect. The different materials composing each semiconductor allows LEDs to emit light in a full range of colors without having to use color filters like traditional lights do. Furthermore, they are more shock resistant than regular bulbs, possess a quicker switch time, and are usually weather resistant.
Event lighting companies such as California-based Kinetic Lighting and New York’s Luminous Designs are joining a nationwide group of growing LED lighting providers in creating rich and vivid displays for the country’s trendiest events. Aside from simple projection lighting on walls and dance floors, companies are creating new innovative ways to incorporate LEDs. Florida’s Everlast Productions recently unveiled its 18 square inch rotating LED panels, which can be used to display information. Wizard Connection created a 12 foot tall LED cherry blossom tree to use as an interesting accent piece at any event. LEDs also come in fake candles and chandeliers to mimic the romantic lighting of an actual open flame. Finally LED video walls, commonly used behind djs and other musical artists at concerts, are also becoming more prevalent at corporate events to display company logos, videos, messages, or just interesting image displays, while at the same time providing plenty of ambient light.
The possibilities with LED are endless and they are only going to get cheaper in the coming years.