Dedicated Lighting: LEDs and Fluorescents
In new building and environmental regulations, lighting plays a key role. Even though the Wattages used in lighting seem fairly insignificant in comparison to televisions and microwaves, it is something which is easily changed for the better since the introduction of compact fluorescent bulbs.
Fluorescent bulbs have been made available in Edison and Bayonet fittings, which make them simple to take the place of incandescent bulbs. The only problem with fittings like this is that if the user of the bulb seeks a short term solution when the bulb goes, the user could go back to using incandescent bulbs. To prevent this from happening, building regulations now include a requirement for dedicated fittings.
Dedicated fluorescents are available in 2 pin, 3 pin, 4 pin bulbs.
These bulbs only fit the bulb holders they were designed to fit. So if the bulbs are to blow, they can only be directly replaced by the same bulb. This ensures that the user conforms to the energy saving regulations. These bulbs are easily available from any electrical retailer or wholesaler, making them easy for the user to replace.
When it comes to dedicated LEDs there is a problem. At the minute, dedicated LEDs only really exist as an entire fitting. Once the emitter fails, the whole fitting must be replaced. This is not only un-environmentally friendly (see previous article Is it really that eco friendly?), but it is also a problem for the user as they have to pay for an entire new fitting. Taking into consideration the long life time of an LED, and also how relatively new the technology is, there is a chance that the fitting may not even be available anymore, and also that the technology will have advanced so much that a better product has replaced it.
What needs to be developed is a dedicated LED bulb, for non-IP rated fittings, which has a universal, unique fitting which can be used by all companies in their fittings. Once LED technology is completely conquered, hopefully, this will be available and so improve the user based qualities of LED even more.