Friday, 18 October 2013

LEDs and Colour Rendering

LED strip lights
LED strip lights are an increasingly popular source of illumination for home and commercial use.

LED strip lights are one of the most popular LED products because of their varied lighting applications and ease of installation but LEDs are being recognised as superior lighting technology.  They are increasingly preferred over fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.  One of the main reasons for this is their high performance in CRI.  CRI is the colour rendering index.  This is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reproduce the colours of various objects accurately compared to the results of natural light.  This is not to be confused with the apparent colour of said light source.  LEDs normally have 80+CRI with some claiming their LEDs achieve 98.  The highest CRI is 100.  In colour critical applications high CRI is most sought after, e.g. in photography.

There is a focus in the LED technology industry to balance CRI and luminous efficiency.  As technology in this filed continues to rapidly improve, LED strip lights, LED based retrofit lamps and all other manner of LED lighting is enjoying increasing success against its lighting competitors.

Phosphor use on LED lighting is also continuing to improve and allows more subtle light variation.  This aids the best results when we want LEDs with high CRI but low CCT.  This is the state most desirable for residential lighting.  CCT is correlated colour temperature.

LEDs are already ideal for office lighting, where clear, practical light is required for performing tasks.  In residential lighting aesthetics are more important.  It will be LEDs ability to work and deliver the best results in these different applications that will bring them to be widely used in most lighting in the future and they are well on their way.

Phosphor has been integral in the creation of warmer or cooler light effects in LEDs for residential use.  Phosphor coats the LEDs which appear as blue light and some of the blue is absorbed by the phosphor. This causes the phosphor to have a higher energy level.  Yellow or warmer light is achieved if all the blue light is absorbed by the phosphor. Absorbing only some of the blue light results in white light.

This technology is how LEDs, including the popular and seemingly simple LED strip lights, achieve their ability to produce such a great range of lighting effects.  Understanding this technology shows why LEDs are becoming a popular choice of lighting in all applications.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Cable Harnessing and the 50 Year old Computer

The past 50 years have seen plenty of changes in the technology industry with an amazing progression in computing. When once your computer would be the size of a room, projections say that handheld tablets will be the norm, even overtaking laptops.

One such computer who was around for the start of it all was Flossie: a giant machine that’s looking like making quite the comeback. As an ICT 1301 model, the main task was to produce test results for students at the University of London and measuring at 5 tonnes, Flossie could not be more of a far cry from modern day machines.

Flossie would have benefitted from the use of cable harnessing due to the significant amount of maintenance that had to go into keeping her ticking over. Fascinatingly, due to the bulky size of the model, the ICT 1301 found stardom after appearing in Doctor Who and James Bond.

The machine was later discarded and studied by students before finding its way to a farm owner who kindly donated the gigantic treasure.

Plans are now in place to fix Flossie’s mechanisms that were sadly damaged during transit by 2016. The idea is to house the enormous computer in The National Museum of Computing – a team dedicated to preserving historic parts of technology. Kevin Murrel, a trustee with the group said, "One of the problems with computers as museum artefacts is that when they are switched off they are fairly boring - it's fairly difficult to learn anything from them," explained Mr Murrell.
"So ideally we want it switched on, and once we've restored it we will be able to run the original software.”
An intriguing and passionate initiative, this news says a lot about the evolution of computers and how it has grown from humble beginnings to what it is now.

Cable Harnessing at Lapp:

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Success of Solar Energy

The Swedish furniture firm Ikea have recently announced that they will be introducing solar panel
packages for the commercial market with solar cables being utilised with them also. This indicates that the solar energy business is becoming a more viable option for those looking for renewable energy.

Previously, you would have had to go through an industry specialist to achieve solar panelling for your household. Now though, it appears as if solar energy is becoming what is considered the norm. What used to be an odd commodity is now found on many house roofs. How has this once elite way of producing energy achieved such recent success?

Due to energy usage needing to be more conservational, there’s been a growing demand to utilise more natural resources. The sun is a potentially unlimited source of energy and because of this, the solar cable has been a great innovation over the last 10 years.

The process is known as photovoltaic, the method named for harnessing solar radiation and turning it into an energy source. Studies show that as of 2012, 100 GW was managed in the industry thanks to its being implemented in over 100 countries worldwide. This is a massive increase from the 5.4 GWp posted in 2005 and it just goes to show that solar energy has come a long way.

When compared to the manpower, cost and research needed for fossil and nuclear fuel energy sources, solar stands out as being much more effective. The common belief is that once solar energy eventually becomes our primary energy source, the non-polluting elements of the method will be a great benefit for Earth and its atmosphere.

One of the main factors to ensure successful solar harnessing is to have the correct solar cables. Typically, they are formed of rubber and although robust, lend themselves to degradation after severe weather exposure. Because of this, the outside layer needs to be of the highest quality to protect against all ranges of temperatures and climates. National certification for use is always advised so that the most economically and practically viable solar cable is found.