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Lighting the way

Source: Rail Technology Magazine Oct/Nov 2006

A brighter future, with reduced costs, and slashed maintenance bills. Is it possible? RTM finds out how the dream can become reality.

The technology behind Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) was first developed in 1923. However, in its early stages it was never considered a practical way of generating light.

Today LED efficiencies have improved to the extent that they are associated with far more than displays and indicator lamps. They are common place in architectural mode lighting, traffic lights, car stop lights torches and a range of other applications.

The improvements in Flux, life performance and colour have opened the way to completely new applications for both general and specialised lighting.

SO how are costs reduced? What are the advantages?

Conventional bulbs generate light by heating up a fragile element until it radiates light. Usually wasting large amounts of electrical energy, through infrared radiation. Whereas LEDs convert an electrical current directly into light, eliminating wasted energy.

To summarise their key benefits, LEDs:

Use up to 90% less energy;
Are ecologically friendly;
Increase safety and security;
Are capable of a cold start;
Offer a range of styling and design possibilities;
Emit light in a single direction, offering better optical efficiency.

So how are maintenance bills slashed?

LEDs have a very long service life – usually between 10,000 and 100,000 hours.
Normal bulbs typically have a life of 1,000 hours until the filament burns out.
Low voltage Halogen lamps can hold out for approx 3,000 hours.
Rather than fail immediately, LEDs deteriorate slowly - allowing sensible replacement schedules.

BCS Luminaires, based in Tonbridge, are specialists in high flux fittings utilising the latest technology. These new luminaries have a luminous flux in excess of 3000 Lumens (even when installed within a fitting) in cool or warm white. In practical terms this means lighting an area of approximately 15 square feet with just a single fitting.

BCS Luminaires has the ability to custom make / design to your specifications. Or you can choose from a rapidly growing existing range.

Part of the existing range has been designed to meet the needs of London Underground, with installations already in existence on escalators, concourses and outside walk ways.

State of the art software is used to size the number of fittings needed for the light required. Therefore, even if a building only exists on paper, we can still size the lighting for it.

The way ahead is not only brighter: it’s also controllable.

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