Archive for the 'LED Stories' Category

LEDs, camera, action! Top movie cities switch to white lighting


LED lighting might be good news for pedestrians and drivers, but their popularity will also change the way some of the biggest films look on the silver screen according to a feature in The Daily Mail.

It appears the look that has inspired generations of directors is about to be changed for good as LED street lighting is introduced in two of the most filmed cities in the world.

Until now, the orange glow of street lamps has been a distinctive feature in films such as Collateral, where the eerie glow adds to this tense thriller.

But the moody effect created in such iconic city settings could well be a thing of the past, with producers having to turn to technology to re-create the famous look.

While UK cities such as Glasgow, London and Manchester have begun switching to LED bulbs for their street lighting, the impact on “Tinsel Town” will be noticeable to movie lovers around the globe.

LEDs have a far longer life-span than regular bulbs, outshining them by thousands of hours. But the change means that filmmakers will need to adjust to their new surroundings, and begin experimenting to find out which alternatives work best when replicating more traditional street lighting.

By replacing 140,000 street lamps with LED lighting Los Angeles will save at least $7 million on their electricity bills each year. While New York will be about $14 million a year better off after replacing 250,000 street lights in the city.

5 things you wanted to know about Li-Fi but were afraid to ask


Just when you thought there wasn’t a corner of the earth not covered by Wi-Fi, it seems an exciting alternative is waiting in the wings; ready to offer a faster and more efficient service at the flick of a switch.

Light-based wireless communication (Li-Fi) is a method of internet connectivity that doesn’t use cables or radio waves – it uses the flickering light from a special LED to transmit data just like any other Wi-Fi adapter would.

Not heard of it? Well don’t worry, you’re not alone.

But if scientists are to be believed this technology is not light years away – it’s much closer than that and could be in every home within a decade.

1. What does Li-Fi stand for?

Its official name is Light-based wireless communication, though this has now been adapted to Light Fidelity, which has since been abbreviated to the much catchier Li-Fi.

2. How does it work?

The idea behind Li-Fi is almost identical to Wi-Fi technology. But instead of throwing out radio waves in all directions from a router, it sends light shooting out to connect to your smartphone, laptop, or other devices via specially adapted LED lamps. The lights flicker at high speed (which is un-noticeable to the human eye), sending data around the building. Effectively Li-Fi uses light in the same way that fiber optics do - but instead of maintaining it through thin strands, it allows the light to spread out in all directions so multiple devices are able to connect. Existing LED light bulbs can easily be converted to transmit Li-Fi signals with a single microchip.

3. What speeds could I hope to achieve?

Li-Fi has the potential to be faster than Wi-Fi connections, a lot faster. In recent tests UK scientists reported transmission speeds of 10Gbit/s using this new technology – “more than 250 times faster than the so called ‘superfast’ broadband that is currently offered.

4. What are the benefits?

The obvious advantage is the incredible speeds available to users. On recent evidence, it would be possible to download an HD film in 30 seconds using Li-Fi. It also offers greater privacy. Li-Fi can only work when your device is able to detect the light being emitted by the router; meaning you have to be in the same room that the light is being emitted. Anyone in the close vicinity (such as outside the building) will not be able to use, or “piggyback” your connection.

5. Are there any drawbacks?

The most obvious disadvantage of Li-Fi is that in order for your devices to connect; they must be in direct line of site of the LED bulb. In other words – if the light is not on, or your computer is in another room, then you won’t be connected.  But don’t worry if you like to use your tablet in bed after dark. Bulbs could be dimmed to the point that they were not visible to humans and yet still functional.

Shoot to kill: Apple puts focus on new iPhone camera with LED flash


Apple has announced their latest generation iPhone and technology enthusiasts will be eager to find out just what the new handset has to offer.

At first glass it may appear that little has changed on the outside, but on closer inspection it’s evident that much effort has gone into Apple’s latest release.

One of the most talked about features is the new camera – particularly the use of a new LED flash system

It’s hard to deny that Apple has made vast improvements to their camera compared to previous models, largely due to stiff competition from the likes of Samsung and Nokia - who have made huge strides in terms of photographic technology.

So what’s new?

The iPhone 5S camera features a larger image sensor, which is now 15% bigger than previous models and emphasises Apple’s beliefs that bigger pixels are better than more pixels. It also features a larger f/2.2 aperture.

The hope is that the increase in sensor and aperture size will help the device cope with low-light situations.

Larger sensors typically mean low-light sensitivity is improved and you’ll be able to take better pictures with less illumination – ideal for indoor shots and night-time scenes.

Should you need more light you can always rely on the phone’s new “True Tone” dual-LED flash.

With different colour temperatures on each LED this is a real bonus for low-light photographers who dread the washed-out look and unnatural colour balance that a typical flash offers.

The introduction of image stabilization is good news for those who don’t have the steadiest of hands, and it’s claimed that the speedy new A7 chip will yields autofocus that’s twice as fast.

Budding movie directors will welcome the news that the iPhone 5S can capture 720p HD at 120 frames per second and the handset also features a new “slo-mo” feature that can slow footage down to a 120 frames-per-second crawl.

What, where and when?

With prices starting at a steeper than expected £549, Apple has put a lot of faith in this new handset.

The 5S hits the shelves at the end of September – and as ever with new Apple products, demand is likely to be high. If you’re interested, you can watch the full unveiling on their website here.

The future looks bright for Schiphol airport thanks to LED lighting

New LED runway signs are to be installed at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

The existing signs, which inform pilots of locations, routes and runway numbers, are illuminated by halogen bulbs and are situated in the landing areas. But the new LED versions will soon replace them; reducing energy consumption by around 70%.

The lights along one of the airport’s runways have already been changed and over the next few years thousands of signs are due to be replaced; mostly during periods when the runways are out of operation due to pre-arranged maintenance work.

The signs, which are 3.3ft (1m) high and 13.1-16.4ft (4-5m) wide, are illuminated permanently in accordance with safety regulations.  The standard practice has been to use halogen lamps, which last around one year.  LED lamps have a service life of approximately ten years and use 70% less energy.

It’s hoped that material from the old signs will be recycled. The electric switches, along with other usable materials such as plastics, aluminium and copper will also be separated and re-used elsewhere.

See the place you love light-up: LED system illuminates the sport of night boarding


A new LED lighting system means that surf enthusiasts can now ride the waves even after the sun goes down. 

US water sports accessories company Nocqua have created an LED lighting system for paddleboards, which creates a halo of light against the water and the night sky.

The 2000 LED lighting system attaches to the underside boards to create a 360-degree light field, allowing the paddler to see in all directions after dark. The system includes two waterproof LED light bars, each containing 72 LEDs and together emitting more than 2,000 lumens.

Using a rechargeable, water-resistant lithium-ion battery, boards can remain illuminated for up to two hours at a time. And when the battery gets low; the power switch glows different colours to let the paddler know how much battery power is left.

A statement on the company’s website explains: “The Nocqua 2000 LED lighting system reveals the wonders of being on the water at night in a way that simply cannot be experienced in the daylight hours.

“The thrill of being on the water under the stars, the connection with marine life below and a viewing experience like never before.”

The Nocqua 2000 system, which can also be fitted onto kayaks and canoes, retails for $399.99 and extra batteries cost $59.99.