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By Engr. Muhammad Awais.

Light is a resource which is usually never understood properly and is never cared about either as we think of it as a physical entity that has generally no specific explanation for non-scientific people. It’s a resource that is generated by spending another and that’s all. But this is just the surface. Light is of great importance and needs to be considered a big resource as we are a country facing energy crisis. Any light source uses energy to emit light/radiation that is used as a luminosity source. There have been several advents in the production of light from sources starting from very basic fire which consumed a huge amount of resource to create very limited light source. At early industrial age, gas powered lamps were used commercially to produce light. At a very late age of modern industrialism, bulbs were invented when electricity was invented and those electric lamps used the phenomenon of resistance heating to create light (tungsten bulbs), this is the reason such lamps were electrically resistive loads and took a huge amount of electricity to operate. Later on florescent technology replaced resistance bulbs by generating light from discharge tube (modern tube lights were designed from discharge tube experiments). Advents in florescent technology reduced its electricity requirement but still the ever increasing energy crisis had to be managed. Hence the development of light on Einstein’s ideas i.e. LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology was introduced. Though initial version was both expensive and with limited applications, currently LED is replacing major light sources globally towards an efficient and sustainable energy system. Following table shows clear difference between different technologies used for sources and their energy losses:

Source Type Energy Resource Light Emitted Energy Losses
Fire Lots of Wood/Oil/Flammable Minimal Heat, Sound, Gas Formation
Gas Lamps Little Gas/Oil Average Heat, Sound
Resistance Lamps Lots of Electricity Good Heat
Florescent Considerable Electricity Good Heat
LED/SMD Minimal Electricity Good Negligible Heat

These representations are approximation of resource used and light coverage obtained. Here intensity of light is not considered as the measuring tool. Gas formation means the energy getting consumed during reactions of gas formation (not H2O Vapors, CO & CO2).

A lot of people confuse SMD & LED by pointing out that SMD is latest light source, LED was old. This is not the case, basically SMD or Surface Mounted Device could be any device and not just an LED. Any LED source that is surface mounted can be called SMD as well but not all SMDs are LEDs as SMD also includes sensors, micro-switches, devices etc.

This is the age when energy audits are not just usage assessments but are essential for a sustainable future as energy requirement will keep on increasing and energy production from non-sustainable sources will add to the environmental entropy. This can only be settled by developing more and more sustainable sources and developing efficient devices that require minimum resources for operations like LEDs.

Considering the state of energy crisis in Pakistan, it is highly recommended to general public to shift from other light sources to LED as much as possible to reduce overall load on national grids to avail better supply of electricity with shorter down times. For more information regarding LED Technology and its benefits, plan a visit to LIGHTS LED EXPO in Karachi. Details are as under

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