The proliferation of LEDs employed for the purpose of lighting over recent years is not limited to the ideal conditions characteristic of indoor use. LEDs are increasingly being used as the technology of choice for outdoor applications, be they functional or decorative.
Like other leading LED manufacturers, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors has embraced this burgeoning market with a range of solutions that meet the environmental challenges inherent to outdoor exposure.
Functional road lighting
Until recently, there has been little that local governments could do to reduce the cost of road lighting. It is an absolutely essential element in keeping road users safe at any hour of the day, and ensuring the smooth flow of traffic in both residential and highway environments, but such a demanding role means expensive upkeep.
Maintenance can be slow and dangerous; individual lamps are usually serviced on-site, and the physical components of traditional lamps such as high intensity discharge (HID) do not follow a set of standards. Most road lighting also only offers one level of brightness no matter the conditions, which can result in higher energy usage.
LED lighting systems offer local governments an alternative to traditional lighting; one that is low-energy, meets international regulations for brightness, and offers a simple and low-cost interoperable maintenance system for quick and easy replacements and general upkeep. The latest LED lighting systems offer a high-power and high-brightness alternative to traditional outdoor street lamps. They also compete on long-term cost benefits, including long lifecycles under challenging conditions.
Unlike indoor applications, it is imperative that functional road lighting can withstand the variable conditions that come with outdoor installations. LEDs such as the Oslon SSL, Oslon Square and Duris P have the advantage over traditional HID lighting because their lifecycle is not affected by the negative impacts of UV rays, chemicals and the corrosive effects of weather and pollution. Both units use ceramic substrate, which has superior thermal performance and anti-corrosion characteristics over long periods of time.
Decorative street lighting
Like all public sector organisations, town planners within local governments are under increasing pressure to reduce cost wherever necessary. At the same time, they must also ensure durability and sustainability while reducing the carbon footprint of any new investments.
With something as visible to the public as decorative street lighting, lighting must meet requirements for aesthetic values and serve its purpose to improve the look of local town centres and points of interest. It must also support the adaptive capabilities of the human eye and have a high colour rendering index (CRI) above 70 so that it is pleasant to observe.
What’s more, as with all designs versus their functions, it must be robust and durable, and able to meet the challenges of external environments, including UV, chemical and corrosion effects. This is why, increasingly, LED lighting systems are being chosen for street lighting applications.
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors’ outdoor LED lighting products all fulfil lumen and colour maintenance requirements, ensuring a long and issue-free lifecycle when used in decorative street lighting applications. The Oslon SSL white and colour portfolio, with its ceramic-based package and superior corrosion robustness, ideally addresses the needs for long lifetime applications.
Luminaire makers have long been restricted by the inflexibility of traditional lamps when it came to consumer applications. With the consumer market preferring form over function and unit price over long-term cost benefits, manufacturers have a challenging balance to strike in order to maintain demand and profitability. The emergence of the latest LED lighting systems for outdoor consumer applications has opened up a new opportunity in design freedom, while retaining all the benefits that LEDs have to offer in terms of durability, energy-saving qualities and maintenance effort.
Lifetime is less of an issue for consumer outdoor applications, since consumers tend to make purchasing decisions based more on shelf unit price than long-term cost benefits. This enables manufacturers to reduce the cost of components and design for more relaxed reliability, such as that offered by the Duris S LED family. The Duris S products use a special high-quality metal lead frame as well as optimised optics design for secondary lenses and reflectors, making them suitable for outdoor applications.