A light-emitting diode (LED)is an opto-electronic component that flows when an electric current passes through it, and therefore produces light.
Many people consider LEDs to be a promising technology for general lighting. It is estimated that by the year 2020, LEDs could represent 75% of the lighting market.
Most Eco-Innov’ signalling and beaconing products (excluding reflecting studs) feature LED technology, optimised in accordance with the application in question in terms of colour and energy consumption. Eco-Innov’ works in partnership with the best LED manufacturers, such as Cree (USA) and Nichia (Japan), whose LEDs are reputed for their optical performance and long-term reliability.
- Low electricity consumption due to their efficiency (see comparison table above);
- Much longer lifespan than an incandescent or fluorescent lamp (theoretically 50,000 hours). A LED gradually dims rather than suddenly failing at the end of its working life;
- Safety due to low voltage operation;
- Greater efficiency means proportionally less heating that with an incandescent lamp;
- No UV radiation;
- In contrast to a fluorescent lamp (CFL), an LED lamp does not emit any low or medium frequency radiation that can be harmful at a short distance;
- A wide variety of colours can be produced by simply combining different LEDs at the manufacturing stage or, dynamically, by modifying the current supplying the various LEDs;
- Wide choice of colour temperature. Existing colours are: 2300 K to 3200 K for warm white, 3500 to 4500 K for cool white, 5000 K to 6000 K for ivory, 6500 K to over 8000 K for cold white.
A photovoltaic cell is an electronic component which, when exposed to light (photons), produces electricity thanks to the photovoltaic effect causing the phenomenon. The voltage obtained depends on the incident light. A photovoltaic cell delivers continuous voltage.
The commonest photovoltaic cells consist of semi-conductors made mainly with silicon (Si) and more rarely other types of semi-conductors: copper selenide (Culn(Se)2) or indium selenide (CulGa(Se)2)., cadmium telluride (CdTe), etc. They are generally in the form of fine plates measuring around 10 cm on each side. The cells are often combined into photovoltaic solar modules or solar panels depending on the level of power required.
Monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic cell
As it cools, molten silicon solidifies to form a single, large crystal. This is then cut into fine slices to make cells. The cells are usually a uniform blue colour.
- Good efficiency, from 14 % to 16 %,
- Good Wp/m2 ratio (~150 Wp/m2), which helps to save space if necessary