Bright Future Forecast for Innovative LED Lighting

The success of ScreenSign Arts Ltd's Photometric Edge Lighting Technology, using LED components, suggests it should be possible for the beverage dispensing industry to phase out light bulbs, including mercury-lined fluorescent tubes, sooner rather than later.

Christchurch-based ScreenSign Arts began commercialisation of electroluminescence technology in 1998. The company has since negotiated a six-year agreement for distribution of its technology into the beverage sector in North America and Europe.

LED-based photometric technology has the potential to significantly improve energy efficiency, and to help companies to meet new targets for greenhouse gas emissions.

"With the recent developments in high output LED technology, and especially in pure-white light sources, these lighting systems now have an enormous range of applications. The beverage sector is only one, but it's where we are focusing our efforts initially."

"Our customers are using low-profile, high output LED lighting to reduce their energy consumption for lighting by up to 64 per cent, with additional savings gained through a reduction in energy required for chilling their product and the dispensing lines."

LED Edge Lighting systems can provide around 45,000 hours of constant light – around four times the life of fluorescent light – and at only 6mm thick are compact enough to fit into small enclosed spaces.

Energy watchdog groups have welcomed the development in LED technology as a breakthrough in the way lighting is provided. "Lighting accounts for 20 per cent of all energy use in the US," says sustainability action group Earth Easy (www.eartheasy.org). "All this light, however, comes at a cost; producing the electricity creates pollution from power plants and greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing energy needs from lighting by half could save billions of dollars and help wean us off our dependence on oil."

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are basically a semi-conductor. When energy passes through two electron-charged materials, electrons jump from one material to the other. As an electron jumps, it emits energy in the form of a photon. The color of light created by a given LED depends on the amount of energy in that photon. This, in turn, depends on the material used for the layers. The cost of LEDS has declined significantly in recent years, opening up new opportunities to reduce maintenance costs and make significant energy savings.

ScreenSign Arts has developed its lighting system for beverage dispensers in association with award winning plastics company, Christchurch-based Talbot Plastics Ltd.

About Photometric Edge Lighting

Photometric Edge Lighting is where a pre-designed dot matrix is applied to one surface of clear acrylic sheet, resulting in an even distribution of light across the sheet's surface. It provides highly efficient illumination with strong visual impact for point-of-sale devices, shelving and merchandising displays.

About ScreenSign Arts Ltd

ScreenSign Arts is the South Island's largest provider of screen printing services. Established in 1972, the company has remained at the forefront of the industry through continuous development of new products and the application of technologies for innovative printing, signwriting and visual presentations. www.screensignarts.co.nz
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