Until the development of high-efficiency and high-power LEDs in the early 2000s LEDs were only suitable as indicator lamps. Recent development in this field has made it possible to use LEDs in lighting and illumination.
LEDs are very efficient. Most of the electrical energy is converted to light and very little heat (infra red) energy is produced. Whilst initial outlay is expensive, the low energy consumption of the lamps makes them economic in the long run. The lower heat output of LEDs also means air conditioning (cooling) systems have less heat to dispose of, reducing carbon dioxide emissions.They are robust and have a long lifetime - making them ideal for the automotive industry and public lighting.
Uses of visible spectrum LED bulbs:
Domestic Lighting - bulbs for lamps, decorative mood lighting, garden lighting.
Traffic lights and in other architectural lighting where colour changing is needed.
Automotive lighting on cars, motorcycles, and bicycles.
Lighting in aeroplanes, airport and heliport lighting, medium-intensity runway lights, runway centerline lights, taxiway centerline and edge lights, guidance signs, and obstruction lighting
Street and parking garage lights.
Backlighting for LCD televisions and lightweight laptop displays - allows screens to be lighter in weight, thinner and improves colour reproduction (using RGB LEDs).
Aquarium lights - especially for reef aquariums. LED lights provide an efficient light source with less heat output to help maintain optimal aquarium temperatures. LED-based aquarium fixtures also have the advantage of being manually adjustable to emit a specific color-spectrum for ideal coloration of corals, fish, and invertebrates while optimizing photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), which raises growth and sustainability of photosynthetic life such as corals, anemones, clams, and macroalgae. These fixtures can be electronically programmed to simulate various lighting conditions throughout the day, reflecting phases of the sun and moon for a dynamic reef experience.
Stage lights - using banks of RGB LEDs you can easily change the spotlight colour and minimise heating compared with traditional stage lighting
Mining industry- used in cap lamps to provide light for miners. Research has been done to improve LEDs for mining, to reduce glare and to increase illumination, reducing the risk of injury for the miners.
Medical lighting - avoids IR-radiation which can be harmful.