They Help Us Absorb Nutrients
While conventional and natural light sources emit ultraviolet rays, LEDs do not. Why is this a big deal? Well, when it comes to our food, these UV rays decrease nutrient levels, particularly in fruits and vegetables. So LED lighting in such places as supermarkets or kitchens means more vitamins and minerals in our food. Also, since LEDs do not give off heat, they should also help keep food fresher longer.
They Help Students Learn
Recent studies have found that LED lighting not only improves student’s concentration and behavior in the classroom, but it also significantly improves their test scores. A series of standardized tests was given to students before and after new LED lighting systems were installed. The results? Students scored 25% better. Research has also shown that LED lighting helps prevent students with autism from suffering the headaches, eyestrain and nausea that can be caused by the sub-visible flicker of direct fluorescent lighting.
They Can Save Your Horse’s Life
If you live in the city, it may never have crossed your mind, but horses and their riders are often in danger of being in an accident after it gets dark. The solution? Specially made horse “Tail Lights” made with strips of LEDs that attach directly to the horses’ tails. Combined with a CPU and battery pack, they provide up to 15 hours of high visibility.
Photo: jan middelveld/iStock/Thinkstock
They’re Getting Smaller and Smaller
LEDs were already tiny, but earlier this year they got even tinier. A team of scientists from the University of Washington recently built what they call the “thinnest possible LEDs.” How thin? They are only three atoms thick. That is more than ten times thinner than standard LEDs.
They Extend the Shelf Life of Meat
According to research at Kansas State University, using LED lights in refrigeration units extends the shelf life of many beef products. LEDs lead to a slower discoloration process in meat, and since consumers discriminate against meat that’s discolored, much of that meat has to be discounted or thrown away. Switching from fluorescent lighting to LEDs could save the meat industry and grocery stores millions of dollars each year.
You Can Use Them to Decorate Your Walls
That’s right, manufacturers are now embedding LED lights into some of their wallpaper designs to add flair and ambiance. It probably won’t show up in your local home improvement story any time soon, but there are options available online — and most of them are customizable.
Photo: Rolf Brenner/Hemera/Thinkstock
They’re Being Used to Prevent Crime
For some time now, experts have been divided on whether the use of LED street lights helps reduce crime. Data, however, is beginning to show positive results. In Los Angeles for example, the rate of crime has dropped in a number of areas since LEDs street lamps were installed, including a 13% drop in vehicle theft, a 9% drop in burglaries and a 16% drop in vandalism over a four-year period. A number of other cities, including Oakland and Atlantic City, are switching to LED lighting and hoping for similar results.