Subfreezing Temperatures No Problem for LED Lighting

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Subfreezing Temperatures No Problem for LED Lighting

LED lighting excels in cold temperature environments.

At Pegasus Airfield near McMurdo Station Antarctica, the runway is illuminated with LED lights. Temperatures range from a high of 12°F down to 0°F and lower.

Large commercial cold storage facilities are often illuminated with LED lighting.

Finally, one of the fastest growing sectors of LED lighting over the last few years (2014 - 2017) has been LED outdoor roadway and area lighting - a type of lighting that obviously must withstand cold winter temperatures.

One of the earlier complaints of LEDs for traffic signals was that the heat from the lights was not high enough to melt snow or ice, an environmental factor that older incandescent traffic signal lamps would easily overcome. However, in recent years, manufacturers have included heating elements with LED traffic signals without impacting LED life.

What these examples demonstrate is that cold temperatures do not preclude the use of LEDs. In fact, LED has become the lighting source of choice for cold temperature applications.

According the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic, cooler ambient temperatures actually improve LED lumen output, "the cooler the environment, the higher an LED's light output will be." While the human eye may not be able to detect this incremental increase in light as ambient temperature declines, the important point is this: LED lighting and cold temperatures are a good match.

In addition to not affecting light output, cold ambient temperatures do not alter the instant ON feature of LED lighting, the energy use nor the rated useful life.

For virtually all commercial, industrial and residential outdoor or cold storage lighting where low temperatures exist, LED is an ideal light source.

We have also written an article in the past on how poor heat management for LEDs can shorten their lives in very warm environments.

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