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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
Megatower™
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
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Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
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Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
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Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
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NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
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Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
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Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
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HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
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Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
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LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
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Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
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Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
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Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
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Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Flashlights
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Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
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New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
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Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
Chemical Plant Lights
Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting
         

   
11/16/11 The Higher Cost of LEDs: The Reasons May Surprise You

Article- November 2011 By Larson Electronics.com

 LED Light Bar

Larson Electronics LED Light Bar


By now most of you have heard in some way or another about how LEDs are revolutionizing lighting. With major advancements in LED output seemingly occurring every day, and manufacturers scrambling to develop their own particular LED alternatives to the classic incandescent bulb, it seems almost a certainty that LEDs are the lighting of the future. And why not? LEDs are far more efficient than the trusty incandescent, they last tens of thousands of hours longer, and if you drop one on the floor you won’t be paranoid for a week about stepping on a shard of glass. Although the early LED entrants into the everyday consumer markets were met with some less than flattering reviews due to their cold bluish color light and weak output, these problems are pretty well solved and no longer an issue. Now we have LED lights with all the warmth of a 60 watt incandescent and the ability to produce temporary blindness if we were to look directly at them. So, with all this being the case, why in the world haven’t we ditched the incandescent bulb and embraced LEDs already?

 

 

To put it bluntly, LEDs are expensive. Sure, you can make a solid case for the total lifetime savings in energy and bulb replacement costs that LEDs provide and you’d be right. Over the long haul, LEDs are simply much more cost effective over the long run. We’ve made this point many times ourselves. The savings LEDs can provide are even faster appearing for larger commercial operations that replace old fixtures with LEDs on a grand scale, with many companies seeing net savings after investment as soon as a year and a half after installation. For the everyday consumer like you and me however, such savings are much slower in coming and harder to solidify into numbers we can appreciate while sitting at the kitchen table balancing the checkbooks. For most folks, when they are about to purchase new light bulbs, anything over five dollars for a 4 pack of 60 watt’s is expensive. Paying ten or fifteen dollars for a single LED bulb then is just plain ridiculous in their book. And just as it is fairly accepted that LEDs are now a viable lighting alternative poised to take over the market, it is also still understood that this simply is not going to happen until either LEDs become a great deal cheaper, or alternatives to LEDs disappear and the public acclimates to an entirely different perception of lighting in their homes. You can imagine which route would be most readily palatable for the average Joe.

 


 

Along with the great advances in LED technology there have indeed also come some improvements in their costs. Most experts agree that as the technology matures and demand increases, the price of an LED light bulb will certainly become more reasonable. There are, however, a few flies in the ointment here; ones which have little to do with the adolescence of a new technology and everything to do with geographic economics and politics. If there is one thing that can really wreak havoc with a new market, it’s international economics and political wrangling. If you want to really make a mess of a potential new market, one good way is to make sure it is beholden to foreign interests and that politicians are in charge of managing these interests. We are of course referring to the fact that the manufacture of LEDs relies on raw materials which China, by the luck of the geographical draw, has managed to have the vast majority of in their possession. Some experts estimate that China holds over 90% of these raw materials, and there is little doubt they are aware of the implications this holds.

 

 

LEDs require phosphors and rare earth elements in order to be produced in an effective form. China, with its heavy emphasis on developing its economic and political power, has seen an explosion of potential in the market for its rare earth minerals and as a result taken several steps towards managing this now almost indispensible resource. Manufacturers of everything from to cell phones, televisions, and solar power equipment and yes, LEDs, rely on a steady and adequate supply of these minerals. In 2010, manufacturers became quite alarmed when China announced its plans to cut back on its export of rare earth minerals. Although “sustainable development an overexploited industry” is one of the explanations given by Chinese officials, it’s difficult not to notice how rare earth prices going up 5 times their starting levels benefits their national economy. In some instances, rare earth prices rose so high that LED manufacturers cut production by 30-50% in an effort to wait until these mineral prices begin to drop again. Prices rose fourfold between January and July, an up to 1,500 per cent on average in the last year.

 

 

At the beginning of November this year, the Chinese government began a new program of issuing specialized invoices for its rare earth sector. This has resulted in many small Chinese companies who held significant rare earth reserves and illegal holders of rare minerals dumping their stockpiles into the market. While some are quite happy with this development as it has served to produce a quick drop in prices, this is a temporary reprieve at best. This latest effort by the Chinese government to consolidate and manipulate the rare earth markets will almost certainly result in a return to a steady increase in costs. The problem isn’t restricted to economic profiting either. In 2010, the flow of rare earth metals to Japan were interrupted when a dispute over territorial waters arose, perhaps signaling the first serious cause for alarm regarding these vital materials. If this demonstrated one thing, it was that China fully appreciates its position, and isn’t afraid to use the advantage it provides.

 


 

 

All of this has led many manufacturers to begin seeking ways to develop their products without a reliance on rare earth metals, but to date there has been little success. Everything from I-pods, to wind turbines, to LED light bars rely on these materials heavily in order to perform well enough for practical use. And so far, the decline in costs for these items has been quite perfunctory due to the severe spikes in the costs of the materials needed to manufacture them. So, although LEDs continue to be a strong alternative to incandescent lighting that “should” by all rights become the standard for illumination in the very near future, until some means of avoiding the use of rare earth minerals is devised, or China decides to loosen its grip on these now precious materials, prices will continue to remain too high for the average person to simply accept them as a practical replacement for the incandescent light bulb.

 





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