Surprising Uses for LEDs

LEDs have many things going for them: Energy efficiency, low total cost of ownership, and unmatched durability, just to name a few.  But what we find amazing is the incredible adaptability of LED tech, allowing applications that would be unwieldy, expensive, or impossible for incandescent or fluorescent lights.  Let’s review just a few of these surprising LED applications.

Décor by LED – Sky Ceilings and LED Wallpaper

Some businesses are replacing ceiling tiles and fluorescent fixtures with panels using LED technology to display a moving blue sky. In addition to the pleasing aesthetics, these shine daylight spectrum light, giving workers improved circadian rhythms, sleep, and productivity.

How about the walls? Phillips offers LED wallpaper. Innovative textiles on lightweight frames allow businesses to choose a static color or moving display, “adding ambience, décor and light with just one product.” Colors can be changed at will, and the walls have sound absorbing properties.

Skin Therapy and Wound Care

LED skin stimulation has proven clinical benefits. Light is applied by a trained technician using a light wand. Bluer light kills acne-causing bacteria, while redder light stimulates collagen and circulation, making it excellent for wound care and scar reduction.

Sanitation and Food Preservation

That same germ-killing blue light helps keep foods fresh longer, especially in commercial freezers and coolers. LED ultraviolet (UV) lights are even tougher on germs. Certain UV bands destroy over 99% of biological contaminants on surfaces and are used for germ control in hospitals and final water purification in waste treatment plants.

Agriculture – Plant Growth and Animal Husbandry

Speaking of plants (pun intended), LED grow lights have become a fixture (no pun intended) of indoor horticulture, allowing plants growth in more indoor spaces. Not only are they energy efficient themselves, they allow the use of spaces which are easier to heat than greenhouses.

Where LEDs really shine (another pun, sorry) is in animal husbandry. Flickering lights cause stress in poultry, making LEDs a better choice than other light sources. Researchers have found certain light bands reduce stress and aggression and promote growth, while redder ranges boost egg production.

Art Conservation

The greatest threat to paintings is fading and other damage from UV light, yet brightly lit spaces are necessary so art can be appreciated. Museums and art galleries can now install special “blue pump” LEDs which emit far less UV than conventional lights.

Extreme Environments

LEDs are far more durable than other lights, making them excellent for areas with shock and vibration, and safer in areas with explosion hazards. Current LEDs handle temperatures up to 60 C/140 F and down to -55 C/-67 F.

Using LEDs also means far less time replacing bulbs in dangerous conditions. Imagine the risks a maintenance tech takes to change a light bulb on an offshore drilling platform, then multiply that by thousands of fixtures! With LEDs, such work only needs to be once per decade at most.

Data Transmission Through LiFi

With LiFi, LEDs transmit data using LED fixtures and the visible spectrum rather than WiFi routers and radio frequencies. LiFi offers greater bandwidth and is immune to the radio interference that can plague WiFi. It’s also more secure. Unlike radio, light won’t pass through walls and be intercepted by outsiders. Unfortunately, LiFi’s dependence on light makes it a poor fit for outdoor spaces or rooms with large banks of windows.


If you’d like to explore new technologies or just get your LED lighting design right, get in touch with Thayer Energy Solutions today at 815-282-1112 and find out how easy and profitable working with the right lighting partner can be.