LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), or electroluminescent diodes, are the optoelectronic components designed to emit light.
Some characteristics of LEDs:
- As opposed to a standard incandescent bulb, they don’t use a filament
- They consume less electricity and have a longer life than incandescent bulbs
- LED technology allows for a multitude of shapes and colors
Petzl headlamps equipped with LEDs first appeared in 2000 (TIKKA headlamp).
Petzl headlamps use two types of LEDs:
- Cylindrical 5 mm and 3 mm diameter LEDs (ex: TIKKA, ZIPKA headlamps)
- High-output LEDs (ex: MYO XP, TIKKA XP headlamps)
As opposed to standard incandescent bulbs, LEDs used in Petzl headlamps consume less electricity, from 0.2 to 3 W. This increases the burn time of our headlamps. Using the different lighting levels can help optimize electrical energy consumption. By choosing the strength of the beam, the quantity of light can be adapted to the activity and to lighting duration needs.
LEDs emit a smooth, white light. A light blue halo can be seen. For certain activities, a colored light can be useful for discreet lighting or for helping to maintain night vision. This can be achieved with filters or a color specific LED.
LEDs don’t all have the same optic characteristics:
- Cylindrical, 5 mm diameter LEDs have an integrated lens. They don’t require accessories.
- High output LEDs require an additional lens to concentrate the light LEDs emit a much more uniform light than incandescent bulbs. This is partly due to the absence of a filament in LEDs.
Because of the way they function, LEDs are polarized (cathode and anode). Therefore, it is important to insert the batteries in the right direction. If they are inverted, the LEDs will not work. Lighting performance will vary considerably according to the source of energy used
When LEDs are powered at the levels defined the manufacturer, they generally have greater output than incandescent headlamps.
The lifetime of an LED has been defined as the time up to which its flux remains above 50 % of its original. For quality LEDs, this lifetime is close to 100000 hours at standard voltage and current values. Under these conditions, the light output then becomes very weak (for signal lighting, etc.).
With Petzl headlamps, the electric current is controlled, to provide a stronger lighting level. This allows an average lifetime of approximately 5000 continuous hours for LEDs.
With their molded, single capsule and their lack of a filament, 5 mm diameter LEDs are resistant to impacts and vibrations. Because of their design, high-output LEDs require additional protection from direct impacts. The lens can provide this function.