A light-up Christmas tree is not as simple as it may seem, thanks to a new study by scientists from Newcastle University.
The team led by Prof. Chris Trewavas, a lead scientist on the study, believe that the lighting that goes on the Christmas lights could actually reduce the amount of CO2 that is emitted by the atmosphere, which is responsible for causing climate change.
“We have been aware of these issues for some time,” said Prof Trewas.
“Our results indicate that our current lighting technology has a serious flaw that could result in the reduction of the amount and quality of light emitted by Christmas lights,” he added.
“In a few years, we will have to replace the entire lighting system in the UK because of the light emissions caused by LED bulbs.”
The team used a wide range of data collected from hundreds of thousands of LED bulbs, from a range of different brands, to determine which LEDs emit the highest amounts of COII and how much light they actually produce.
They also looked at the emission of the more common red and green LED light types and found that the most common LED in use in Christmas lights emitted about the same amount of light as a typical incandescent bulb, but the green LED was the least efficient.
This finding has been confirmed by previous research in the United States and Canada, which has also shown that green LEDs emitted the lowest amount of greenhouse gases.
But it is the lack of any green LEDs in the modern lighting system that is the main culprit, as the researchers found that LEDs that emitted a green colour had a higher CO2 content than the white LED.
“It was our belief that the green LEDs were actually the worst offenders,” Prof Trewsas explained.
“They emit a lot of light and emit a little bit of CO 2 at the same time.”
He added that the researchers’ research has confirmed this finding, adding that LEDs should not be used as replacements for the traditional incandescents and bulbs.
“LEDs are much more efficient than incandeses, they use less energy to run than incanders, and they have an excellent light transmission,” he said.
“The best LED light for a Christmas lights is one with an emission rate of around 90% or greater.
This means that you need only a few bulbs to run your Christmas light for around two hours, and you only need to run them for a few hours per year.”
“But they emit lots of COI, and we need to know which LEDs are the best for Christmas lights.”
LEDs emit a range from a low of 5-30 per cent, depending on the type, and this can be measured using a sensor that measures light intensity and emits light over a range.
“But the real problem is that we are using LED lights that emit a green light,” said Professor Trewsas.
That means that the amount emitted by LEDs are not the same as that emitted by a standard incandamp bulb.
“If the LEDs emitted green light, then the total amount of green light emitted in the LED bulb would be much higher than that of a typical standard incantamp,” he explained.
This could result, for example, in the green light being much less effective at trapping CO2, as well as a green or red colour on the lights themselves.
In addition, LEDs emit light that is not evenly distributed throughout the LED light.
“So if you are using a very large number of LEDs, you can have a large green or a very small red light on the light, which can create a colour spectrum that is very noisy,” Prof. Trewansas said.
But LEDs emit an amount of blue light that can be emitted in much smaller amounts than this, and it is this that is of particular concern to researchers.
This is the reason why LEDs have a lot more of them than incandses and bulbs, and also why LEDs are used in light fixtures, which will not generate the same level of green and red light.
The researchers found, for instance, that LEDs emit less blue light than incanses, but that the same LED could emit up to twice as much blue light as one incandum.
They were also able to determine the effect of using different types of LEDs on the amount or quality of the green and blue light emitted.
“One of the reasons we use LEDs is because they have a higher emission rate than standard incanders and bulbs,” Profs Trewawsas said, “but because they emit less green light they emit a lower amount of red light, and that means that they have to be brighter and are therefore more efficient in capturing CO2.”
Profs David Atherton and Chris Trenes added that LEDs have also been shown to reduce the intensity of light that enters the human eye.
“Although LEDs emit slightly more blue light, they do so with a lower intensity than incanamps and bulbs