Light-emitting diode (LED) technology is becoming the choice for many lighting applications that require monochromatic light. However, one potential problem with LED-based lighting systems is uneven luminance patterns. Having a uniform luminance distribution is more important in some applications. One example where LEDs are becoming a viable alternative and luminance uniformity is an important criterion is backlighted monochromatic signage. The question is how much uniformity is required for these applications. Presently, there is no accepted metric that quantifies luminance uniformity. A recent publication proposed a method based on digital image analysis to quantify beam quality of reflectorized halogen lamps. To be able to employ such a technique to analyze colored beams generated by LED systems, it is necessary to have contrast sensitivity functions (CSFs) for monochromatic light produced by LEDs. Several factors including the luminance, visual field size, and spectral power distribution of the light affect the CSFs. Although CSFs exist for a variety of light sources at visual fields ranging from 2 degrees to 20 degrees, CSFs do not exist for red, green, and blue light produced by high-brightness LEDs at 2-degree and 10-degree visual fields and at luminances typical for backlighted signage. Therefore, the goal of the study was to develop a family of CSFs for 2-degree and 10-degree visual fields illuminated by narrow-band LEDs at typical luminances seen in backlighted signs. The details of the experiment and the results are presented in this manuscript.
The rapid development of high brightness light emitting diodes (LEDs) has triggered many applications, especially in the area of display lighting. This paper focuses on the application of white LEDs in refrigerated display cases. The fluorescent lighting presently used in commercial refrigerators is inefficient in the application and also it provides poor lighting for merchandising. A laboratory human factors experiment was conducted to assess the preference for the different lighting systems, namely, fluorescent and LED. Two refrigerated display cases, one with the traditional fluorescent lighting system and the other with a prototype LED lighting system, were placed side-by-side in a laboratory setting. Illuminance measurements made within the two display cases showed that the lighting was more uniform with the LED system compared to the traditional fluorescent system. Sixteen human subjects participated in this study and rated their preference for the two lighting systems. The results show that human subjects strongly preferred the display case with the LED lighting. The authors of this manuscript believe a field study would be greatly beneficial to further confirm these results and to understand the relationship between preference and sales. Considering the luminous efficacy of white LEDs presently available in the marketplace, it is possible to develop a LED based lighting system for commercial refrigerators that is competitive with fluorescent lighting system in terms of energy use. The LED based lighting would provide better lighting than traditional fluorescent lighting.