Lighting technology has evolved drastically over the last hundred plus years. A hundred years ago the first light was created, in fact the first light was an incandescent lamp, and at that time it was a revolutionary invention. It had low manufacturing costs and could be made into various sizes, outputs, voltages and used for an endless number of applications. However, the incandescent light bulb was a highly inefficient technology with 90% of the power emitted as infrared light or heat. Nonetheless, as technology became more advanced, the introduction of the tungtsten-halogen lamp came into use, followed by the metal-halide gas discharge lamp a decade later. These light sources brought lighting to a new level, with extended longevity of the bulb and a better quality of lighting. However, the problem was that it still used the same technology developed by Thomas Edison a hundred years earlier. The introduction of the LED lamp appeared to be the solution, which offered both efficiency and flexibility.
LED’s offer a broad range of benefits compared to the incandescent lights or halogens. These advantages include: low energy consumption, highly efficient, environmentally friendly, low maintenance costs and long life expectancy with bulbs that last 10x longer than halogens, ability to color mix and no heat production. This evolving technology continues to offer consumers new options that are energy efficient, reliable and optimal for new applications.
The dental industry is one field that has benefited from this new innovation and design in lights. For a long time, operating lights in dental used primarily halogen light sources. Only recently have manufactures such as GComm ventured into the realm of the LEDs for use in illuminating the oral cavity. Halogens are fundamentally sound light sources but a drawback that became apparent as dentistry became more advanced was that the halogen light produced far too much heat which in turn would cause discomfort to both patient/doctor and it would also dry out tissues during long procedures. In addition, with its inefficiency, short lifetime and high maintenance costs, the LED entered the picture as a suitable alternative to the halogen light. LED’s by nature produces a cold light that carries no heat and does not require a noisy fan to cool the light. Besides the fact that the LED light source was far superior in quality, efficiency and flexibility in dentistry, there was still been some hesitation by practitioners to use this technology. This hesitation seemed to be rooted in how relatively new the technology was to the dental industry and the high initial costs of the LED lamps compared to the halogens, making it difficult to justify the purchase of this new technology.
One way for practitioners to justify the costs differences of the LED’s is to first understand the costs savings that the lights have in the long term. LED lights have longer life expectancy and are much more energy efficienct compared to the traditional tungsten-halogen lights.
Halogen light bulbs have a rated life expectancy of about 5,000 hours whereas LED’s have a life expectancy upwards of 50,000 hours, that is about 10 times the life expectancy. As a result, with a typical halogen bulb costing between $50.00 to $100.00 and is required to be changed once a year as oppose to the LED’s which require a change every 10 years, would lead to a saving of $500.00 to $1000.00 over 10 years.
As well, LED’s use much less power to produce the same amount of light intensity. For example, a typical halogen requires 150watts of power whereas an LED can consume as little as 20watts and produce the same or far greater light intensity. The energy efficiency combined with the lower power consumption can lead to long term savings on your electrical bill.
In addition to the long term costs savings of LED lighting, there are also very affordable options on the market for LED lights. A company that will revolutionize dental lighting is G.Comm from Italy, they are a company that has been producing lighting solutions for the dental market for more than 20 years. The Polaris LED light from G.Comm is the newest product introduced by the company and distributed through Flight Dental Systems in North America. The Polaris LED light has all the great benefits of the LED technology and also a patented color temperature regulation system which allows it to be adjusted from 4, 200K to 6,000K. The patented color mixing technology, can allow the surgeon to adjust the color temperature to the optimal contrast when operating on soft tissue areas. In addition, the color mixing ability of the LED’s allows it to change to a natural daylight color making it ideal for color matching when working with composites. The Polaris LED has adjustable intensity controls from 8,000lux to 30,000lux and a no cure setting when working with composites. On top of all these great features and aesthetically pleasing Italian inspired design, the product is also affordable and very reliable. At the current price of $2350.00, it makes buying the Polaris LED light an even easier decision to justify purchasing.
Join the future in dental lighting and be efficient!
Please contact your local authorized Flight Dental dealer for more information to purchase. Please call 1-866-799-0517 for further details on purchasing.
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Flight Dental Systems is a Canadian owned and managed dental equipment manufacturer and distributor with operations in over 25 countries around the world.