For the reasons I said.
When you want a coloured light source which matches one of the
available raw LED colours, then LED efficiency does help. This
is because when you use a filamant lamp to create a red or green
colour for example, you have to chuck away much of the light in
a filter. With an LED, that's not the case.
Also, LED's have an inherent reflector, which is significantly
more efficient than any reflector you can build for a filamant
LED Brake lights have another advantage, that of much faster
response. This might not seem significant, but actually it is
if you work out the distance travelled in the delay whilst a
filamant brake lamp comes on. There is a problem with them too;
the wavelength used happens to be heavily filtered out by some
sunglasses. A filamant lamp equivalent colour doesn't suffer
from this as badly because it is composed from a broader
spectrum, much of which isn't so heavily filtered.
Filamant lamps don't scale so small, but that's a different
Just as an aside, LED's have been used for boat navigation lights, where you
would think they'd be ideal - it's really hard to change a bulb at the top
of a mast - but in reality, they haven't become very popular. Nav lights
have to be seen over a wide angle, so an array of LEDs pointing in different
directions is necessary. They drop about 0.65V-0.8V, so they are run about
6 or 8 in series, with a resistor to drop the rest of the voltage, so the
efficiency is fair, but when the total current for all LED's is worked out,
it comes to more than that required for a bulb. It has to be said, though -
they are a lot more reliable!
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