Portable lighting: rise of the LED: one of the most significant advancements in the field of lighting technology in recent years has been the invention of the Light Emitting Diode (LED). Its use in portable lighting equipment has steadily increased as its benefits including greater efficiency of light output per watt, safer use, lower maintenance and extended battery lifespan have become rapidly realised.

FIRE AND RESCUE TEAMS involved in emergency situations need to be able to act quickly, so any equipment that they are using must be highly reliable and efficient, as this can have a significant bearing on the successful outcome of a mission. Portable lighting is no exception to this and any developments which can improve its overall reliability and performance will be particularly in demand.

The increased use of LED technology in handlamps and torches is already bringing increased benefits to fire and rescue teams, notably when used in areas where volatile atmospheres may be present such as an oil, gas or chemical plant. Compared with a comparable standard filament, which can raise the temperature of a surrounding glass lens to a level in excess of 150 degrees, enough to ignite any volatile gases that might be present, an LED light source generates far less heat. This can be critical when trying to contain a fire in the aftermath of a chemical spill or industrial explosion where speed and safety will be essential if conditions are not to be made worse. …

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