What is LED Lighting?

LED stands for light emitting diode. Compared to incandescent bulbs, LED lighting products emit light up to 90% more efficiently. Exactly how do they work? An electric current illuminates tiny light sources known as LEDs through a microchip, which emit visible light. 

The arrival of LED lights has been hailed as the future of lighting and the next step since Edison invented the filament bulb, as they consume very little energy, last a long time, and are instantly bright when switched on, unlike typical energy-saving bulbs. However, LED bulbs historically have been limited by high prices and limited light output, but recent advances have allowed you to get beautiful, high-performance LED bulbs that replace traditional 100W incandescent bulbs. In addition, prices continue to fall. Despite the fact that brighter bulbs can be expensive most standard household bulbs cost less than $15, and they will save you a great deal of energy all year long.

In the way they produce light, LED bulbs are different from traditional incandescent bulbs. When a current passes through an LED, light is produced in the same way that old-style incandescent light bulbs used thin wire filaments, but LEDs use semi-conductors to emit light energy.  Additionally, this method of lighting is not the same as regular energy-saving bulbs, which emit UV light by passing electricity through mercury vapour. A phosphor coating inside the lamp absorbs this light, making it glow.

What do the numbers on the box mean?

Unlike conventional light sources, LEDs are measured in lumens rather than watts. The more lumens the bulb emits, the more white light it produces. So more lumens = more light. The lumen rating of LED lamps can be found on the box. The symbol for lumens is “lm” so on the box you may see “800lm”

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There is also a large range of different colour choices and temperatures with LED lights. “Kelvin” is the unit of measurement used for colour temperature. The lower the Kelvin number, the more yellow the light. Colour temperatures of 2,500-3,000 K are characterized by a yellow hue or might be more normally common to be called “warm white” reminiscent of incandescent bulbs, which mimics the warm glow of the sun we are all familiar with.

In contrast, 6,500k light is seen as bright whitish-blue sometimes known as “cool white.” Around halfway we have 4,000k which is a natural white. A variety of colours are available with LED lighting. With the range of colours available with LED, you can change the kind of light your lamps and fixtures produce depending on the room or lamp.

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Why Change from old style lamps?

So you are thinking of making the change and going LED, but they are still a little expensive compared to the filament lamps, and are they really going to save me more than the older incandescent bulbs?

I recommend avoiding incandescent bulbs. First off, they consume six times more electricity than a LED bulb. Second, their lifespan is 50 times shorter than LEDs. In addition, they are fragile – I can’t recall how many times I had to clean up small broken pieces of glass after one fell on the floor, or turn off the breaker and remove one with needle-nose pliers. Furthermore, the light quality is not as bright or consistent as LED. If you are looking for a quick cheap way to bring more light to your home. LED’s are the way.

It’s not surprising that incandescent lightbulbs cost so much less than LEDs considering they were invented over 100 years ago. The fact that they are still used so much is perplexing! Yes, incandescent light bulbs are cheap-but only initially. In the long run, the energy savings far outweigh the initial upfront cost.

 

Are LED’s really that efficient?

Depending on the size of your household you could save around $150 each year by simply upgrading to LED light bulbs. In addition to using less electricity, LED bulbs generally last more than 15 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.

LED bulbs consume 85 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs while still producing the same amount of light. Additionally, LED bulbs are designed to last for 15,000 hours, as opposed to an incandescent bulb’s 1000-hour lifespan and the compact fluorescent light bulb’s 10,000-hour lifespan.

LED bulbs may cost slightly more than other types of bulbs, but they usually pay for themselves within the first year and will last for at least nine more.

 

What are the environmental impacts?

LED bulbs have been around since 1962 which might come as a surprise. They were expensive when they were first introduced and when coupled with the natural human resistance to change and the fact microchip production wasn’t exactly booming, it was easy to see why they weren’t more widely used. LED lighting has become more affordable today due to more efficient manufacturing and economies of scale. Despite their higher cost, these bulbs are more cost-effective than incandescent light bulbs because they consume less energy and last longer.

Because LED lamps are so energy-efficient, we can enjoy their advantages in today’s world where there are ever concerning rising temperatures, pollution, and climate change. For instance, a 60-watt incandescent bulb consumes around 525 kilowatt-hours per year. An LED bulb of comparable lumens power only uses 65 kilowatt-hours of energy annually!

In the process of generating electricity from non-renewable sources, carbon dioxide is produced, which we all know is a harmful waste product to the environment. Using a lightbulb with less energy means producing less CO2.