LEDs, otherwise known as ‘light-emitting diodes,’ are light bulbs which can boast high efficiency and a long lifespan. Instead of the filaments in glass bulbs, LEDs are made up of small capsules or lenses where small chips rest on heat-conducting material and create light!
Most LED lights are anywhere between 3 – 8 mm long and their small size allows them to sneak into areas that conventional lightbulbs are too large to fit in. The precision of LEDs mean that your light can be concentrated into certain areas, whereas incandescent or fluorescent bulbs omit energy all over the place.
The first ever LED was created in 1907, and it was first used in 1962 to go in phones, televisions, and calculators. Unfortunately, the light was not bright enough to illuminate full rooms, but as technology advanced, so did the LED, and it started to appear in a wide variety of colours. White is still challenging to make, and there seems to be a blue tint to most LED white lights.
When you compare the life expectancy of an LED light against that of a normal bulb, there is a stark contrast. An LED bulb lasts a whopping 35,000 – 50,000 hours, whereas an incandescent bulb lasts 8,000 – 10,000, and a fluorescent reaches 20,000 – 30,000 hours. Instead of just suddenly conking out, an LED light will gradually fade into darkness over a long period of time. After the brightness has fallen to 70%, it will be time to change your bulb, but you will have received considerable usage out of it by that point.
Mainstream lightbulbs waste most of their energy through heat. An incandescent bulb loses 90% of its energy as heat and this just goes to show how inefficient standard bulbs are. With a vast chunk of your energy bill going on your lighting, switching to LED is the best way to keep costs down, as well as do your bit to save the environment, due to the fact that LEDs keep cool, and therefore don’t use up all their energy in heat.
LED lights contain no glass components or filaments, so they are less likely to get easily damaged. This makes LED lighting ideal for areas that are vulnerable to breakages or shock – for example, leisure centres and play zones.
Although LED lights are initially more expensive than incandescent or fluorescent, you will recoup your losses many times over in the price of your energy bills. As more people wake up to the benefits of LED lighting, the prices start to come down. Over the past few years, there has been a significant decrease in price and it looks like this is only going to continue.
Always check that your LED lighting comes from a reputable company, such as those supported by EnergyStar. This will ensure that you receive excellent and long-lasting lighting. An LED light should immediately illuminate the room when turned on and shouldn’t flicker. When the light is turned off, it shouldn’t use power.