LEDs have been brightening up the lighting market for the past few years. But what is it that makes LED lighting an improvement on traditional incandescent or CFL bulbs?
Traditional incandescent bulbs pass electricity through a filament (a thin piece of wire) to produce light, whereas LEDs produce their light by passing electricity through a semiconductor. This is also different from regular energy-saving bulbs, which pass energy through a mercury vapour to provide their light.
Overall, the LED semiconductor system is the most energy efficient – you get the brightest light for the lowest energy input. Lighting accounts for 20% of the UK’s total energy consumption, so using LEDs is a good way to reduce usage and do your bit for the environment.
Can this save me money?
On the face of it, LED bulbs are more expensive than other available options, which puts many people off using them. But while it’s true that LED lights have a higher upfront cost, this will pay for itself and more over the lives of the bulbs due to the improved energy efficiency they offer. LED lights use 75% less energy and last 25x longer (25,000 hours or more) when compared to traditional lighting.
Halogen and many other types of bulb begin generating heat within a few moments of being turned on. Incandescent bulbs are perhaps the worst offender in this category, with 90 percent of their energy being released as heat. In comparison, LED bulbs are much cooler in operation than halogen, incandescent, or even fluorescent bulbs. This reduces the risk of fire, as well as burns to surrounding material or fingers.
LED bulbs also feature lenses made with epoxy instead of glass, making them less likely to break when dropped.
Help reduce waste
As well as doing their bit for lowering energy consumption, LED bulbs help to reduce waste, too. Since the bulbs need to be replaced considerably less frequently than traditional lights, using LEDs reduce the number of dead bulbs going into landfill.
Whether you need lighting for indoors or outdoors, LEDs come in a variety of different colours and brightnesses. LED strip lights are also an option which make it easy to affix lighting underneath cupboards or other areas where installing lighting may otherwise be difficult.
LEDs are the future of lighting
All indications point toward a future where LEDs will dominate the lighting market. Incandescent bulbs have already been banned in the EU, with halogens and other low-performing bulbs also planned to be outlawed in 2018. Installing LED lights now will help you stay ahead of new legislation. Plus, the sooner you install LED bulbs and other types of LED lighting, the sooner you can start taking advantage of their reduced energy costs and other benefits.
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