LED lighting. It’s the latest trend in lighting technology. Not only is it brighter, it saves energy which equals to cost savings on your electric bill. But how is it accomplished? In the traditional home with incandescent bulbs, electric lighting burns up to 25% of the average home energy budget. LED bulbs can help reduce that.
Here is some information that can explain.
What is an LED?
LED, or Light Emitting Diode, are extremely energy-efficient, solid light bulbs. Traditionally, when first invented, they were used for instrument panels, as pen lights, and small indicator bulbs in electronics. Today they are commonly used in more mainstream applications like Christmas lights, home lighting, led monitors, and clustered in various other applications like flashlights or big screen advertising displays.
The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5 to 10 times the original purchase price of the bulb itself. With LED’s, the cost was originally high, but researchers at Purdue University developed a process for using inexpensive silicon wafers to replace the originally expensive sapphire-based technology.
The lifetime of an LED bulb is 10-15 times longer than that of fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. They don’t have a filament, so they are not easily damaged as incandescent bulbs can be. They are solid and can withstand bumping and movement.
LEDs are also cool to the touch. They do not cause buildup of heat and produce only 3.4 BTU’s/hour compared to 85 BTU’s/hour with incandescent bulbs. That’s 1/3rd to 1/30th of the electricity produced by Incandescent or CFL. Not only does this help with energy savings, but also heat build up and air conditioning costs.
While LED lights are initially a little more expensive than traditional bulbs, there is significant cost savings in the long term cost of maintenance, replacement, and energy savings. In battery applications, costs are recouped significantly when not having to replace batteries often. In the home or automobile, savings can be found in replacement and energy. In lower power applications, LED bulbs are now widely use and provide energy savings and optimal distribution of power.
Choosing an LED Bulb
Brightness: There are many different models and styles of LED bulbs, in both power consumption and brightness. The higher the brightness, the more wattage you want to look for. The method for comparing bulbs is in lumens. This is a common spec in projectors.
3-way bulbs: New LED bulbs are available as what is called 3-way bulbs. These are omnidirectional bulbs that replace high wattage incandescent bulbs and consume 80% less power. These are now common applications in the home for lamps and recessed lighting.
Warm and cool light: New LED bulbs are commonly available in warm and cool light. These are selected depending on your preference and application, whether you want true white lighting or a touch of yellow.
Sockets: LEDs come in different socket interfaces, either pin or standard screw sockets for recessed or track lightning
Standard or dimmable bulbs: Some LED bulbs are available as dimmable bulbs and can work on a standard dimming switch.
High quality bulbs: Look for high quality brand name bulbs. Some cheap bulbs will die prematurely from discount resellers and distributors. You get what you pay for. Look for certifications including FCC, Energy Star, UL, etc.