Captain Henry Joseph Round and Vladimirovich Losev’s research on electroluminescence and light-emitting diodes paved the way for LED technology. Nick Holonyak Jr’s work on visible-spectrum LED gave birth to a more efficient lighting solution. Since traditional incandescent bulbs are being phased out, alternative lighting such as LED bulbs are now being used. They’re energy-efficient and brighter than traditional bulbs.
Given the global mandate to reduce carbon emissions by 2020, it’s time to be LEDucated. Here are some essential facts you should know about LED lights.
Small, yet flexible
Thanks to their small size and notable characteristics, LEDs are used in many applications. These include vehicle headlamps, taillights, computer monitors, accent lights, mood lights, traffic lights, TV monitors and watches. The application of LED lights are endless as they’re virtually indestructible, easy to maintain and can be designed to focus light in a single direction.
LED bulbs are cool
Replacing a traditional, hot incandescent, halogen or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb can cause burns. Halogen, incandescent and some CFL bulbs operate at temperatures between 57 to 370 degrees Celsius. LED bulbs on the other hand, are much cooler and are relatively cool to the touch.
No to “heavy metal”
Traditional filament light bulbs were first replaced by fluorescent bulbs, which were more energy-efficient. However, these bulbs contain Mercury, which is classified as a heavy metal. Mercury-based products can harm the environment and pollute precious ground water. LED bulbs are Mercury-free and 95 per cent of their components are recyclable. Since these bulbs consume less energy, they reduce demand on power-generating plants. This reduction in power use assists in reducing emissions of harmful carbon into the atmosphere from the power-generating plants. The smaller the carbon footprint, the better.
Instantly “turns on”
LED lights instantly turn on compared to their CFL counterparts. Fluorescent bulbs need time to reach their full brightness, which requires more energy. Switching on an LED bulb means instant light and full brightness. They consume less electricity which helps save on energy bills. In addition, LED bulbs attract less night-time bugs because they emit less ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation. These wavelengths are responsible for attracting these bugs when the porch light is on.
Lumen and Colour-based rating system
Incandescent and CFL light bulbs are rated by their wattage, while LED bulbs are rated based on their lumen output. Checking an LED bulb’s lumens also helps choose the right bulb for a specific area. A 100watt incandescent (20watt CFL) is approximately the same light output as a LED with 800 lumens.
The colour of light is measured in Kelvin, the warmer the colour (yellowish), the lower the number, the cooler the colour (white), the higher the number. Traditional incandescent bulbs give off a “warmer” colour. These bulbs would usually measure about 2700K. LED’s and CFL’s can be offered in a range of colour temperatures by modifying the design at the time of manufacture. This feature provides the opportunity for people to choose the colour temperature that best suits their eyes, environment or décor, from warm 2700K light, to a cooler palette 4500K option to emit a more neutral natural white light, right through to 6500K which is a clinical very cool white light.
LEDs are the future of lighting. They’re cooler to the touch and require less energy to operate. Check out Discount Lighting’s list of LED bulbs and choose the right one for your needs.