A Brief Introduction to LED Lights
Jun 26 2019
An LED lamp is a solid-state light that uses light emitting diodes (LEDs) as the source of light. Solid-state lights have are no moving parts and dissipation of energy is not required across the system to produce constant light. This means an LED light comes on instantaneously with none of the flickering or warm-up associated with CFL Bulbs.
LED lamps usually consist of clusters of LEDs in one bulb. This might seem complicated, but this method ensures enough light is emitted to act as a like-for-like replacement of a traditional bulb. Despite the additional components, these lights in fact require considerably less power draw than traditional ones. This is because the electricity is converted directly into light, whereas incandescent and halogen bulbs use electricity to heat a filament until it glows white-hot.
The lack of constant heat in the system also means that LED lamps are much more durable and less likely to break. They can last for anything up to 50,000 hours compared to traditional lights which last roughly 1,000 hours. This long lifespan can bring significant savings as LED lights can last many years without replacement, where traditional light bulbs may need to be replaced on an annual basis. Therefore the costs of replacement and any associated maintenance is greatly reduced.
This might explain the recent popularity of LED lights, along with the increase in energy bills and a desire for conservation. A single LED bulb can significantly cut down electricity usage as it consumes roughly 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Therefore, over the long run, LED lights are a low-cost investment that pays for itself many times over. LED lights are also easier on the environment as fewer bulbs used means that less waste, and they contain no harmful pollutants such as Mercury, which is found CFL bulbs and most halogen lamps.
Early LED lamps used a combination of Red, Green and Blue LEDs to produce white light, but this method often produced sub-standard light as good quality Green LEDs were hard to come by. In contrast, modern ones use a single colour (usually blue) with a filter to broaden the spectrum of light out. Different filters can produce an array of different colours, as well as different kinds of white light (e.g. warm and cool whites).
As LED lights use a different technology to traditional bulbs, it can be difficult to compare similar products. Most people refer to the brightness of a light in terms of the wattage of the bulb. With this in mind, a 7-8W LED bulb is equivalent to a 40 watt incandescent light, with 10-12W and 17W LEDs equivalent to 60W and 75W incandescents respectively. Although early LED lighting solutions required a specialist setup, modern LED lights can be found in all shapes and in common fitting sizes such as GU10 and MR16.
Replacing inefficient, energy-consuming lighting with LED bulbs is easy; often the hardest part is choosing the right product for you. If you are considering LED light bulbs, it is worth doing your research, comparing all the products out there and spending a bit more to ensure that you get the best possible light. Respected brands such as Philips, Toshiba or Osram will ensure quality, as well as offer the full range of products to allow for a more informed decision.
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