Most experts agree that residential and commercial LED lighting is the emerging lighting technology of the future. Invented in 1879 by Thomas Edison, incandescent light bulbs are beginning to depart from store shelves to make room for significantly more efficient LED lighting solutions. After more than 130 years, it’s about time.
This change has been pushed forward by legislation that went into effect in January of 2012. This legislation mandates every general purpose light bulb be no less than 25% more efficient than existing incandescent light bulb technology. As a result of this legislation, most incandescent light bulbs will be phased out by 2014.
Compact florescent (CFL) light bulbs are widely viewed as a transitional technology as the world inevitably moves towards the many advantages of LED lighting. This article details those advantages.
Why LED Lighting Saves Electricity and Money
LED lights are approximately 85% more efficient compared to traditional incandescent light technology. Where a traditional incandescent light bulb will use 60 watts of electricity, an LED light bulb will use between 6 and 8 watts of electricity. This is almost twice as efficient as a comparable CFL which will use between 13 and 15 watts of electricity.
According to a recent report by the Department of Energy, changing from traditional incandescent lights to LED light bulb technology has the potential to save more than 190 terawatt hours of electricity every year. 190 terawatt hours is roughly the equivalent of lighting almost 100 million homes.
To the average consumer, LED lighting is often efficient enough to pay for itself after a little more than a year. LED lighting can also dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.
Why LEDs Last Longer
Imagine if you changed a light bulb today and it lasted for the next 22.8 years! That kind of incredible performance is possible with LED lights lasting 50,000 hours or more. That’s 5.7 years of continuous use! Most of us will use a light bulb an average of six hours per day. At that rate of use, an LED light bulb will last 22.8 years. If you only use a light bulb an average of two hours per day, an LED will last almost 68.5 years! That’s one light bulb you might not have to change for the rest of your life.
So how many people does it take to change an LED light bulb? None! The LED light bulb doesn’t need to be changed. Better yet, leave the ladder in the garage. No need to risk life or limb on a ladder when an LED light bulb will last more than twenty-two years. For retail locations and businesses, this incredible longevity will mean savings from reduced facility maintenance and labor costs.
Why LEDs Look Marvelous
LED lighting has come a long way from the early days when you could only get an LED in red, red, or red. Today LED lights come in a wide spectrum of light colors including traditional warm whites and contemporary cool whites for home, office, and professional use. This website has been designed from the ground up to help you to choose the right LED light for your application including the color and quality of the light.
Why LEDs are Warm, Not Burning Hot
Another major advantage of LED lighting over traditional incandescent light bulb technology is heat. Traditional incandescent light bulbs use most of their electricity to generate heat making them very inefficient light producers. On the other hand, LED light bulbs use almost all of their electricity to generate light making them extremely efficient light producers.
The low level of heat generated by LED lighting also means that LED lights are safer than the extremely hot incandescent and halogen lighting.
Why LEDs are Better Than CFLs
CFLs were heralded as the next great light bulb technology that would offer super efficiency and longevity. While CFLs offer an improvement in efficiency and longevity over traditional incandescent light bulbs, consumers have discovered that the quality of the light offered by CFLs is not as aesthetically pleasing as incandescent light.
Furthermore, independent laboratory tests have shown the lifespan of CFLs to not measure up to their manufacturer claims and their energy use falls short of their Energy Star ratings.
Another concern over CFL lighting is with their use of mercury. Trace amounts of mercury are used during the manufacture of CFL light bulbs. This mercury can become air borne as a vapor should a CFL light bulb be broken. This could be of particular concern if you have children in the house.
CFL light bulbs also need to be properly disposed of with many home improvement stores including Home Depot accepting broken CFLs. Due to their mercury content, CFL light bulbs are not recyclable and it is illegal to throw away a broken CFL light bulb in many states.
In contrast, LED lights do not contain mercury and actually offer significantly superior efficiency, longevity, and safety than any CFL or other competing light technology.
More to Love About LEDs
LED lighting also turns on instantly compared to the delayed light of CFL. Without a delicate filament to break, LED lighting is significantly more robust for use in vibration prone areas like garages and basements.
While we have touched on the major reduction in energy required by LED lighting, we haven’t mentioned the reduction in energy to manufacture LED lighting. Compared to traditional incandescent, halogen, or CFL lights, LED lighting leads the pack for requiring less energy during production.
As more and more consumers realize the efficiency, longevity, safety, and cost savings offered by LED lighting, we can predict that the prices of LED light products will fall over the next few years. In the mean time, you can take advantage of the cost savings today and have your LED light bulbs pay for themselves just when most folks are discovering this exciting new technology.
The advantages of LED lighting are almost endless. The only question is, when will you make the leap to LED? The future of lighting technology is ready for you.