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Everything you need to know about LED lighting

How do LED lights work

LED stands for Light Emitting Diodes. These represent a significant technological advancement in the lighting industry. LEDs are small, solid light bulbs which are extremely energy efficient and long lasting, they operate differently from traditional incandescent light bulbs.

Unlike ordinary light bulbs, they don’t have a filament that will burn out, and they don’t get especially hot. They are illuminated solely by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material.

The benefits of LED lights

LED technology for light bulbs offers several significant advantages over both traditional incandescent bulbs and their more energy efficient cousins halogen or compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Longer life span

The life span of a light bulb is also called “rated life”. Many LEDs have a claimed rated life of up to 10,000 hours. This is approximately 10 times longer than a traditional incandescent light bulb.

Put it another way, a 10,000 hours life span means that if you keep it on for 6 hours a day, your LED light bulb should last you around 4 – 5 years!

Please note: the rated life of LED bulbs does vary between manufacturers, so always check before you buy.

Lower energy consumption

LED light bulbs use up to 90% less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. This results in potentially significantly lower electricity bills as they use only a fraction of the energy of other light bulbs. Even allowing for the higher upfront cost of buying LED bulbs over traditional light bulbs.

Faster switching

LED light bulbs come on instantly. There is none of the slight delay or flickering you may sometimes get with older-style low-energy bulbs (compact fluorescent technology).

Low heat

Because they work differently from other light bulbs, LEDs generate little or no heat, making them safer alternatives to hotter bulbs.

Durability

LEDs are “solid state lighting devices” they use semiconductor material instead of a filament or neon gas. Effectively each LED making up an LED light bulb is a tiny chip enclosed in epoxy resin. This makes them much more sturdy than traditional light bulbs or fluorescent tubes.

As they don’t use fragile components such as glass and filaments, LEDs are able to better withstand shock, vibration and extreme temperature. This is why LED’s are also an ideal choice for outdoor lighting

Some frequently asked questions about LED light bulbs

What Wattage LED bulb do I need?

Bulbs made up of LEDs, are about 10 times more efficient at converting electricity into light than the old-fashioned filament variety. This explains the difference in the wattage needed. So, for example, to replace a traditional 60W bulb you need just a 6W LED bulb.

Aren’t LED more expensive than other light bulbs?

The upfront cost of buying an LED light is higher than traditional ligth bulbs.

But consider this: LED bulbs consume about one-sixth the energy of incandescents and last up to 25 times longer. So, over the medium to long term LED’s work out significantly cheaper than traditional incandescent light bulbs, both in terms of reduced energy bills but also much less frequent replacement.

As demand has increased and manufacturing processes have become more streamlined, costs also continue to drop all the time.

How environmentaly friendly are LEDs?

In a word: very. For starters, they use much less electricity than many other lighting products. This means that less electricity has to be produced to operate them, and resulting in lower emissions from power plants. Unlike other energy efficient bulbs known as compact fluorescent , they contain no mercury.

Finally, because of their long life, they also reduce solid waste as you will replace them less often and therefore dispose of less light bulbs overall.

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