Why LED Lights?
With the growing awareness of the harm done to the environment by oil based products, plastics, and wasted energy, homeowners are looking for more ways to run their homes in a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly way.
Replacing your old incandescent lights, or CFLs with modern state-of-the-art LED lights can reduce your home energy consumption, lower your utility bills, and benefit the environment.
Evolution of Light Bulbs
Many people have already made the switch from traditional incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). However, technological advances and innovations of the last few decades can now offer something far more attractive than conventional lighting products. LED lighting can be an excellent option for lowering your long-term light bulb replacement costs, lowering your electricity costs, and reducing environmental pollution.
Light-emitting diodes, or LED lights are solid-state components providing intense light at a far lower energy usage rates than both incandescent and compact fluorescent lights. In fact, you can save up to 80% off your electric bill with LED lighting. Modern bright LED light bulbs can provide significant savings over compact fluorescent lights. Some high-end LED light bulbs use just a quarter of the energy of CFLs while generating the same amount of light. Unlike CFLs, LEDs attain their full brightness as soon as you turn them on. LEDs also have longer lasting life spans ranging from 25,000 to 100,000 hours. That’s over 10 years of being turned on for 8-10 hours per day!
LED Lighting Technology
Early red LEDs have been used as electronic components in calculators, watches, and as indicator lights. However, technology was not advanced enough to use them as actual sources of light. But things started to change rather rapidly when the first bright white LED light bulb was invented in 1995.
Ever since then, LED light manufacturers started working on developing viable and cost-effective LED light bulbs for consumers to be used as energy efficient, long lasting and reliable replacements for conventional light bulbs. Fast forward to modern time, and you will find a new, yet hardly surprising development; LEDs have emerged as viable lighting products for consumers looking to replace their CFLs and incandescent lights.
Current Limitations of LEDs and Future Outlook
Although LEDs still have limitations in terms of conquering the consumer market due to their relatively high cost, and limited angle of light focus, the technology does not stand still, and LED lighting product prices are expected to drop within the next few years, while their brightness and reliability is expected to nearly double.
Dimmable LED Light Bulbs
The temperature of light emitted by some dimmable LEDs can be adjusted to offer brighter light in working areas in order to see clearly when working with tools and instruments in the garage or in the lab, and warmer, softer light in living spaces for relaxation and comfort. They can be used with standard dimmer switches, and dimming home automation systems.
LED lighting offers many appealing benefits, including:
Energy efficiency– using LEDs can lower your electric bills by up to 80%.
Directional usage – light from LEDs is directional and does not create annoying glare like other sources.
Long life – LED lamps can last 25 to 30 years, drastically reducing maintenance costs.
Bright, instant light – LEDs instantly provide bright, white light, without the delay, or flicker of compact fluorescent bulbs.
Non-toxic – LEDs do not contain mercury like compact fluorescent lamps, meaning that they are less of a bio-hazard upon disposal.
Temperature resistant – LED lamps can be used in any environment since they are not affected by changes in climate or temperature.
The light from LED lamps doesn’t contribute to ecological light pollution when used outside – this means that these lights do not add to sky glow or cause disruptions to migratory or reproductive patterns, as conventional light can. The lack of sky glow from LED lamps means less impact on moths, birds, lizards, frogs, and a wide variety of other species that can be negatively affected by other light sources.
LED Lighting Prices
While LED lighting carries a higher initial cost, the long life and high efficiency of these lamps create cost savings over their life-cycle. These long-term savings, along with the diminished use of fossil fuels for energy, the absence of toxins such as mercury in production, and the reduced effects of urban light pollution, make LED lighting highly beneficial both economically and ecologically. As technology advances rapidly, prices of LEDs are expected to fall by some 30-50% in the next few years, while their nominal brightness and overall performance is expected to improve greatly.
Currently you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $100 per modern state of the art LED light bulb. Higher-end LEDs like dimmable bright LEDs with 120 degree angles of light focus would be on a higher end of that spectrum for the time being.
Similar to the way computers once made typewriters obsolete, in several years we are likely to witness CFLs and incandescent light bulbs virtually disappearing due to lowering of the costs, and increase in the performance of LEDs.