When was the last time you went a whole day without coming across an LED light? Considering they’re used in cars, TVs, computers, mobile phones, hi-vis clothing, traffic lights, and a number of medical devices, we’re guessing it’s been a while. In fact, LEDs are replacing their halogen and fluorescent predecessors in almost every application. So why has the LED become such an integral part of our lives?
What is LED?
An LED (or light-emitting diode) lamp uses the same technology as a solar panel, namely the P-N Junction. Scientifically speaking, the LED passes an electric current through a semiconductor, causing the semiconductor to emit light – a phenomenon known as electroluminescence.
This method of emitting light is far better than the conventional means of heating a coiled metal until it glows, because it reduces the heat loss to just 5% (as opposed to 95% in traditional bulbs). This reduced waste heat has a significant impact on the running cost, making it up to 90% cheaper to run.
LEDs for home
A few years ago, LED lamps were treated with contempt because they gave off a harsh blue light. Since then, LED lamps have come a long way in terms of functionality and design, to the point where swapping out your old bulbs requires no compromise to your usual quality of light. Now, LED lamps come in a wide range of colour temperatures, spanning from ‘warm white’ (candlelight coloured) to ‘daylight’, and they have been proven to boost productivity and mood.
They’re also a good option for those who are prone to getting headaches or migraines.
Advantages of LED
- Highly energy efficient light bulb
- Environmentally friendly lighting
- Can reduce running cost of lighting by up to 90%
- Long lifespan (supposedly up to 50,000 hours)
- Free from mercury
- No infrared and ultraviolet light given off
- Wide ranging colour temperature
- Instant full light (no warm-up time)
- Silent lighting that doesn’t attract insects
The cost of LED lamps was their biggest issue for a long time. Not anymore. You can pick up an LED light bulb for just a few pounds, and replace old halogen bulbs without sacrificing your home’s warm and cosy lighting.