Energy Saving Light Bulbs: LEDs

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 other low energy light bulbs including their halogen and fluorescent predecessors in almost every application, and LED lights for the home are fast becoming the norm. So why has the LED become such an integral part of our lives? And what is LED anyway?

What is LED?

Not many consumers understand what an LED actually is. You might not think it when you look at an energy saving light bulb, but an LED (or light-emitting diode) lamp uses the same technology as a home 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. You can find out more about how solar panels work or the history of solar panels on our site.

 

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. They were far from ideal for a lot of settings, and LEDs for the home were relatively rare. 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. There are several different types of LED bulbs and it is important to choose the right one for the intended setting, be that the home or otherwise.

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
  • Flicker-less
  • Instant full light (no warm-up time)
  • Silent lighting that doesn’t attract insects

The cost of LEDs for homes or businesses was their biggest issue for a long time. Not anymore. You can pick up a low energy LED light bulb for just a few pounds, and replace old halogen energy saving bulbs without sacrificing your home’s warm and cosy lighting. If you’re still not sure why you should do that, our article on why you should make the switch to LED goes into more detail.

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