One of the most useful technological advancements we have made in the last century is the invention and development of LED lighting systems. Since their first creation, vast improvements have been made in the technology, and they often offer huge advantages over more traditional forms of lighting. It is very likely that LEDs will continue to rise in popularity, as they become available, cost effective, and better suited for a wider variety of tasks. Here are a few things you should know about this technology.
- LEDs last a long time. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, LEDs can generally last between 20,000 and 50,000 hours, meaning that they should last around 5 times longer. While an incandescent bulb might be cheaper than an LED when you buy it, remember that you will likely be buying 5 more of them before you would have had to replace the LED. Added onto that cost is the time it would take for you to replace it. How much is your time and effort worth?
- LEDs can cost less overall. Not only do LEDs last much longer than traditional incandescent or cfl bulbs, but they also will save you money on electricity. LED bulbs often can operate much more efficiently, producing more light for the amount of electricity they consume, and wasting less of the energy generating heat.
- LED technology is spreading. LEDs see huge use in consumer electronics. LCDs (liquid crystal display) are currently one of the most popular screen technologies on the market, and these are backlit by LEDs. The screens control the light emitted from the LEDs, and use it to create the sharp images we are used to on modern televisions. In the handheld market, the fastest growing screen technology is that of the OLED, or organic LED. This offers superior contrast and power saving to traditional LCD, although it comes at the cost of being susceptible to burn in on the screen. Investments in LED technology by major tech companies has led to advancements in all areas.
- One area where we have improved our ability to create LEDs is in color control. LEDs have sometimes been criticized for supplying light which does not mimic natural frequencies, sometimes appearing harsh or sterile. In reality, LED light has often contained much more blue than natural light. However, improvements in our ability to control the color of our lighting have led to many newer LEDs offering a range of colors. Some of these are much better at mimicking soft natural light.
- While switching your desk lamp to LEDs will save a little bit of power, the greatest benefits can come if you consume a lot of power for lighting. If you are a business owner, you should do some research on what the initial cost would be for LED lighting, and estimate how long it would take for your investment would pay off. This is actually some rather simple math, and is a great way to decide if LED is right for you.
- Because LEDs do offer different lighting than you may be used to, it is worth doing your research on them. While a traditional bulb might offer you a predictable amount of light at a certain color, LED light can vary dramatically. Understanding how we describe light can help you purchase bulbs which closely mimic the lighting you prefer. The amount of light emitted is typically described in lumens, with a bigger number meaning that the light will be brighter. Compare the current amount of light emitted by your bulbs and decide if you want more or less. Second, LED lighting offers a variety of tones. Make sure you get a tone which is comfortable for you.
- One area where you should be cautious with LED technology is if you are putting lighting outside. If you are putting in outdoor lighting, LED technology is not always designed with this in mind. Take special care to ensure that the lighting you are buying is designed for the conditions under which it will be performing. LEDs can be sensitive to temperature as well as water, so try not to use them in conditions where they might get wet, or be exposed to temperature extremes.
If you are considering adopting LED technology for your lighting, the time has never been better. Whether it will be for your home or your business, everyone should examine the technology to see if you can benefit from the improvements made by our scientists and engineers over the last century. If you are struggling or looking to start an extensive remodel, perhaps you should consult a trusted local electrician to find out if it will be easily to seamlessly upgrade your entire lighting system. You will not regret it.