Article | Why LED Lighting?
LED lighting is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. It replaces all other types of lights (such as incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and others) as the number one preferred light source. Let's look at why this happened. But first, what is LED lighting?
LED lighting refers to lighting that utilizes solid-state LED (light emitting diode) technology instead of the standard incandescent bulb. What makes LEDs different from the older technology is the way they produce light. Simply stated, incandescent light is produced from electricity traveling through a wire (the filament) - the wire gets hot and glows. Electricity also travels through LEDs and they also glow, but they are not simple wires, they are very exotic compounds pressed together in layered chips. You would need an engineering degree to fully understand how light is produced in these chips.
Lucky for us, we don't need to fully grasp the science to appreciate the benefits of LEDs.
Here are some ways that LEDs are better than older incandescent lighting:
- Cooler - Incandescent bulbs get so hot, they can start fires. LEDs run much cooler.
- Smaller - LED chips are very small and thin. They don't need big glass bulbs, they can be mounted in very thin and narrow containers.
- More Efficient - Incandescent bulbs are sometimes called heaters that glow. Only 10-20% of their energy is converted to light, the remaining is just heat. LEDs are much more efficient - 80-90% of their energy becomes light. They also only project light in one direction so less light is wasted.
- Lower Energy Consumption - LEDs consume 80-90% less energy than incandescent lights.
- Longer Life - The life of a quality LED is estimated to be at least 40,000 hours - that's 15 to 20 years (depending on the "On Time" each day). The life of an LED is a prediction of the number of hours it can run until its light falls to 70 percent of initial brightness.
- Durable - LEDs have no filaments, so they can withstand heavy vibrations. They also resist shock and external impacts which make them great for outdoor LED landscape lighting systems.