When trying to determine what lighting you need in your new project, you will probably hear a lot about the benefits of LED, or light-emitting diode. If you’re still doubting it, we’d like to provide you with a definitive list of the top 10 benefits of LED lighting.
First, a primer: LED is a type of solid-state lighting that uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. It is far more energy efficient than traditional lighting, and can cut energy use by more than 80%. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “In 2012, about 49 million LEDs were installed in the U.S. — saving about $675 million in annual energy costs. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.”
1) They having staying power: LED bulbs and diodes have an operational lifetime expectation of about 50,000 hours, depending on the manufacturer. Even if you keep them on 24/7, they will last a minimum of six years. Some can even last 100,000 hours, or 11 years of continuous operation. Furthermore, they work differently to standard lighting- instead of burning out, they fade gradually. They are considered “burned out” when their light falls to 70% of initial brightness.
2) They are eco-friendly: LED lights are free of toxic chemicals, like mercury, which are in traditional fluorescent lighting. They are also 100% recyclable and can reduce your carbon footprint by one third. Their long-lasting nature helps too- one LED light bulb can be used in place of 25 incandescent light bulbs.
3) They are efficient: LED is the most efficient lighting technology available, with an estimated energy efficiency of 80-90% compared to traditional lighting. This means that 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light, resulting in more lumens per watt, while 20% is lost and converted to other forms of energy. For traditional lighting, it is the opposite- 20% of their energy is converted to light, and 80% is lost.
4) They are cooler, literally: Most of the energy wasted by both LED and traditional lighting turns into heat. Because there is more energy wasted by traditional lighting, they emit more heat as well, while LED lighting stays cool. The cooling effect of LEDs also translates into energy reduction in terms of mechanical systems: less emitted heat means decreased mechanical loads for cooling.
5) They are made to last: LEDs are extremely durable because they contain no filaments or cathodes. They are resistant to shock, vibrations and external impacts. This makes them especially good for outdoor lighting, sports facilities, and areas where there may be construction.
6) They are constantly evolving: Since the Energy Department started funding LED R&D in 2000, projects in this field have received 58 patents. They have developed new ways to use materials, extract more light, and solve underlying technical challenges. They are continuing to develop technology that will cut costs by improving manufacturing equipment and processes. For example, remote phosphor technology is an evolving concept that produces a more efficient, lower cost manufacturing process and up to 30 percent higher system efficacy than conventional LED designs by using a phosphor composite removed from the blue LED energy source.
7) They are focused: LEDs give off light in a specific direction, rather than traditional lightbulbs which release light in all directions. This makes their illumination highly efficient and targeted.
8) They are flexible: LED lights are small, and can be combined in any shape to produce the most efficient illumination possible. Individual LEDs can be dimmed as well, allowing users active control of light, color and distribution. They can also be used to increase well-being and affect mood, and are frequently used this way in airplanes, classrooms and more. To learn more about “Human Centric Lighting”, click here.
9) They don’t require high-voltage: A low-voltage power supply is adequate for LED illumination, making it easier to use in outdoor settings, as well as remote or rural areas.
10) They don’t produce UV emissions: LED lighting emits little infrared light and nearly no UV emissions. This makes it especially suitable for goods and materials that are sensitive to heat, as well as UV-sensitive materials that may be in museums, art galleries, etc.