We have come a long way from the days when LED lighting could barely illuminate a cupboard. The latest generation of bulbs are brighter, longer lasting and more eco-friendly than ever before and many businesses and home owners are now considering them as a viable option to their current lighting.
According to some, LED has the potential to completely change lighting as we know it. But what are the real benefits of this relatively new technology and why should you change the bulbs in your office and home?
LED bulbs use less power than any other makes. According to many manufacturers, LED offers a 90% saving over the old fashioned incandescent bulbs. And they can be about a third more efficient than the CFL bulbs that we were all encouraged to use to be greener. For instance, a 25 w incandescent bulb equates to a 6 watt CFL and a 4 watt LED bulb.
Discover how LED bulbs work.
The major benefit of LED bulbs is that they last significantly longer than the old incandescent bulbs. They have great thermal management properties and a well manufactured bulb should last around 50,000 hours compared to an incandescent bulb that cold last 1,500 hours. This major difference presents a real cost saving for those who switch to LED lighting and is even better than CFL bulbs.
It used to be the problem with LED bulbs that they couldn’t provide enough light. It’s a tribute to the research and development of this technology that in the last couple of years this problem has been largely solved. LED bulbs now compare favourably with other light sources and, unlike CFL lights, they provide it full light immediately rather than taking time to ‘warm up’.
The other thing that has changed with LED bulbs is the range of different ones available. From just a couple of designs you can now get candles, spotlights, golf balls, tube, reflector and GLS. There are also the fittings that you would expect including bayonet and screw which means that offices and households will be able to find a bulb to fit their needs.
The problem with Compact Florescent Lamps is they contain mercury and are therefore more problematic when it comes to disposal. LED bulbs are entirely safe and they also do not give out high temperatures when lit and are therefore easier to handle than a hot bulb. You also don’t get the glass enclosures that you find with other bulbs and you don’t have to worry about things like broken glass.
Eco-friendly LED Bulbs
The green credentials of LED technology are a strong reason to change to these kinds of bulbs, particularly if you are a business that is keen to reduce its carbon footprint. LED lighting uses less energy and so you are cutting down the CO2 emissions that come with electricity production. They also don’t contain any harmful metals such as lead or mercury and the manufacturing process is a lot cleaner than with other bulbs. Because they last longer than their counterparts, that means we won’t have to manufacture or buy as many which again reduces the impact on the environment.
Work in Existing Fittings
Most LED bulbs have the standard fittings such as screw and bayonet and can simply be swapped with your existing lighting. The only caveats are that dimmer switches may need replacing if you have them because LED bulbs work on a lower wattage. For LED tubes you may also need to change the ballast and rewire it but many makes will actually fit into the existing fixture.
The Cost is Coming Down
The other complaint for LED bulbs in the past was the cost. With better manufacturing processes and the increased demand because of recent research developments the price has come down dramatically over the last few years. If you add to this that LED bulbs last a lot longer than others on the market then you have a cost effective and efficient lighting system. Yes, they are still slightly more expensive (a 75 watt equivalent LED spotlight will set you back around £20) but this is offset by the energy savings and the fact it is much longer lasting than many other types of bulb.
It’s estimated that almost 20% of our energy bills, both in the home and in the office, is taken up with lighting. When you consider that LED bulbs operate at a much lower wattage than other makes you can see that there are considerable cost savings to be made in the long term when you change to this technology.