What’s So Special About LED Lights?
If you bought light bulbs in the last several years, then you have probably come across LEDs. Light emitting diodes (LED) were invented in 1962. They were very expensive to buy at the time, which made them impractical for everyday use in homes. Research and development over the following decades drove the price down to what it is today, making LEDs a viable choice for residential use.
Many communities have created initiatives to encourage people to switch to LEDs. What is it about this relatively new light source that makes it so appealing?
- LED Lights Are Highly Efficient
LED light bulbs are 90% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. This is a big benefit for people who want to save money, save the environment, or do both at the same time. Higher efficiency means a lower monthly utility bill. It also consumes less energy, which is ideal for conservation purposes.
- LED Lights Last Longer
The average LED light bulb has a much longer life span than its incandescent counterparts. In fact, some models can last 41.6 times longer for a total of 50,000 hours of use. They cost more than incandescent lights, but the extended lifespan more than makes up for it.
It’s also a good thing for environmentalists. It means fewer bulbs are needed to light homes in an average year. Fewer bulbs used translates to less household waste dumped in landfills.
- LED Light Bulbs Are Durable
Durability is important when using lights. Incandescent bulbs must be handled with care. The exterior is fragile and can break if they are dropped, fall, or are accidentally struck.
LEDs are not indestructible, but they tend to be more durable. They are resistant to most jarring or bumping. There is no filament, which is a common weak point in incandescent lighting.
- LED Light Bulbs Are Safer
Safety is a top priority for most consumers. LEDs are safer overall. They do not generate as much heat as incandescent bulbs. This eliminates the danger of burning if someone’s skin touches the bulb or surrounding light fixture. No heat also helps maintain a comfortable temperature in your home during the warmer months.
LEDs do not contain mercury like compact fluorescent (CFL) lights do. Elevated blood mercury levels can cause long-term health effects. A CFL bulb is safe, as long as it doesn’t break. If it breaks, that’s when exposure is a concern. LEDs pose no mercury risk.
- LED Bulbs Can Handle Switching
Cycling power can shorten the life of some types of light bulbs. For example, CFL bulbs are often marketed as providing up to 10,000 hours of use. However, if the bulb is switched on and off frequently, it may only provide around 3,000 hours of use.
LED lights are not affected by switching. The bulb will not lose hours if it is installed in a fixture that is turned on and off throughout the day.
LEDs offer significant financial and environmental benefits. They are easy to find, more affordable than they once were, and can help keep your home safe, comfortable, and well lit.