LED Lights for the Home
Posted Apr 17th 2014 | By:
Light Emitting Diodes, or LED lights, have been around for several decades. While they have only truly caught on in recent years, the truth is that they have been there for a while in devices found in cars, offices, and homes. One common device you probably know quite well is the remote control; the light at the end is in most cases a LED.
The way that LED lights work is through the movement of electrons through a semiconductor, which creates light. This is incredibly efficient in terms of energy use and the light that is projected can be extremely bright. However, it often functions only in short ranges and small areas because a single LED can only produce a small amount of light. When grouped together in bunches, however, several LEDs working together can do an excellent job of illuminating, so much so that they now light up the New Orleans Superdome and Empire State Building.
Some of the qualities that make LEDs advantageous are:
- Durability: LEDs are able to handle bouncing, jostling, and even being dropped better than standard bulbs because there is no shell to break or filament to wobble loose.
- Speed: Rather than taking time to achieve full brightness like other lights, fluorescents for example, LEDs immediately achieve full brightness when turned on.
- Efficiency: LEDs are able to use 80% of the power sourced to them to create light. A standard light bulb only translates 10% of energy into light.
- Directional Capabilities: Since LEDs are able to focus light in a particular direction, they are good for motion detectors and spotlights.
- No Interference: Unlike incandescents, LEDs will not affect phones, TVs, or radios.
- Lifespan: LEDs do not burn out (although they will dim over time) and last 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
- Environmentally Sound: LEDs contain no mercury and do not emit much infrared radiation which are problems with other bulb types.
Unfortunately every pro has a con and LEDs are no exception. The biggest disadvantage facing LEDs is upfront cost, in that incandescent bulbs are so cheap that LEDs are inevitably expensive in comparison. It also takes more LEDs to achieve the same amount of light output which translates to more expense. In the end, chances are that you will make up for the investment with the lifespan of LEDs, but the initial price can be a deterrent. However, the taste you have in fixtures can be either your best friend or worst enemy when it comes to current LED prices, because some can be very low in cost while others are very expensive.
While research and development has brought and will continue to bring the cost of LED lights down, it is expected that they will become more prevalent in everyday use around our homes. Good places in your home for LEDs are bathrooms and kitchens; imagine being able to see well while shaving or not missing spots while cleaning and doing dishes. In addition to use inside the house, LEDs can work outside as well in the form of porch and motion lights or to create whole house illumination.
If you have LEDs at work in and around your home at present, tell us about it! Should you have LED plans for the future, we'd love to hear about those as well!
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