LED Lighting Buyer’s Guide
In recent years, revolutions in lighting technology have brought LEDs to the forefront as a possible replacement for both incandescent and compact florescent light bulbs. Until just a couple of years ago, the cost of LED lighting made it only viable for minute applications (backlit screens and illuminated signs for businesses), but we’re now seeing the technology becoming applicable in a variety of lighting, making many wonder whether now is the time to consider buying them for the home or office. Here are some of the benefits and downsides of the technology in order to help you make the right decision.
Convenience and size
Because LEDs (light emitting diodes) are relatively tiny, they have a broad array of uses that other, more traditional lighting elements can’t provide. In small spaces, for example, a set of LEDs can be installed to provide light that would otherwise be dark and inaccessible for fluorescent bulbs. In addition, the design of LEDs allows them to project light in a particular direction rather than in all directions, allowing them to be used in areas where a concentrated amount of light is needed rather than a diluted ambient glow.
Much of the energy used by traditional light bulbs is emitted in the form of heat, which is very wasteful and leads to a much higher utility bill than is necessary. Light emitting diodes run at much cooler temperatures, with virtually all of the energy being used to light up an area. This is in stark contrast to incandescent bulbs that waste up to 90 percent of energy in the form of heat, and CFLs that waste approximately 80 percent of their energy consumption. This efficiency will ultimately save you money while also reducing the burden on our planet’s resources.
Conventional bulbs aren’t known for their longevity; incandescent bulbs have to be replaced in some cases multiple times per year and most compact fluorescent bulbs don’t live up to their advertised lifespans – but are still more cost-effective than their older counterparts. LED lighting, on the other hand, is resistant to vibration, stays much cooler and therefore leads to less wear and tear on the unit. Many areas where there’s a need for lighting that can stand the test of time (sports stadiums, for example) are now adopting LEDs as a way to avoid the maintenance costs that come with constantly replacing bulbs.
While there’s no doubt that the price of LEDs has come down greatly in the past few years, they are still somewhat expensive at this point and many homeowners/business owners will be reluctant to fork out the cash for this new solution to lighting. The cost for these bulbs can range anywhere from three to five times that of a compact florescent bulb, making many shoppers take a second glance at the older, more trusted options. As time goes on, however, these prices are guaranteed to drop – and always remember that the more consumers that adopt this technology now, the quicker the decrease in price will come.