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LED Light Bulbs

Energy Efficient LED Lighting

The LED light bulb is actually a cluster of very small individual units that are extremely energy-efficient. Until recently, LEDs were limited to single-bulb use in applications such as instrument panels, electronics, pen lights and most recently strings of christmas lights, however, new LED light bulbs are grouped in clusters with diffuser lenses which have broadened the applications for everyday LED lighting use in the home. The future of household lighting will soon be the use of white LED lighting.

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Advantages of LED Lighting

Today LED light bulbs (Light Emitting Diode) are made using as many as 180 bulbs per cluster and then are encased in diffuser lenses that spread the light in wider beams to produce a brighter light. LED light bulbs are now manufactured with standard bases that fit common household light fixtures. In the near future, white LED lighting applications will be powerful and cheap enough to replace not only incandescent lighting, but CFL light bulbs as well for everyday use in our homes, in street lights, outdoor signs and offices.

LED Light BulbsThe only limitation of LED lighting is the high cost of producing them, which has been a roadblock to more widespread use. Costs have continued to come down, however, LED light bulbs still remain fairly expensive. A single AC bulb to replace a 25 watt incandescent can cost around $40. Although LED lighting can be expensive, the cost is recouped over time because of your energy cost savings. Recently Purdue University researchers have developed a process for using inexpensive silicon wafers to replace the expensive sapphire-based technology. This new research promises to bring LEDs into competitive pricing with CFL light bulbs allowing consumers to choose the more energy efficient LEDs and may allow LEDs to become the standard for most lighting needs.

LED Lighting vs. CFL Lighting

CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and LED light bulbs have revolutionized energy-efficient lighting. CFLs are simply miniature versions of full-sized fluorescent's which screw into standard lamp sockets and give off light that looks just like the common incandescent bulbs. LEDs on the other hand are small, solid light bulbs which are extremely energy-efficient.

Energy Efficient:

CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs. A 22 watt CFL has about the same light output as a 100 watt incandescent and use 50 - 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. LED light bulbs last up to 10 times as long as CFL light bulbs and use only 2 - 10 watts of electricity (1/3rd to 1/30th of a CFL). Also because LED light bulbs last for years, energy is saved in maintenance and replacement costs. Many cities in the US are replacing their incandescent traffic lights with LED arrays because the electricity costs can be reduced by 80% or more. LED light bulbs also burn very cool which saves energy since less energy is being wasted as heat. For example an incandescent bulb emits 80 percent of their energy as heat. LEDs also last much longer than CFLs, an LED can last from 50,000 to 100,000 hours (up to 12 years) compared to a CFL which last for roughly 10,000 hours.

Additional Benefits of LED Lighting:

One big difference between LEDs and CFLs is that unlike CFLs, LED light bulbs are dimmable. LED light bulbs are also much more durable, since LEDs do not have a filament they are not damaged under circumstances when a regular incandescent bulb would be broken. Because they are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring and bumping. LED light bulbs do not cause heat build-up and produce 3.4 btu's/hour, compared to 85 for standard incandescent bulbs which also cuts down on air conditioning costs in the home. A big benefit of LED light bulbs over CFL light bulbs, is that LEDs are Mercury-Free. LED light bulbs have low power requirement for which makes using solar panels more practical and less expensive than running an electric line or using a generator for lighting. They are resistant to heat, cold, and shock.

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The Key Factor in Choosing LED Light Bulbs

The key strength of LED lighting is its reduced power consumption and their long life span, up to as long as 12 years. An LED circuit will approach 80% efficiency, meaning 80% of the electrical energy being used is converted to light energy instead of being wasted as heat. Compare that with incandescent bulbs which operate at about 20% efficiency with 80% of their energy being lost as heat.

Also consider the savings you will see on your electric bill. For example, if a 100 Watt standard incandescent bulb is used for 1 year, with an electrical cost of 10 cents/kilowatt hour, you will spend $88 on electricity costs. Of that $88, $70 will have been wasted to heat the room instead of lighting the room. On the other hand, If you use a LED system which is 80% efficient, the electricity cost would only be $23 per year instead of $88. So you would see cost savings of $65 on electricity during the year. Not to mention the cost savings you will receive by not having to change the bulb all the time, since LED light bulbs can be used easily for a decade without burning out unlike standard incandescent light bulbs.

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Key Benefits of LED Lighting to Remember

  • LIFE CYCLE: LED tubes last approximately 12 years.

  • SHATTERPROOF: LED lights are safer to handle and store than CFL lights.

  • DIMMABLE: LED lights unlike CFL bulbs, are dimmable.

  • FLICKER FREE: LED lights do not flicker when you turn them on like CFL lights do.

  • BUZZ AND HUM FREE: LED lights are are completely silent unlike CFL lights.

  • START INSTANTLY: LED lights turn on immediately without an flickering or delay unlike CFL lights.

  • LIGHT QUALITY: LED lighting produces light in the spectrum close to daylight. The LED bulbs produce "Warm White" or "Cool White" light. This is much closer to "real light" than the light of warm white CFL light.

  • HEAT OUTPUT REDUCTION: LED light bulbs operate at a much cooler temperature than fluorescent light bulbs. Which increases the efficiency of the LED light and lower's your energy bill. This results in a reduced heat load on air conditioning.

  • CONTAINS NO MERCURY: Proper disposal of CFLs is complicated due to the fact that they contain mercury and should not be thrown away, but properly disposed of. LEDs on the other hand are mercury free.
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