Are you tired of changing bulbs too often? Are you trying to do work at home but find yourself squinting because of dim, off-color lights? Then it may be time to switch to LED lighting.
From contributing to better environmental conditions to producing a light that mimics the sun, almost anyone can enjoy the advantages of LED lighting. Even better, you’ll be saving time and money over the longterm.
Keep reading to learn about whether LED lights are a good investment for you and your family!
What Are LED Lights?
Before we get into all of the benefits of using LED lights, you may be asking yourself what constitutes an LED light. LED stands for light-emitting diode. Compared to incandescent light bulbs, they produce light about 90% more efficiently.
They create light by passing an electrical current through a microchip. This microchip then illuminates the LEDs, while the heat they produce is mitigated by a heatsink.
Along with their ability to more efficiently produce light, they also differ from incandescent and CFL lights with their directional light.
In contrast, incandescent lights use electricity in order to heat a metal filament. When that metal filament reaches a certain temperature, it becomes white-hot, or incandescent.
CFL lights have an electrical current that flows on each end of a tube that contains gases. The reaction of the electrical current and gases creates ultraviolet (UV) light and heat. This becomes visible UV light when it reacts with a phosphor coating inside of the bulb.
Types of LED Lights
LED lights come in a wide variety of products. Since they have a directional quality to their light, they’re also commonly found in industrial applications such as:
- Street lights
- Parking garage lighting
- Task lighting
- LED high bay lights
Remember that LED lighting also comes in holiday lighting and kitchen under-cabinet lighting. No matter the time of year, you’ll be able to save money by using LED lights.
Advantages of LED Lighting: High-Quality Lights
Now that you know what constitutes an LED light, you’ll find that there are numerous benefits that make them worth a longterm investment. Here are just a few of them.
One of the best advantages of LED lights is that their lifespan is far longer than both incandescent and CFL lights. On average, an LED lasts 50,000 operating hours to 100,000 operating hours. In contrast, an incandescent bulb lasts 40 times less.
Not only will this mean lower costs for you, but you’ll also be saving time by not having to shop for and replace your bulbs as many times a year.
2. Energy Efficiency
LEDs last so long compared to other bulbs because they’re extremely energy efficient. In fact, LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. If the United States continues using more LED bulbs by 2027, this can lead to country-wide savings of more than $30 billion.
Another important aspect of LED lighting is that it’s far safer than other kinds of bulbs. This is because they produce less heat and produce less power. Other kinds of bulbs are prone to overheating and can cause fires if they’re placed near a highly flammable object.
However, the likelihood of a fire happening through overheating LEDs is far less because of their energy efficiency.
There has been some worry that prolonged use of LED lights can cause damage to your retinas or increased risk of age-related macular degeneration. However, there still needs to be more studies to prove that the blue light from LEDs is particularly harmful.
There are some recommendations to protect your eyes and your children’s eyes from any kind of light-emitting from screens:
- Take breaks: Practice the 20-20-20 rule of looking at least 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds
- Outdoor play: It’s important to encourage children to play outdoors more in order to combat nearsightedness
- Good screen habits: Teach children to hold screens 18 to 24 inches away from their faces and to blink often
- Good posture: Good posture helps eliminate muscle tension from staring at screens for too long, along with helping reduce headaches
In this digital age, we’re all staring at screens for far longer than ever before. By heeding some of these tips, you can improve your health for the longterm.
4. Color Rendering Index (CRI)
Color Rendering Index (CRI) is the measurement of how colors look under a certain light source compared with natural sunlight. The index runs from zero to 100, with 100 meaning that the colors look exactly the same as they would under sunlight.
CRI is important to know for any application where accurate color rendering is important. This can be in a grocery store where colors used in branding is important for consumers to see. This is also highly important in an artist’s or photographer’s studio where they need to work in environments that will represent colors accurately.
LEDs have far higher CRI than other kinds of bulbs. For instance, consider how new street lamps with LED lights look compared to the old sodium vapor lamps. Those kinds of lamps washed everything around them in dull, orange light.
LED lights, on the other hand, have a bright white light that enables you to see a green bush or a red street sign accurately.
5. Directional Light
LED lights only emit light for 180 degrees unlike 360 degrees like most lights. Although emitting light 360 degrees around seems like it would be an advantage, consider the way you use lights in your home.
Task lights, of course, are for a particular task such as reading, prepping food, or working at your desk. If you’re using a bulb that emits 360 degrees around, you’re wasting energy.
Lights that you use to light up an entire room also don’t need to emit light 360 degrees around. This is because must of that light is wasted when it’s bounced off nearby ceilings or walls. Other times, you’ll need to use other accessories in order to effectively bounce that wasted light into the center of the room instead.
You don’t need to worry about this with LED lighting!
With the right dimming equipment specific for LED bulbs, you’ll be able to dim your LED lights at any capacity – from zero to 100%. This means that you’ll be able to use your lights more efficiently.
In the evening, you can dim your LED lights for a softer atmosphere that doesn’t require task lighting. However, if you’re reading or working on a project, you can increase the lighting to full power.
Dimming LED lights enable you to further increase their lifespan. This is something that isn’t possible with metal halide lighting because they often become less efficient at lower powers, while some of them can’t be dimmed at all.
7. Environmentally Safe
There are a variety of reasons why investing in LED bulbs helps both your energy bill and the environment. The first thing to know is that the directional nature of LED lights helps eliminate light pollution or the inappropriate or excessive use of artificial light.
Light pollution includes:
- Glare: Brightness that causes visual discomfort
- Skyglow: Brightening of the sky at night over inhabited areas
- Light trespass: Light falling where it isn’t needed
- Clutter: Bright, confusing, and excessive groupings of artificial light
Along with reduced light pollution, LED lights also don’t produce a humming noise. At night, they also won’t attract bugs that are typically attracted to the wavelengths that incandescent bulbs produce.
Lastly, LED lights don’t contain any mercury, and they have a smaller carbon footprint. If everyone in the United States switched to LED bulbs, the energy savings are capable of lighting about 2.5 million homes.
8. Correlated Color Temperature (CCT)
Last but not least, you’ll find that LED bulbs come in a wide variety of correlated color temperature (CCT) values. Sometimes we don’t want a bright white light in places like our bedrooms, where we want a more warm and calming atmosphere.
Thankfully, LED lights come in a wide variety of color temperatures on the Kelvin scale. This can be very cool, from 7,000 to 10,000, to warm colors of 1,000 to 4,000.
Energy Efficient Lights for the Longterm
As you can see, there are numerous advantages to LED lighting. Whether you’re interested in saving money per year or you want more environmentally safe lighting, switching to LED lighting is recommended. Artists can particularly benefit from LED lights because of their high color rendering index–they can feel confident in the colors they choose.
Keep reading our blog for more ways to save money and improve the atmosphere of your home!