Switching to LED Lighting – 7 Things You Should Know
Advances in LED technology have made it a realistic option for most homes and offices today. LED lights come in all sorts of shapes and sizes so it’s possible to find an LED alternative for almost all older fittings. So why should you consider switching over to LED in your home?
We look at the main reasons that LED lighting is now considered the most environmentally friendly lighting option and discuss other things you should know before buying.
1. Energy saving
The biggest reason to switch to LEDs is that they use far less energy than all the previous light bulbs. We already know how wasteful incandescent bulbs are and many of us have started using CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) instead. LED light bulbs solar power system manufacturer use less energy even than these, resulting in considerable energy savings once you’ve added them up over a whole household. AS for the old halogen-style spotlights, replacing these with equivalent LEDs will make a considerable saving on your electricity bill.
2. Instant Light
One of the irritations of CFLs is the time it takes for them to warm up to full brightness. You can expect at least a minute of very dull light before it reaches full power, sometimes even flickering. LEDs reach full illumination the instant that they are switched on
The old incandescent light bulbs give off quite a bit of heat, which contributes noticeably to heat build-up in the home: not a problem in winter, but in summer this can make a room uncomfortably warm, or add to your air-con bills if you have it. LEDs are much more efficient with very low operating temperatures so there is no heat build-up.
4. Mercury free
The down-side of CFLs is that they contain mercury and toxic chemical that is poisonous to humans and animals. Breakages of these bulbs in the home release small amounts of mercury into your environment. A larger problem is the safe disposal of used CFLs, as if they go into landfills all that mercury could end up in our groundwater. LEDs don’t contain any mercury. They do contain some other heavy metals which should ideally be recycled, but they are not toxic ones.
So how do you know the power of the LED light you are buying? We’ve all been used to deciding between 60Watt and 100 watt bulbs. Those watt ratings are completely different to the LED wattage, so a new measurement of lumens (that is how much light is emitted) has been initiated. If in the old days you would have used a 100W bulb, you now want to look for a 1750 lumen LED. For a 60W equivalent go for a 890 lumen LED bulb.
6. Quality brands
The success of LED light bulbs has spawned a whole range of lower quality versions that are cheaper and so tempting. These however invariably fail to live up to the long life claims of the name brands. A quality LED should last for 10 years or more. Its cost-savings come from its longevity, so those cheap knock-offs that fail after two years don’t save you any money in the long term. Go for recognised brand names such as Philips, Edison, Cree and Bridgelux. These cost more to purchase but save money several times over in the course of their life.
7. Direct Replacements
There are many varieties of LED light bulbs that are designed as direct replacements for old-style bulbs and halogen downlights. Others require the fitting of transformers to be installed. If you are unsure what LED lights you need, go to a specialist in LED lighting, who will be able to advise you on the best performing options for your requirements.
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