The Pros and Cons of LED Lights
When it comes to home lighting, you have several options at your disposal. There are four main types of bulbs you can pick from, and they include CFL, incandescent, halogen, and LED. Once you make a selection, you need to decide the best brightness based on lumens.
Here in Seattle, WA, LED bulbs are becoming more popular. At Brennan Electric, we have experience with lighting and can offer you our expert advice. Below are some pros and cons of LED lights to keep in mind.
Pro: Long Lifespan
An LED light bulb has the longest lifespan of all the bulb options. Some tests show that an LED bulb will last at least 50,000 hours. Depending on its use, the longest a bulb can last is 100,000 hours. There are others that can also last up to 75,000 hours. Comparatively, an incandescent light bulb is known to last up to 2,000 hours. Every time the bulb is turned on, it takes a little out of it. This goes for LED lights too. So, if your bulb is turned on and off frequently, it may have a shorter lifespan.
Con: An Upfront Investment Is Required
Today, prices often factor into the lifespan of a product. In terms of a computer, the more memory it has initially, the more you will pay. If you were in the market for a new AC unit, the higher its SEER rating, the more expensive the price tag because you are paying for an energy-efficient unit. An LED bulb follows the same logic. Since it has a longer lifespan, you will be paying more upfront because it is an investment. A less expensive bulb is great in an emergency situation. If you do not want to replace bulbs soon, however, you are encouraged to go for the investment.
In addition to having a long lifespan, the LED bulb is energy-efficient, too. This is another reason it is an investment. Studies show that an LED bulb is 80% more energy-efficient than an incandescent bulb. They are also more efficient than their CFL counterparts. To help illustrate how much more energy-efficient LED bulbs are compared to others, for every 60 watts of power an incandescent bulb uses to produce lumens, the LED version only needs 10.
Another plus is that when you flip on the light switch, the bulb immediately illuminates. With other types of bulbs, there is a hesitation because they have to heat up first. When they are hot, they become bright. In the winter and cold months, incandescent bulbs may flicker until they heat up.
Con: Not Great for Dimmers
Lighting effects can be created through the use of dimmers. Unfortunately, LED bulbs are not compatible with dimmers. If you would like the convenience of a dimmer, you will have to find the switch that is specifically compatible with LED bulbs. LED technology has advanced a lot as far as energy efficiency goes, but the dimming feature still has a way to go. Those who have their heart set on dimming features should opt for incandescent bulbs instead.
Pro: Produce Less Heat
A nice feature that LED bulbs offer is that they are 80% light and only 20% heat. Halogens, on the other hand, get so hot when they are on that they will burn your hand if you try to pick them up or touch them. If they ever fall over and crack, they can start a fire. Incandescent bulbs can also become very hot, but not as hot as halogens.
Con: They Can Fail Under Heat
LED bulbs can overheat if they are exposed to heat, so the best way to ensure they work well is to keep them protected with a lampshade or sconce. If they are exposed to heat for an extended period of time, their expected lifespan shortens. When you notice that an LED bulb flickers, it is most likely because the bulb is not paired with a compatible transformer.
Pro: Environmentally Friendly
The LED bulb is very environmentally friendly. For starters, it does not contain mercury. CFL lights, on the other hand, do. Since the LED bulb is energy-efficient, this makes it even friendlier for the environment. Any technology or big-ticket appliance that does not consume a large amount of energy is good for the environment. LED bulbs are also sturdier than their counterparts. If you accidentally knock over a lamp that has this bulb, it will keep working. If an incandescent light bulb is bumped and you remove it to give it a shake, you might hear something loose inside. The noise you hear is made by a broken filament. An LED bulb’s technology is one of the reasons why it is becoming a popular bulb for Christmas lights. The days of one bulb going out in a string of lights are almost gone. The LED is less likely to break or burn out.
An LED bulb is directional instead of illuminating in all directions. When you take a look at an LED bulb, you will notice that it is frosted. The frosting helps to distribute the light in all directions. If you pick up a bulb and it has that frosting, this is how you know it is an LED as opposed to an incandescent or halogen bulb.
When you finally need to replace an LED bulb, be mindful of the fixture. Some fixtures do not have removable LED bulbs. When this is the case, you are going to need to replace the entire fixture. The good news is that an LED bulb has a long lifespan. By the time its life begins to fade, you will most likely have got far more use out of it than if it had been a different type of bulb.
LEDs Are Very Beneficial
Researchers have been working on LED technology since the 1950s. Like most other technology, the LED started as a project for private use. Then, experts figured out how to produce the technology for more practical uses. LED lights were first produced in green and red. The first mainstream use of this bulb technology was in the 1980s when the Super-Bright LEDs were released in yellow, bright red, and green. The ultra-blue light was invented in 1994. When the white light was finally produced, it was treated like a breakthrough that was encouraged by the U.S. Department of Energy. Professionals in the lighting industry point out that LED light technology is still evolving. The latest development was the ultra-violet black light.
Overall, the pros of LED lights outweigh the cons because they are more energy-efficient. Their longer expected lifespan means that by the time you need a replacement, LEDs have already paid for themselves.