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Why LED? Benefits of LED Lighting

By now, everybody's heard of LEDs (light-emitting diodes), and probably even has several of them in use around their home or on their vehicle. It could be a flashlight, a car tail light, a reading lamp, a string of Christmas lights, or any of dozens of other applications for which LEDs are used.

Not too many years ago, LEDs were prohibitively expensive for most personal applications and also didn't offer either the variety of colors or the design flexibility available today. Fast-moving technology has brought the cost of LEDs down so significantly that they're now in use virtually everywhere, replacing incandescent, fluorescent and other traditional types of lighting.

Why LEDs?

Here are some of the LED lighting benefits that have made them so popular:

First and foremost, LEDs are extremely energy efficient, representing the most economical means for providing lighting. Approximately 80-90% of the energy flowing into LEDs is turned into light, unlike incandescent lights in which 80-90% of the energy is turned into heat.

LEDs have a tremendously long lifespan, typically 35,000 hours or more and as many as 100,000 hours of operating time. Using your lights for 6-8 hours a day, they should last at least 15 years before failing. This is approximately 40 times longer than an incandescent light bulb's expected lifespan. This means less maintenance, saving labor costs, and money-savings in replacement costs.

LEDs are better for the ecology. They don't contain toxic materials such as mercury (found in other lighting options) and are recyclable. They'll lessen your carbon footprint and, because they last much longer than alternative lighting options, they reduce both production and material costs.

Often overlooked when listing benefits, LEDs represent an improvement in safety. Because incandescent bulbs get so hot, they pose a safety hazard to anyone coming in contact with them, especially children. LEDs also operate on low voltage, which is much safer should something go wrong.

LED lights are extremely durable. Since they're solid-state, they don't feature the traditional glass bulbs found with incandescent lights. This enables them to stand up to all types of weather, to shocks, abrasions and vibrations. Because of these advantages, LEDs are being used increasingly on vehicles, for roadside use and other civil engineering applications.

LED lights are small and provide vast design flexibility. Their illumination can be highly controlled regarding the distribution of their light, color, shade and brightness. They're adaptable to a wide range of applications, from traffic signals and vehicle lights to residential and commercial lighting applications and even sports stadium lighting.

LEDs have great color rendering capabilities, allowing them to reveal the actual color of objects being illuminated very closely to actual daylight. This is called having a high CRI (Color Rendering Index).

LEDs have a wide range of CCT (Correlated Color Temperature). You can buy “warm” colored bulbs that put out a yellow, orange or red light, or “cool” bulbs that illuminate within the blue side of the color spectrum. You can also get true white light, which most approximates natural daylight.

LEDs have a dimming capability and are able to operate efficiently at any amount of their rated power, from zero to 100%, with the use of specific LED dimming equipment. Operating LEDs at less power increases their efficiency and also lengthens their lifespan. Alternative light sources may get less efficient as power is reduced or may be incapable of being dimmed at all.

LEDs produce virtually no UV emissions and minimal infra-red light. This makes them ideal for use in areas where materials may be degraded by UV light or heat, especially in museums or art galleries where items may be degraded under the heat and glare of traditional lighting applications.

LEDs operate instantly, with no warm-up period. They can also be switched off and on, even over the long term, with absolutely no degradation of lighting performance.

LEDs can operate on low voltage, making them ideal for indoor or outdoor use, even in remote areas when used with a solar energy source. They're great for camping, garden rooms and more. In some areas, such as outside a waterfront property where ground level falls within the flood zone, they may be the only lighting source that meets electrical code requirements.

LEDs provide high brightness and light intensity which uses very little energy.

LEDs Have No Equal

LEDs provide illumination in a 180° direction, unlike other lighting sources that all illuminate in 360°. This 360° directional light emission requires the addition of accessories used to deflect or redirect the light, driving up the cost of the system and lowering efficiency.

There's no question that LED lighting has become the most popular type of illumination available. Whether it's being used for aviation lighting, automobile lighting, general lighting, advertising, camera flashes, flashlights, traffic signals, grow lights, medical devices or even lighted wallpaper, LEDs are proven to provide high efficiency at low cost. As far as lighting applications go, there is no equal.