The Future Is Brightening for LED Lighting

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What is LED Lighting?
LED stands for light-emitting diodes. These diodes emit lower levels of light than traditional fluorescent or incandescent light bulbs, so several diodes are grouped together within a bulb to create a bright light. The light emitted from the diodes is also very pinpointed, so LED light bulbs use angled mirrors to refract light in different directions.

LED lamps can be used to replace most traditional light bulbs, offering the same fittings and equal or greater brightness. Dimmable LED lamps are also now available.

What are the Benefits?
LED lighting uses less energy, and therefore saves money on the electricity bill whilst providing a ‘greener’ source of light. Better for your wallet, and the environment too.

In New York’s Times Square, a ball of dancing coloured lights is hoisted into the sky to celebrate the start of each New Year. In 2007, the light ball’s creators switched from using traditional incandescent light bulbs to the emerging technology, LED solar power system manufacturer. Not only did they save 90% on the previous year’s energy expenditure; but brightness was also double that of the incandescent bulbs. By New Year’s Eve 2008, the technology had moved on rapidly, and the ball doubled in brightness once again.

LED light bulbs usually have a lifespan of 25 years and provide around 30,000 hours of light; much longer than other types of ‘energy-efficient’ bulbs. Flourescent bulbs, for example, last an average of 5 years. This is particularly relevant for large buildings and businesses, for example warehouses with high and inaccessible ceilings, where replacing bulbs is both time-consuming and costly.

LED lighting has specialist uses too, and has been used by NASA to grow plants in space due to the wavelengths of light being tailored to the exact spectral range needed to help the plants grow. Early in 2013, the Empire State Building management also used this aspect of the technology when it revealed its new LED light-powered show – an impressive multi-coloured spectacle using LED bulbs capable of emitting 16 million colours.

How About Drawbacks?
LED bulbs are more expensive to buy than other types of bulbs, so the initial outlay for homes or businesses switching to LED lighting is higher. This can be off-putting, but reductions in energy bills are immediate, and soon cover the purchase price. It is estimated that most businesses switching to LED would cover the costs of their initial investment within 2 years, with those same bulbs continuing to save the business money for another 20+ years.

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