LED lighting represents the current trend in lighting and we have listed 10 great reasons for you to consider LED lighting in your Nanaimo home. The energy efficiency and considerable lifespan of LED technology are two amazing considerations by reducing the cost of electricity and overall energy use.
What Is LED lighting?
LED stands for light emitting diode. An LED is a semiconductor device, that generates light through a process called electroluminescence. When you pass an electric current through semiconductor material, it emits visible light. As such, an LED stands in exact contrast to a photovoltaic cell, which is the cell used in solar arrays to convert visible light into electricity.
We’ve known about the technology behind LEDs for years. Contributing to the development of solid-state transistors, LED technology helped to land an astronaut on the moon and enable the creation of portable AM radios!
In the early 60s, a young scientist working for General Electric developed the first LEDs. Companies first used them as indicator lights for circuit boards, and they became known for their durability and energy efficiency. Many municipalities used the second generation of LEDs, which became available in the 80s and 90s, as replacements for the traditional incandescent bulb in streetlights. Some people began to experiment with using them as a replacement for fluorescent lights on outdoor signs.
This latest generation lasts longer, is more durable, performs better, and is more energy-efficient than any other source of lighting. Many industrial, commercial and residential facilities now use LEDs for a wide range of applications.
Advantages of LED Lighting
LED lighting offers many benefits to those that are interested in reducing their energy usage and costs.
- Long Lifespan
Compared to the lifespan of your average incandescent bulb, the lifespan of a LED light is far superior. The average incandescent bulb lasts about a thousand hours, if you have teenagers that leave lights on that 1000 hours will pass quickly. The lifespan of an average LED light is 50,000 hours. Depending on how you use it, its life may be as long as 100,000 hours. This means that an LED light can last anywhere from six to 12 years before you need to replace it. That is 40 times longer than an incandescent bulb.
Even if you’re using fluorescent, metal halide or sodium vapor lights, an LED light will last at least two to four times longer.
As such, savings extend not only to replacement costs but also to the maintenance costs of your lighting bill.
- Energy Efficiency
Another one of the leading LED lighting advantages is their energy-efficient operation. You can measure the energy efficiency of a lighting source in useful lumens, which describes the amount of lighting that the device emits for each unit of power, or watt, that the bulb uses. In the past, we measured light by how many lumens it produced, but the reality is that some of these lumens go to waste. LED lighting produces less waste light and more useful lumens than other lighting technologies.
If you replaced all the lighting in your home with LEDs, you could see as much as a 60% to 70% improvement in your overall energy efficiency. In some cases, the improvement could be as great as 90%, depending on what kind of lights you are replacing and what kind of LED lights you are using. Please reach out to discuss your LED options in your home.
These improvements in energy efficiency are directly correlated with financial savings. When you replace a traditional light source with an LED light source, your energy usage is going to plummet, making LED lights are a smart investment for any home!
- Improved Environmental Performance
It is becoming increasingly important for homes to become eco-friendly. Society as a whole increasingly wants environmentally friendly options and using an environmentally friendly light source can help your household reduce its energy use, as well as make you feel good for doing your part to protect our wonderful planet.
The environmental benefits of LED lighting also extend to their manufacturing process. Many traditional lighting sources, like fluorescent lighting and mercury vapor lights, use mercury internally as part of their construction. Because of this, when they reach the end of their lifespans, they require special handling. You do not have to worry about any of these issues with LED lights.
- The Ability to Operate in Cold Conditions
Traditional lighting sources don’t like cold weather. When the temperature drops, lighting sources, particularly fluorescent lamps, require a higher voltage to start, and the intensity of their light diminishes.
LED lights, on the other hand, perform better in cold temperatures by about 5%. This is why LED lights are a better choice for outdoor lighting and garage lighting. Their ability to perform so efficiently in cold weather also makes them the perfect to illuminate the perimeters of your home.
- No Heat or UV Emissions
If you’ve ever tried to change an incandescent light bulb right after it goes out, you know how hot they get when they’re in use. Many traditional lighting sources like incandescent bulbs turn more than 90% of the energy they use to heat, allocating only 10% of energy to actual light production.
LEDs emit almost no heat, and most of the light they emit is within the visible spectrum. This feature is one reason that medical experts are looking at LEDs as a possible solution for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which affects many people during the darker months of the year.
It also makes LEDs ideal for illuminating works of art that will degrade or break down over time with exposure to UV rays.
- Design Flexibility
LEDs are very small (about the size of a spec of pepper). This means that they can be used in almost any application. Remember, their original use was as an indicator light in a circuit board. If you combine them in bunches, you create a traditional bulb. If you string together a series of LED lights, you create a line or series of lights — like a string of Christmas lights.
Think of the options this gives you for lighting in your home. LED devices can be so small you can use them for illuminating almost anything.
- Instant Lighting and the Ability to Withstand Frequent Switching
If you’re looking for a light that needs to come on quickly, choose LED lighting. LED lights can turn on and off instantly. If you’re using a metal halide lamp, for instance, you need to be prepared for a warm-up period. Think of how a fluorescent light flickers when you turn it on and often takes two or three seconds before it’s fully lit. These are some of the complications that can be circumvented by installing LED lights.
Also, traditional lighting sources have a shorter lifespan if you frequently switch them on and off. LED lights are not affected by frequent switching. It does not cause any reduction in their lifespan or efficiency.
This feature makes LEDs an ideal solution for your home if you need your lights to come back on immediately after someone has switched them off, perhaps a dark stairwell. This capability is also useful if you want, your lights to come on promptly say externally as a security light.
- Low Voltage Operation
If your home is in a location where flooding may occur, you want to be able to light your area with devices that require as little voltage as possible. LEDs are perfect for this because they operate on very low voltage. When you use a low-voltage system in areas that may be prone to flooding, you are protecting your family and others from potentially harmful or fatal shocks. If, during a flood clean-up, someone mistakenly touches some electrical component, a low-voltage lighting system that generates 12 volts is much safer than a line voltage system that generates 120 volts.
This also makes them extremely useful to use outdoors where other lighting solutions might not meet with local codes.
- Dimming Capabilities
LEDs perform well at almost any power percentage, from about 5% to 100%. Some lighting sources, such as metal halide, perform less efficiently when dimmed. Sometimes, you cannot dim them at all.
The opposite is true for LED lighting. When you use less-than-full power on an LED light, it operates more efficiently. This feature leads to other benefits, as well. It increases the lifespan of the bulb, and it means that you are using less energy, thereby reducing your energy costs.
It’s important to note that you cannot use traditional equipment for dimming lights when using LEDs. They need hardware that is specific to their technology.
Every conventional lighting technology emits light at 360° around the light source. This means that if you want the light to illuminate a specific area, you’ll need to purchase accessories to channel or deflect the light in the desired direction.
If you don’t use something to reflect or redirect the light, you’ll waste energy lighting areas that don’t require illumination, which will result in higher energy costs.
An LED light, however, only lights up an area of 180°, which makes LED lighting perfect when you need recessed lighting in a kitchen, hallway or bathroom. It’s also ideal for lighting artwork, not only because it will not degrade the artwork but also because you won’t lose any of the lighting power to the back of the light source.
If you only benefit from five of the above, it is time to talk to an electrical contractor about a planned scheduled of lighting replacement and convert to LED lighting.
Please reach out for an informal chat about your lighting needs.