LED Lights: The Pros and Cons
What are LED lights? You’ll no doubt have seen LEDs everywhere, but you might not know everything about these clever little lights and why they’re so popular. This guide is your one-stop resource for all things LED lights, so read on to find out more about the pros and cons of LED lights.
What are LED lights?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which is a semiconductor (part conductor, part insulator) device that converts low levels of electricity into light. Unlike traditional incandescent light bulbs, which generate light through creating heat, an LED light bulb works by charging atoms in a conductive material, which then releases energy in the form of electrons and produces light.
What are the pros of LED lights?
There are many benefits associated with using LED lights in place of the more traditional light sources. Here are some of the top advantages they bring:
Energy-Efficient: LED lights have become the world’s most efficient form of lighting, using around 90% less energy than our traditional incandescent light bulbs, and approximately 60% less than fluorescent lighting. This is ideal in today’s energy landscape, which demands an increasingly energy-saving attitude to preserve our planet’s resources.
Eco-Friendly: Because LEDs use much less energy, carbon emissions are significantly reduced. LEDs also do not contain any mercury, unlike traditional bulbs, which makes disposal of the bulbs easier and kinder to the environment.
Long Life Span: Nobody likes having to change light bulbs all the time, so LED light bulbs are ideal for keeping this inconvenient chore to a minimum. LEDs last around 2-3 times longer than fluorescent bulbs and a whopping 50 times longer than your standard household incandescent bulb, which means a lot less bulb-changing as well as significant savings on replacement costs.
Lower Heat Output: Unlike traditional filament bulbs, LED bulbs do not emit infrared heat. This makes them much safer by reducing the risk of fire, which is sometimes caused by the high heat outputs of incandescent bulbs.
More Durable: Because LEDs emit solid-state light, as opposed to the less stable incandescent filaments, they can withstand temperature fluctuations, vibrations and shock much better than traditional bulbs, making them suitable for a broader range of applications.
Most common: With modern technology, it is now a lot easier to access LED lighting. With the wide variety of pros of LED lighting, it means they’ve become even more popular in shops making them more accessible and easier to buy.
What are the cons of LED lighting?
Higher initial cost: LED bulbs are generally more expensive to buy and replace than traditional incandescent bulbs, and the fittings required to install them are also often more costly to manufacture. This cost is, however, largely offset by the long term benefits mentioned above.
Lower wattage: LED bulbs aren’t usually available to buy in high wattages, and cheaper bulbs don’t always provide light as bright as traditional bulbs. However, good quality LED bulbs do provide sufficiently bright light even at lower wattages.
Additional technology: LED lights must be supplied with a constant flow of electricity at the correct low voltage, which means that the right electronic drivers must also be installed to ensure the bulbs don’t fail or overheat.
The colour isn’t always great: Although this isn’t as big of a problem as it was when LED lighting first became available, the illumination from LED lights can sometimes become of lower quality over time. This sometimes results in unbalanced lighting and reduced brightness.
As you can see, the list of pitfalls is far shorter than that of the benefits, making LED lights an excellent long term investment for your lighting needs.
Where can I use LED lights?
Due to their durability and efficiency, LED lights can be installed practically anywhere, both inside and out. They are especially well suited for use where directional lighting is needed, i.e. kitchen and bathroom spotlights, or for floodlighting and outdoor deck lighting.
LED lights are also ideal for applications where lights need to be left on for long periods, such as display lighting, cabinet lighting and porch lighting. This is because of the characteristic long life spans of the bulbs, which makes them perfect for use in situations where maintenance access is restricted. LED bulbs are also among the most popular choices for modern Christmas tree lights due to their durability and lower heat output.
Here are just a few of the main applications LED bulbs can be used for:
- Ceiling downlights/spotlights for all indoor rooms
- Under-unit kitchen lighting
- Stair insets and uplighting
- Cabinet and shelf lighting
- Multi-coloured games room lighting
- Christmas tree and decorative lighting
- Mood lighting and accent lighting
- Driveway lighting
- Pond, pool and underwater lighting
Can I replace my traditional household bulbs with LED lights?
Yes, one of the great pros of LED lighting is that you can easily replace your traditional household bulbs with LED lights. Some ‘retrofit’ LED bulbs are available, which can be installed in the same fittings as traditional bulbs so that you can do a straight swap. However, factors like heat dissipation do need to be taken into account with certain types of enclosed fittings, so make sure you check instructions and seek expert help if you’re not sure.
What are LED strip lights?
LED strip lights are a strip of flexible circuit board that is filled with LEDs. Not only do LED strip lights provide all of the pros of LED lighting previously mentioned, but they also come with a range of pros themselves.
LED strip lighting is available in a range of colours, come in a handy strip that can be manoeuvred to fit a range of uses and can be cut to the length you want.
To implement LED strip lights, all you simply need to do is measure the size you need, cut the strip down, peel off the back adhesive and stick them into place – it’s that easy.
LED strip lights are an environmentally friendly way to add ambience and set a mood in your chosen room.
Pros and Cons of LED Lighting
We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of LED lighting so that you don’t have to it’s time for you to make a decision. With the multitude of LED lighting available from our website, be it in strip lighting form or not, you’ll be able to illuminate your home outside, inside and top to bottom. Check out the full range of LED lighting today!