Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Lighting with LEDs – The Benefits

Collage: Lighting with LEDs – The Benefits
Credit: MS Office: keywords: electronics, LEDs, light-emitting diodes, technology

Light emitting diodes (LED) seem to be the way of the future and the benefits are endless!

Unlike incandescent bulbs which produce heat driven light emissions by way of a filament, LEDs are light emitting diodes made of semiconductor materials. Their unique construction means an LED system can provide 50,000 to 100,000 hours of light compared to the 1,000 hours offered by ordinary incandescent bulbs. One compact fluorescent bulb has only 8,000 hours of light. They also run cooler so they are much safer to use.

LED light bulbs are so energy efficient that, depending on how often you have them turned on, they can actually pay for themselves in just one year’s time.

LED Benefits:
  • LED fixtures will last 30 years or even longer so the need to replace them is minimal.
  • Low voltage wiring – regular conventional halogen bulbs require 10 volts of household power. LEDs operate on 12 volts.
  • LED bulbs do not need to be replaced, so that means waste reduction. They are environmentally friendly, and therefore don’t have harmful materials. They can be disposed of in a normal manner. Incandescent light bulbs put carbon dioxide, sulfur oxide and nuclear waste into landfills.
  • LEDs do not have a filament. They are 100% solid state material encapsulated in epoxy resin. LEDs are resistant to shock vibration, and extreme temperature.
  • No UVs – LEDs do not radiate UVs, therefore this makes them very safe for museums and galleries.
  • LEDs have a pure white color. Traditional halogen bulbs are yellow with typical colour temperatures around 3200 Kelvin. Manufacturers have attempted to correct this yellowness by using expensive coatings and filters to remove some of the yellow light. LEDs can be engineered to produce white light at the preferred colour temperature of 4400K so no filters are needed. Basically, the quality of light is much better with LEDs.
  • LEDs have yet another environmental benefit. It is the directionality of the light combating light pollution that has become a mission for organizations. LEDs emit patterns directly toward the illuminator target & not in the sky.

All in all LEDs are economical and environmentally friendly. More and more people are embracing LEDs in an effort to be green all year round.

Deborah McKenna
Senior Construction Project Management / Interior Designer
Wo-Built Inc.

Natural Resources Canada: Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE)
Interesting Reading: Government Help for Going Green in Homes

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