LED lighting is now the optimal solution for residential and commercial lighting needs. Due to massive investment over recent years (Philips has spent over $5 billion on the LED market), LED technology has matured to a point where LED bulbs (or ‘lamps’ as they are often called) deliver a truly equivalent light output to conventional incandescent, halogen, or compact fluorescent lamps.
Introduction to LED Lighting
Today’s LED lamps or tubes are strong, durable, and contain no filaments; there is no chance of shattering, breakages, or mercury contamination. Many of the market leading LED lamps have rated lives of up to 50,000 hours (50x longer than a standard incandescent light bulb) and consume up to 90% less energy than conventional lamps. The best way to understand the benefits of LED lighting is to do a cost of ownership calculation: calculate the electricity saving and the costs avoided from not having to replace blown bulbs over the lifetime of the lamp (over 10 years in many cases).
Of course, another strong argument for switching to LED lamps is because it is great for the environment. LED lamps consume up to 90% less electricity which means CO2 emissions get cut by up to 90%. So, you can slash your carbon footprint at the same time as slashing your energy bills!
LED lamp manufacturers have made it easier than ever to switch to LED lighting, by designing LED lamps with the same light output, dimensions, and cap bases as conventional lamps. This makes retrofitting a breeze. In most cases, LED lamps will slot directly into existing fixtures and fittings, and many offer comparable dimming functionality. Customers can select the colour temperature (e.g. warm white, cool white) and beam angle they prefer to match their existing set up.
Designers have also focused on LED lamp aesthetics to ensure they look as good as the conventional lamps they replace. This is especially important for candle or globe bulbs in chandeliers or luminaires, where decorative effect is important. Indeed, Philips has drawn upon inputs from chandelier makers, and intentionally designed their candle lamps to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the chandelier not only when lit but also when not, with classical slender shape and unique eye-catching lens. Quality LED lamps deliver sparkling warm light with huge energy savings and maintenance cost reductions.
You may say that compact fluorescents (‘CFLs’) are a good enough alternative. Let’s take a look: total cost of ownership of CFLs is poor, light quality is harsh (and contains harmful UV radiation), they are bulky (some say ugly!), most are not dimmable, energy efficiency is average, and the big concern is that CFLs contain toxic mercury vapor and are therefore hazardous waste. LEDs will soon overtake low energy CFL lamps as the lighting of choice.
The Energy Saving Trust advises that if everybody in the UK changed their lights to LED where possible, we would be able to save enough energy to light 5 million homes! It’s easy to see that LED lamps are the future of lighting.