In recent years, significant advances have been made in the manufacturing of LED bulbs. Once used only as power indicators on appliances, LEDs can now be used to light a room or in powerful flashlights. Some of the advantages of LEDs are:
- LEDs use about 1/50 of the power of standard incandescent
bulbs, and half the power of compact fluorescents
- Long-lasting — LED bulbs last 10 times as long
as compact fluorescents, and 133 times longer than typical incandescents
- Durable — since LEDs do not have a filament, they
are not damaged under circumstances when a regular incandescent bulb would
- LEDs lights can be waterproofed and not susceptible
- Cool — these bulbs do not cause heat build-up — LEDs
produce 3.4 btus/hour, compared to 85 for incandescent bulbs
- Because they are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring
- No annoying flicker
Also, because these bulbs last for years, energy is saved
in maintenance and replacement costs. Many cities in the US are replacing their
incandescent traffic lights with LED arrays because the electricity costs can
be reduced by 80% or more.
Some of the disadvantages to LED bulbs are:
- Cost— although
the cost keeps going down, LED’s are still expensive. A single AC bulb (17
LED), replacing a 25 watt incandescent, will cost about $40.
- Light Field— LED’s are focused lights, and therefore
are best as task specific lighting such as reading lights, desk lamps, night
lights, spotlights, security lights, signage lighting, etc. They do not radiate
light in 360 degrees as an incandescent does. The light will be bright where
you point it towards.
- Light Color— for residential use, the white LED
is cooler than the warm yellow light we’re more used to. Most home LED use
is for task lighting rather than general room lighting.
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