Tuesday 30 May 2017

Benefits of LED lighting in the home

Whilst LED has been around for over 50 years due to recent developments and improved technology in the field of LED bulbs along with a demand for efficient lighting, LED lighting within the home has garnered increased popularity.

With traditional incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs and LED bulbs as available options on the market for lighting within the home it can be difficult to know what lighting and bulbs are best for you and your home.

What are the different bulbs?
* Traditional incandescent bulbs - these traditional light bulbs that people across the country know well are made of a glass bulb of inert gas such as nitrogen and argon with a tungsten filament inside. The bulbs work when a current passes through the filament which gives off light and gets very hot. Over time the filament evaporates and is deposited onto the inside of the bulb blackening it until it breaks and the bulb becomes useless. These bulbs emit a lot of heat which is wasted energy, are not very energy efficient and have a short life span.
* Halogen light bulbs - these bulbs are similar to traditional bulbs. They differ as halogen bulbs are made from a much smaller quartz bulb inside the incandescent bulb which is filled with a halogen gas. Unlike old fashioned bulbs where the tungsten is deposited onto the bulb as it evaporates with use, in halogen bulbs the halogen gas chemically reacts with the tungsten vapour and re-deposits the tungsten back onto the filament. This technology means that the bulbs do not blacken with tungsten deposits and the lifespan of the filament and bulb is significantly increased in comparison to traditional incandescent light bulbs. Like traditional bulbs they are not energy efficient and emit a lot of heat.
* LEDs - are designed differently to traditional/halogen light bulbs as they do not have a filament that will burn out over time and produce light by passing a current through a semi-conductor. They have a long lifespan, produce very little heat and are energy efficient.

As we are converts to LED lighting I wanted to take a further look at a few of the benefits of LEDs for the family home -

Long lasting
Compared to traditional or halogen bulbs, on average most LEDs burn for an astonishing 40,000+ hours - some for even more! As LEDs last about 20 times more than traditional/halogen bulbs users of LED bulbs save money and time on replacement bulbs.

Already we have noticed that since changing to LED lighting that we have not had to change light bulbs whilst previously we were constantly having to change light bulbs. It is a relief not to try turning on a room light for darkness to remain and it became apparent that another bulb had blown. Thanks to LED lighting changing light bulbs regularly is now a thing of the past.

Energy consumption
LED light bulbs are very energy efficient and compared to traditional or halogen light bulbs they use a lot less energy to produce light which impacts on energy bills and provides savings on electric costs. As well as the financial benefit of being cheap to run, thanks to the lower power consumption they help reduce the carbon footprint of households who use them which is better for the environment.

Whilst the financial savings is a huge benefit to use we love that using LEDs is kinder to the environment. The environmentally friendly benefit not only is because of the fact that they use less energy but also as LED bulbs last longer we are not using so many light bulbs. It is a good feeling not chucking bulbs and yet more light bulbs in the rubbish on a regular basis as they have blown within a short period of time.

Cost effective
Whilst the initial outlay for LED bulbs is more compared to traditional and halogen bulbs which are cheap to buy, as LED light bulbs are long lasting, durable and energy efficient they are more cost effective in the long run. By not having to change light bulbs often and saving money on energy bills homes that use LED light bulbs will benefit financially from cost effective LEDs.

Since we switched to LED lighting we have seen our electric bills reduce significantly which is a huge benefit to a family household on a tight financial budget. It is great to know that over time we will continue to save using cost effective LED bulbs and that the initial outlay to change to LED will pay for itself quickly and will have been well worth it.

Compared to traditional/halogen bulbs LEDs produce very little heat. LED light bulbs do not add to an environment’s temperature and thanks to their low heat output they are also safer for example they have a lower chance of starting an accidental fire and are less likely to be a heat hazard which can cause a nasty burn if accidently touched.

It is good to know that by using LED light bulbs we are benefitting from higher light to heat emission ratio - on average LEDs produce 80% light and 20% heat compared to traditional/halogen bulbs which on average would produce 20% light and 80% heat. Being a safety cautious parent and having experienced a house fire the added safety and decreased hazard risk that LEDs provide is reassuring. As well as being safer heat wise as they are durable LED light bulbs are less likely to break and do not have the hazard of glass if broken that traditional light bulbs have.

Whilst older LED lights were criticised for being slow to light up recent technology and development have seen new designs and improved LED light bulbs which are very effective lighting. LEDs brighten up instantly and are unaffected by frequent switching on and off which is ideal for busy family homes.

For us LED bathroom lighting has been a blessing as the bathroom lights are constantly on and off in our busy home and the durable LED light bulbs brighten up effectively again and again, are durable and last long regardless of how often they are turned on and off in a day (which is a lot!) and have not had to be changed yet since being installed at the beginning of the year whilst normally we would have been changed 10 times already this year!

Design and colour profile
As developments in LED light bulbs have improved so has the range of LED lighting available on the market. As well as improving effectiveness and instant brightness of light bulbs improvements in LED bulbs has seen a range of LEDs with different colour profiles, dimmable and non-dimmable varieties and compact design. For example LED light bulbs are available in extra warm white, warm white and cool white.

The benefit of LEDs with different colour temperatures is that different colour profiles can dramatically change the impact, appearance and atmosphere of a room. Cool white LEDs can work really well in bathrooms as they help make the room bright and clean whilst extra warm white (soft white) can create a homely feel to living rooms. I love how something as simple as lighting can change the feel and look of a room and LEDs and the different colour temperatures is great at doing this. LEDs are also great as they come in different designs to suit all style needs and can be used indoors and outdoors.

Overall we love the long-lasting, energy saving, cost effective, environmentally friendly and effectiveness of LED light bulbs in our home.

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