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The Pros and Cons of LED Lights

by Denver Plumbing, HVAC, $ Electrical Company

Having proper light in your home is important. It provides general lighting and ambience, while also making it easier to read and complete tasks. You also have natural light, overhead lighting, accent lighting and task lighting.

Therefore, you have to give thought to the type of lighting required in each room. However, lights in your home are only as effective as the bulbs you choose. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) has become a popular choice offering technological advancements in lighting from both a comfort and energy-saving perspective. Here we review the pros and cons of LED lights to help you decide if they are right for you.

What Exactly are LED Lights?

LEDs are energy-efficient light bulbs that are smaller and more solid compared to traditional bulbs. They last longer than the average bulb and provide a different type of light compared to incandescent light bulbs. They have become the light of choice because of their size, energy savings and durability, beating out incandescent light bulbs in many areas including:

  • Extremely energy-efficient, using as much as 90% less power than incandescent bulbs
  • Increased energy savings means decreased costs in energy bills
  • Longer lasting
  • Money saved in the cost of bulb replacement.

However, not everyone prefers the LED light bulb. Here are the pros and cons to explain why.

Pros of LED Lighting

  • Energy Efficient: We’ve already mentioned energy savings, with the capability of outputting 135 lumens per watt.
  • Long Lifetime: High-quality LEDs can last 50,000 hours or more longer than a traditional bulb.
  • Rugged: Also known as “Solid State Lighting” (SSL) these lights use solid material and require no filament or tube meaning there is nothing to break like a traditional bulb.
  • Instant Light: Traditional bulbs sometimes need to warm-up before they reach their full brilliance, while LEDs light in nanoseconds
  • Not Temperature Sensitive: LEDs can light up regardless of the temperature, even in subzero conditions, unlike traditional bulbs that tend to hate cold.
  • Directional: LEDs are designed to cast light where you need it so that the light is not wasted in other areas of the room.
  • Comfortable Color: LEDs are designed to provide pure color, so they don’t wash out colors and don’t make it difficult to look at items in their direct beam making them ideal for display cases in museums or shops.
  • Eco-friendly: Not only do LEDs save energy, but they also don’t contain hazardous substances like mercury.
  • Controllable: You can control the brightness and color of LEDs.

Cons of LED Lighting

  • Blue Hazard and Pollution Risk: The intensity of blue LEDs and cool-white LEDs can exceed safe blue-light hazard limits for eye safety. The cool white LED can also cause more “blue pollution” when used as outdoor lights compared to traditional lighting. As a result, use is discouraged by the International Dark-Sky Association for color temperatures above 3,000K.
  • Color Impurity: Although cool-white LEDs are preferred to fluorescent lamps, they can change the perceived color of objects compared to natural light or even incandescent light. This is due to a spike at 460 nm and dip at 500 nm of cool-white LED illumination which is particularly harsh on reds.  
  • High Temperature: While LED performance is excellent in colder weather, over-driving the LED in high ambient temperatures can lead to overheating and eventual device failure. As long as adequate heat-sinking is performed, they will have a low failure rate.  
  • Voltage: When using LEDs they must be supplied so the voltage is above the threshold and the current is below the rating for both series resistors and current-regulated power supplies.
  • More Expensive: The price of LEDs tends to be more expensive when considering the price per lumen. However, it is important to keep in mind this is only on the initial cost, as they will last longer than conventional lighting technologies. It also costs more because of the low lumen output and other factors needed for the LEDS such as the drive circuitry and power supply.
  • Divergence: When using LEDs they provide Lambertian distribution meaning they are not able to approximate a “point source” of light. As a result, they can be difficult to use if you need more of a spherical light field. They can’t provide divergence below a few degrees compared to lasers which produce beams with divergences of 0.2 degrees or less.

So there you have it. While there are many advantages to using LEDs the application of how the light is used must be taken into consideration.

If you would like more information on LED lights in Denver, speak to the team at Bell Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, & Electrical today.

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