LED Lighting: How does LED Lighting work?

What is Led Lighting?

LED stands for light-emitting diode. LED lighting products produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs. An electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and the result is visible light.

The light-emitting diode (LED) is one of the most energy-efficient and fastest developing lighting technologies today. High-quality LED light bulbs last longer, have a longer service life, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting.

Energy Savings by Changing Your LED Lighting

LED is an extremely energy-efficient lighting technology and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in the United States. Residential LEDs, especially ENERGY STAR-rated products, use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lamps.

The widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the US. By 2027, the widespread use of LEDs could save around 348 TWh of electricity (compared to no use of LEDs). This corresponds to the annual electrical output of 44 large power plants (1000 megawatts each) and a total saving of more than 30 billion US dollars at today’s electricity prices.

How Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Compare with Traditional Incandescents

According to Energy.gov, you can save $ 75 each year by replacing the five most commonly used lights or lightbulbs in your home with models that have earned an ENERGY STAR.

Energy-efficient light bulbs such as halogen lamps, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have the following advantages over conventional incandescent lamps:

  • Typically use around 25% to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent lamps, which saves you money
  • Can take 3-25 times longer.

Today’s energy-efficient lamps come in a variety of colors and levels of light that you would expect. While the starting price for energy-efficient lightbulbs is usually higher than traditional incandescent bulbs, newer lightbulbs cost less to run, saving you money over the life of the lightbulb. Many of the newer lamps last significantly longer than traditional lamps so you don’t have to replace them as often.

According to Energy.gov, the following table compares a conventional 60-watt incandescent lamp with energy-efficient light bulbs that provide similar lighting conditions.

led lighting

How LEDs are Different

LED lighting is very different from other light sources such as incandescent lamps and CFLs. The main differences include:

  • Light Source: LEDs are the size of a pepper spot, and a mix of red, green, and blue LEDs are usually used to create white light.
  • Direction: LEDs emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can capture light. This feature makes LEDs more efficient for many applications, e.g. for recessed lights and work lighting. With other types of lighting, the light must be reflected in the desired direction and more than half of the light must never leave the luminaire.
  • Heat: LEDs give off very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs give off 90% of their energy as heat, and CFLs about 80% of their energy as heat.

LED Products

LED lighting is currently available in a wide variety of household and industrial products, and the list is growing every year. The rapid development of LED technology leads to more products and improved manufacturing efficiency, which also leads to lower prices. Below are some of the most common types of LED products.

Industrial and Commercial Lighting

The high efficiency and directivity of LEDs make them ideal for many industrial applications. LEDs are increasingly being used in street lights, parking garage lighting, sidewalk, and other outdoor lighting, cold room lighting, modular lighting, and work lighting.

Kitchen Under-Cabinet Lighting

Because LEDs are small and directional, they are ideal for lighting countertops for cooking and reading recipes. The color may appear cooler or bluer than is usually desirable in a kitchen, and there may be excessive shadowing on some faucets. It is therefore important to compare products in order to find the best luminaire for your space.

Recessed Downlights

Recessed downlights are widely used in eat-in kitchens, hallways, and bathrooms, as well as in a number of office and commercial environments. DOE estimates that US households have at least 500 million recessed downlights installed and more than 20 million are sold each year. Both CFL and LED technology can reduce the output of the downlight by 75% or more.

LED Replacement Bulbs

With performance improvements and falling prices, LED lamps can replace incandescent lamps with 40, 60, and even 75 watts. It is important to read the lighting data label to ensure that the product is the correct brightness and color for its intended location. With careful selection, LED replacement products can be an excellent option.

LED Holiday Lights

LEDs use far less electricity than incandescent lamps, and decorative LED fairy lights like Christmas tree lights are no different. LED Christmas lights not only consume less electricity but also have the following advantages:

  • Safer: LEDs are much cooler than incandescent lights, reducing the risk of combustion or burnt fingers.
  • Sturdier: LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, not glass, and are much more resistant to breakage.
  • Longer lasting: The same LED string could still be in use 40 holiday seasons from now.
  • Easier to install: Up to 25 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket.

Estimated cost of electricity to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days

The estimated cost of electricity to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days

TYPE OF LIGHTCOST
Incandescent C-9 lights $10.00
LED C-9 lights $0.27
Incandescent Mini-lights$2.74
LED Mini-lights$0.82

Estimated cost* of buying and operating lights for 10 holiday seasons

Type of LightCost
Incandescent C-9 lights$122.19
LED C-9 lights$17.99
Incandescent Mini-lights$55.62
LED Mini-lights$33.29

Assume 50 C-9 lamps and 200 mini-lamps per tree with electricity of $ 0.119 per kilowatt hour (kWh) (AEO 2012 Residential Average). The prices for lights are based on the prices quoted for purchases from large hardware stores. All costs have been discounted at an annual rate of 5.6%. A service life of three seasons (1,500 hours) is assumed for non-LED luminaires.

FAQs.

What Is LED Lighting?

LED stands for light-emitting diode. LED lighting products produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs. An electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and the result is visible light. To prevent performance issues, the heat LEDs produce is absorbed into a heat sink.

What is LED?

In the simplest terms, a light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device that emits light when an electric current is passed through it. Light is produced when the particles that carry the current (known as electrons and holes) combine together within the semiconductor material.

How many lifetimes of LED Lighting Products?

The useful life of LED lighting products is defined differently than that of other light sources, such as incandescent or compact fluorescent lighting (CFL). LEDs typically do not “burn out” or fail. Instead, they experience ‘lumen depreciation, wherein the brightness of the LED dims slowly over time. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LED “lifetime” is established on a prediction of when the light output decreases by 30 percent.

What are the disadvantages of LED lights?

The disadvantages of LEDs:

  • High up-front costs.
  • Transformer compatibility.
  • Potential color shift over lamp life.
  • Performance standardization has not yet been streamlined.
  • Overheating can cause reduced lamp life.

Why is LED lighting better?

The light-emitting diode (LED) is today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technology. Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting.

Do LED lights use more electricity than light bulbs?

In general, LED Lights use less electricity and last longer than incandescent or CFL bulbs. This Earth Easy chart breaks down the electricity usage and cost savings of LEDs, and shows thousands of dollars of savings over 25,000 hours when you switch from incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs.

What are the 3 types of LED light bulbs?

Fundamentally, there are three different types of LED technology that are used in LED lighting – DIP, SMD, and COB.

What are the pros and cons of LED light bulbs?

The Pros and Cons of LED Lights:

  • Pro: Long Lifespan. An LED light bulb has the longest lifespan of all the bulb options.
  • Con: An Upfront Investment Is Required.
  • Pro: Energy-Efficient.
  • Con: Not Great for Dimmers.
  • Pro: Produce Less Heat.
  • Con: They Can Fail Under Heat.
  • Pro: Environmentally Friendly.

When should you not use LED lights?

If the value is “no,” the bulb should not be used in enclosed fixtures. Using an LED bulb in an enclosed fixture when it isn’t designed for that may cause the bulb to overheat, potentially causing damage to the light bulb and fixture.

Do LED lights raise electric bill?

LED strip lights do not cost a lot of electricity compared to traditional incandescent lights. Consumption is directly determined by the length of the strip light and its light density. A standard 5-meter strip will cost less than $3 a year to run, on average.

What uses the most electricity in a house?

Heating and cooling are by far the greatest energy users in the home, making up around 40% of your electric bill. Other big users are washers, dryers, ovens, and stoves. Electronic devices like laptops and TVs are usually pretty cheap to run, but of course, they can all add up.

How do you pronounce LED lights?

Since the letter L is pronounced Elle like an elephant, then the acronym “LED” starts with a vowel sound, and thus you should say “an LED light” just like you would say “an elephant” not “an elephant”.

How long do LED last?

Many LEDs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours. This is approximately 50 times longer than a typical incandescent, 20-25 times longer than a typical halogen, and 8-10 times longer than a typical CFL. Used 12 hours a day, a 50,000 bulb will last more than 11 years. Used 8 hours a day, it will last 17 years!

Do LED lights get hot?

Yes, new technology LED lighting can and will get hot, but when compared to the lighting of the past, temperatures are much safer. The heat from the lighting will also warm your surrounding environment but in comparison to old incandescent lighting, this ambient heat is greatly reduced when using LED lighting.

Do LED lights really save money?

While LEDs are more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs, they still save money because they last a long time and have very low energy use.

Are LED light fixtures worth it?

The U.S. Department of Energy cites 72% to 80% savings with LED lights compared to other options. LED lights last up to 25 times longer than a traditional bulb. Whether you replace one light in a home or design a home completely with LED light fixtures, you can experience tremendous energy savings.

Are there any healthy LED lights?

Today’s LED lights are just as safe as any other modern light source for your eyes, and, in fact, LED lights are used in skin and other health therapies because LEDs do not contain ultraviolet rays like other types of light therapies (think fake tanning!).

Can LED bulbs go in enclosed fixtures?

Only LED bulbs that are officially ‘Enclosed Rated’ will operate without any problems inside enclosed light fixtures. Regular LED bulbs may be used but they will become damaged or lose their efficiency quickly.

Can an LED bulb be used in any fixture?

When it comes to LED light bulbs, they will turn on and work in any light fixture that provides them at least the minimum wattage they’re specified for. Because of the efficiency of LED bulbs, this figure is often very low. Some LED bulbs may even be tolerant of too little or too much wattage, to a certain point.

Can you put an LED bulb in a regular light fixture?

As long as the mounting base (socket) is the same size and type, you can use an LED bulb in an existing fixture. If the mounting base isn’t the same size and type, the LED bulb will not fit the socket. You should never use a bulb with a higher wattage than what is recommended for the fixture.

Do LED lights strips attract bugs?

LED lights produce little to no UV light and a minuscule amount of heat, which makes them less attractive to bugs—so long as they emit longer wavelengths of light.

Do LED lights attract bugs?

LED Lights Do Not Attract Bugs, So Keep the Light On.

Are LED bulbs or strips better?

Installed as your light source, LED strip lights to guzzle less electricity to produce the same light output. The potential savings are very significant – LEDs draw up to 85% less electricity than conventional incandescent lighting, and around 18% less electricity than CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps).

Does unplugging stuff save electricity?

The Department of Energy estimates you could save 10% every month when you unplug appliances when not in use. Unplugging appliances can save electricity, so make it as much a habit as when you turn off the lights to conserve energy.