LED Buyers Guide: LED (Light Emitting Diode) and the Future of Home Illumination

Brighter Futures with LED

Learn the basics of  LED ( light-emitting diode) illumination, so that you can put the best solid-state lighting practice to work for your indoor and outdoor light fixture applications.

Impact Specialty 40525 BLED Whimsical Floor Lamp from James R Moder

Impact Specialty 40525 BLED Whimsical Floor Lamp from James R Moder

 

What exactly is LED?

  • •A light-emitting diode (LED) is made up of a crystalline mineral, such as silicon, galena or germanium that emits illumination (by electro- or photo-luminescence) when voltage is applied.
  • •LED bulbs are tiny compact light sources that may be used singly or clustered together as a single unit for a variety of lighting applications.
  • •LED bulbs emit unidirectional light, making for the most effective use of lumen output.
  • •(LED) bulbs are taking center stage in the residential bulb market for their energy saving and environmental benefits.

    "Tut Chi" 70007 LED Energy Smart Accent Lamp from Access Lighting

    “Tut Chi” 70007 LED Energy Smart Accent Lamp from Access Lighting

Why LED will revolutionize the home lighting industry…

ENERGY EFFICIENCY:  LEDs use 80% less energy than incandescent and last up to 50 times longer, and up to 10 times longer than compact fluorescents (CFL).

DURABILITY: Because they are solid and do not contain a filament, LED bulbs are shatter resistant and hold up well to rough handling and harsh winter weather conditions.

COOLNESS FACTOR: LEDs radiate little to no heat.  As 85% of incandescent light energy is in the form of heat, almost all the energy in LED bulbs is in the form of light.

A PERFECT FIT:  A single light-emitting diode makes a perfect compact flashlight bulb, larger LED bulbs are made up of light-emitting diodes clustered together in various sizes and configurations, providing the flexibility to uniquely fit a variety of home lighting fixtures.

MAINTENANCE-FREE: Although initial investment is more, switching to LED quickly pays for itself in operating savings: i.e. lower electric bills, zero bulb replacement and maintenance costs.

ECO-FRIENDLY:  LEDs contain no mercury or toxic gas and pose no IR/UV radiation threat.

White Ceramic LED Light Bulb from Bulbrite

White Ceramic LED Light Bulb from Bulbrite

What are the drawbacks of LED?

•Initial expense still exceeds that of incandescent or CFL.

•Color rendition, color temperature and dimming capabilities are not as versatile as incandescent.

•Unidirectional light is good for efficiency, but may limit certain decorative effects and overall illumination in larger areas of the home.

"Stratford" Energy Smart Outdoor Post Lamp from Hinkley Lighting

“Stratford” Energy Smart Outdoor Post Lamp from Hinkley Lighting

Where are LEDs most useful?

OUTDOOR AND LANDSCAPE LIGHTING:  For outdoor and landscape lighting applications they are the number one choice due to their low-maintenance and high energy-efficiency.

Energy Smart P210-L 23" LED desk lamp by Kovacs Lighting in Brushed Nickel.

Energy Smart P210-L 23″ LED desk lamp by Kovacs Lighting in Brushed Nickel.

 

TASK LIGHTING: LED desk lamps, reading lamps and mini-pendants are excellent for supplying powerful, glare-free illumination.  Top quality LED lamps help older adults to compensate for age-related vision impairments.

UNDERCABINET LIGHTING:  Their small size and unidirectional illumination make for superb task light in the latest under-cabinet strip lights.

NIGHTLIGHTS:  LED’s provide excellent security lighting in toe-kick spaces in bathrooms and hallway nightlights.

Two Important Factors to Consider when Purchasing LED light fixtures and LED bulbs:

1.  The efficiency of the LED itself.  The efficacy or the effectiveness of the light-emitting diode is important because LEDs are manufactured in a variety of ways.  The Department of Energy (DOE) provides information on new standards of efficacy for solid state lighting.***

2.  The compatibility of the LED lamp and the light fixture.  LEDs work brilliantly in cold weather, but they are more sensitive to heat and varying electrical conditions, so top-quality fixture design is imperative to geting peak performance from  your LED lamps.

“The U. S. Department of Energy estimates that rapid adoption of LED lighting in the United States by 2027 could: Deliver savings of about $265 billion; Avoid 40 new power plants; and, Reduce lighting electricity demands by 33 percent.”-www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=lighting.pr_what_arc

THE BOTTOM LINE:

  • Greater dimmable features, softer lighting options and lowered cost will secure LED as the “go to” choice for future home lighting applications.
  • The latest outdoor lighting, landscape lighting, and task lighting are equipped with LED.
  • To make the most of your LED, be sure to purchase from a reputable dealer.  Although they may look the same, cheaper bulbs may be equipped with a low-quality chip and may not last as long. ♦ Look for ENERGY STAR®-ratings to be sure your LEDs are of the best quality.

WHAT’S NEW?

–LED, OLED (Organic light-emitting diode), and PLED (polymer light-emitting diode) are all part of what is know as Solid-State lighting. LED technology is advancing so rapidly that new products are becoming available every day.  Organic LED lighting fixtures consist of sheets of carbon-based compounds that glow when a current is applied through transparent electrodes.  These novel light fixtures are extremely thin and versatile.  They will be featured in Capitol Lighting showrooms soon!

–LED-EX-KT RED RED T 6.5 from Bulbrite comes in a choice of bases (E-12, E-17, DC Bay) and is non-dimming and rated for extra long life–up to 100,000 hours.

LED-EX-KT 1 Watt RED RED T6.5 Extra Long Life Bulb from Bulbrite

LED-EX-KT 1 Watt RED RED T6.5 Extra Long Life Bulb from Bulbrite

 

Bubrite’s LED9PAR30WW-NF-D is dimmable and available in Warm White.*

LED9PAR 30WW-NF-D 8.4 Watt 120 Volt PAR30 Long Neck Dimmable LED Bulb from Bulbrite

LED9PAR 30WW-NF-D 8.4 Watt 120 Volt PAR30 Long Neck Dimmable LED Bulb from Bulbrite

 

LED 2CTC 2.1 watt 120 volt 30000 hour candelabra torpedo clear bulb, 3000K, 130 lumens, decorative bulb.

LED 2CTC 2.1 Watt Candelabra Torpedo Bulb from Bulbrite

LED 2CTC 2.1 Watt Candelabra Torpedo Bulb from Bulbrite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philips 46677-417048 Ambient LED is dimmable and provides a great alternative to replace A19 incandescent.

Ambient LED 46677-417048 from Philips, an 8-watt A19 LED bulb.

Ambient LED 46677-417048 from Philips, an 8-watt A19 LED bulb.

 

 

 

–Multiple color options for newer LED are available.  White is the most popular because it produces a soft white light without harsh reflection, glare or shadow.

–The latest LED lamps are dimmable and provide illumination close to the color of halogen (3000K) and incandescent (2700K). *

*The temperature of the lamp, as relative to color appearance of the light, is represented in Kelvin’s (K), which stands for the unit of absolute temperature.  2700K is considered warm and 5000 K is considered cool light.

**Lumens provide the estimated measure of usable light produced from a light source.  It is now required that lumen output be prominently featured on bulb cartons.

Rechargeable LED Candles with flicker effects and glass vases from Bulbrite

Rechargeable LED Candles with flicker effects and glass vases from Bulbrite

Fun Facts:

  • One LED bulb may provide up to 100,000 hours or 25 years of illumination.
  • Infrared LEDs are used in remote control devices for TVs, DVDs, etc.
  • Blue LED provides great reading light for older adults; some people have reported that they can read for hours without eyestrain using blue LEDs.
  • Amber LEDs do not attract flying insects as much as ordinary bulbs so they are ideal for patio and deck illumination.
  • Efficient LED light bulbs use only 2-10 watts of electricity!

***www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ssl/sslbasics_ledbasics.html

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment on LED Buyers Guide: LED (Light Emitting Diode) and the Future of Home Illumination

  1. Charles @ LED Menus
    June 29, 2015 at 1:53 pm (2 years ago)

    These are impressive LED products!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *