LED lighting, which stands for light-emitting diode, has been touted as the optimal solution for anyone’s lighting needs. But while using LEDs do carry a lot of benefits and advantages, they may not always be the best solution in all circumstances.
Traditionally, LED has been used for various purposes, such as for the colored indicator lights on electronic devices, the lights of advertising signs, brake lights, and more recently, light bulbs for home lighting. In this article, we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using LED as a lighting solution.
One of the reasons for the popularity of LED light bulbs is that they are more durable and last longer than traditional light bulbs. They also burn less electricity, which translates to less energy consumption and a lower electricity bill.
LED light bulbs are also more environmentally friendly as they do not contain mercury or other hazardous substances. They are also more energy efficient; they can light instantly, without the need for a warm-up period, and are capable of outputting 135 lumens/watt.
LED bulbs are also hardier compared to other light bulbs. They can withstand low temperatures, and will still be able to function in subzero weather. If engineered properly, they can last for around 50,000 to 100,000 hours of operation, which is not hard to understand considering that LED light bulbs do not contain filaments or tubes that are liable to break. This can easily translate to an average of a working lifespan for your LED bulb of around ten years or more.
When LED lights do degrade, they do so by gradually getting dimmer, which does carry its own advantage as compared to the sudden blowouts of regular light bulbs. The hardiness or durability of LED lights also makes for lower maintenance needs and costs.
LED lights are also different from regular light bulbs in that they do not produce heat in the same way. Incandescent light bulbs, for instance, produce both heat and light from infrared radiation. The heat generated from these light bulbs are often a factor in where they are positioned inside a home. No such heating takes place for LED lights, so they can safely be placed in locations where exposure to heat would cause problems otherwise, e.g., illumination for food, lights for pet enclosures, etc.
Also, the small size of LED lights allows them to be used in gadgets and devices like mobile phones, backlighting keypads, pen flashlights, LCD screens. Other industries, therefore, have benefited significantly from LED light technology because it drives both innovation and market advancements. In the same vein, design options for various technologies, even for lighting technology have broadened considerably because of the versatility of LED lights and the potentials for its use.
One of the drawbacks of LED lights is that they are more expensive than regular light bulbs. The price of LED is measured in price per lumen, so the brighter bulbs that can light up an entire room is quite expensive.
While LED can withstand extremely low temperatures, they do not do quite as well in higher ambient temperatures. If the ambient temperature is high, the LED package might overheat, and eventually result in the failure of a device.
LED lights also have a very short illumination range. As of now, the illumination of the scattered light that LEDs emit range only to tens of meters. This makes LEDs suitable for short-range illumination purposes, but also make them a poor choice for long-range lighting uses. Manufacturers do hope to address this issue over time.
One issue about LED lighting is that there is no standardization governing LED lights. There are industry standards with regards to LED lights that are utilized as automotive lighting and traffic signals, but there are none as of yet for LED lights used in residential homes.