LED Lighting

by April Reinhardt
(last updated May 2, 2016)

If you're like most baby boomers or from earlier generations, when you think of office or overhead lighting, you envision fluorescent bulbs, and when you think of home lighting, you think of the familiar incandescent light bulbs. But the next time you purchase light bulbs for your lamps, take a look at the LED lights that are offered for home use. The main difference between incandescent and LED lamps is the filament versus the electronic chip used to generate the beam of light. That is, the incandescent bulb uses a filament, and LED lights use a light-emitting diode (thus, the initials L.E.D.).

LED lighting is part of a type of lighting referred to as solid-state lighting (SSL), which incorporates the use of solid-state electroluminescence, rather than thermal radiation to emit light. Because it doesn't use thermal radiation to emit light, SSL generates light while creating very little heat.

In my own household, we're slowly making the switch from incandescent bulbs to LED lighting. We started with nightlight in the hallway that uses a LED lamp. Since it is such a bright white/blue lamp, we painted the bulb with red fingernail polish and it tones down the bright white quite a bit. Here are some points to consider if you're contemplating using LED lighting in and around your home:

  • Hot, but not. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs produce very little heat. If you've ever changed a hot incandescent bulb, then you know how the bulb can burn your fingers. If you touch an LED bulb, it will not burn at all since they produce 95% less heat than incandescent bulbs.
  • Long lasting. LED lights can last up to one hundred times longer than incandescent bulbs and up to ten times longer than fluorescent bulbs. Since you'll need to change bulbs less frequently, you'll save money in the long run by purchasing LED lighting.
  • Versatile. You can use LED lights in and around your home and rest easy in the knowledge that it is safe to use around children and pets. If they touch the lighting, they won't be burnt. The lights will not shatter, either. With traditional lighting, you run the risk of shattering a bulb if you drop it or run into it. With LEDs, the casings are high density plastic, and will not easily shatter upon impact.

Use LEDs if you're concerned about helping the environment, because they are extremely eco-friendly. LEDs use a fraction of the energy of traditional lighting, and lend themselves well to a variety of uses, including solar lighting and other renewable energy sources. LEDs use lower wattage than incandescent bulbs, translating into energy and money savings for the consumer.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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