With the rise in the popularity of LED lighting, it is reasonable that there will be misunderstandings and myths surrounding them. From believing that the light produced is overstated or that the light itself is harmful to one’s health, these concerns have been presented, corrected, and clarified.
LED Lights Cost Too Much
While they do cost more than traditional incandescent light bulbs, LEDs have become more affordable over the years. Even with this greater affordability, LED lights do still cost more for an initial investment, but with more money upfront, you will spend less money over time.
Over the course of their lifespan, LED lights consume less energy than older bulbs. This results in your household using less energy than before to power your lighting system, as well as in a decreased electricity bill every month.
More Economical Over Time
You can also save money in the decreased amount you will need to purchase new light bulbs to replace older ones. The money you spend at first is going towards a bulb that lasts longer and one that you will replace with less frequency. Incandescent bulbs may cost you more in the long run in replacements alone.
LED Lights Don’t Last
The higher initial price tag is justified by the greater amount of money you will end up saving in the long term, but that will not help unless it also has the longevity for you to see a return. This is where the second common myths about LED lighting comes from—namely, that they do not last as long as traditional light bulbs.
The candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long does not apply in this case. LED lights have been shown to have an average lifespan of around 50,000 hours, which is 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs and ten times longer than fluorescent lights.
No Sacrifice of Benefits
LEDs’ brighter lighting does not come at the cost of longevity, and LEDs do not burn out in the same way that older bulbs do. With incandescent bulbs, there is an immediate burnout when it is at the end of its life.
With LED lighting, it is different. Around the end of its 50,000-hour life, the LED bulb begins to slowly dim. This dimming is a result of the individual light sources inside each dying. This dimming will continue until the bulb is completely burnt out, or until it is changed.
LEDs Are Not That Bright
Some say that LED bulbs do not shine brighter than their older counterparts, and that it is just a cooler temperature of light that is radiated off that makes it appear brighter. This is not the case in terms of light intensity; LEDs have been proven to be brighter with more even lighting.
A Problem of Measurement
This misconception comes from lightbulb intensity initially being measured in wattage. LED lights do not use as much wattage as incandescent lights; this is due to the energy efficiency of LEDs, as they need fewer watts to function.
This incorrect method of measurement made it seem as though LEDs were inferior to incandescent bulbs, but it was later discovered that using lumens was a more appropriate way to measure lighting. Measuring lumens gives a more accurate account of light intensity, and when measured in lumens, LED lights outpace incandescent lightbulbs.
They Are Not Energy-Efficient
Some say that the energy-saving properties of LED bulbs are exaggerated or that they do not save enough on electricity to justify the purchase. However, this difference in energy efficiency can be shown in the difference in watts used between incandescent bulbs and LED bulbs.
Watts vs. Lumen
To start, watts measure how much electricity the bulb is using, and lumens measure how much light is being produced. A typical incandescent light uses about 60 watts to produce around 800 lumens, while an LED light uses roughly eight watts to produce 800 lumens. Incandescent lights use as much as seven times the electricity that LEDs use, but produce the same amount of lighting.
Efficient and Green
Modern LED bulbs are far more efficient than older light sources, making them more cost-effective on your energy bill each month, in addition to serving as a green alternative. Eco-friendly LED lights are widely available and more affordable than they have ever been, making the switch to LEDs environmentally friendly, on top of being financially friendly.
They Are Harmful To Your Health
This point can be broken down into two aspects; the first is that LED bulbs are made of hazardous material that is unsafe for one’s personal health, and the second point is that LEDs give off harmful lighting that has negative impacts on one’s physiology. One is a problem of construction, and the other is an issue of adverse side effects.
To answer the first misconception, older light bulbs such as incandescent and fluorescent lights were made out of harmful materials. These materials, such as mercury, lead, and other toxins, caused severe harm if people were exposed to them. Exposure could come from breaking the glass in inhaling the fumes the substances gave off.
Newer Construction Eliminates Old Hazards
LED lights are not constructed out of these same harmful materials, and there are no dangerous materials in their construction. The only true hazard is that in sharp edges if the light is shattered, but that is universal for all light bulbs.
A Problem of Application
The second point that claims LEDs give off harmful lighting that negatively affects people is a bit misunderstood. The lighting that is being talked about is the blue waves that certain LED lights give off. These blue waves suppress the production of melatonin in the body, the chief chemical responsible for drowsiness and sleep.
This effect in LED lighting is typically used for those who have sleeping problems, and for those with troubles staying awake during the day. This blue wavelength is used to combat drowsiness in patients to give them a regular sleep schedule and to give them more energy during the day.
Know the Proper Use
While it is true that LEDs do give off this blue wavelength light—and it is also true that it can have negative effects on those who don’t need it—it is important to note that that is improper use of LEDs. These specific lights are used for particular purposes; the average consumer LED light does not disrupt the circadian rhythm of individuals exposed to it.
LEDs vs. Older Bulbs
LED lights are still relatively new compared to incandescent and fluorescent lights, so it is normal that there are myths about LED lighting. But LEDs have been shown to output more light with fewer watts and are far more environmentally friendly, both in reduced energy consumption and in the lack of hazardous material in LED construction.