In the last few decades, the standard of lighting has changed in both homes and commercial buildings. In the past, incandescent and fluorescent light fixtures were the ideal light sources. While that may still be the case in some circumstances, there now exists an alternative to the older styles of light fixtures—LED light bulbs.
The differences between LED fixtures and regular light fixtures are numerous, but you will find that LEDs have the advantage in many significant aspects. These benefits have made LEDs the new standard in lighting options. Thus, you need to consider them when looking into upgrading your light fixtures.
How They Produce Light
A traditional incandescent lightbulb produces light through a small filament that sits within its glass form. Once turned on, electricity passes through the prongs holding up the filament. As it moves through this component, the electricity heats up the filament. The heat generated causes it to glow, producing the slightly orange-tinted light we are all accustomed to.
Light Through Heat Generation
Because incandescent bulbs produce light through heat, they tend to give off heat as well. This excess heat generation can result in a room warming up to uncomfortable levels, especially in areas where there are several incandescent bulbs.
The acronym “LED” stands for Light Emitting Diode, which means that this type of bulb doesn’t produce light by heating a filament. Instead, LEDs utilize electroluminescence. In other words, when electricity passes through the diode, the diode emits light.
Lighting Through Electroluminescence
Because LED bulbs do not need to power their illuminative effect with heat, the light they give off generates relatively low heat, despite being bright. This lack of heat keeps areas from becoming too hot with the installation of more LEDs.
Their Energy Consumption
The amount of energy that incandescent bulbs use is directly related to the fact that they must heat up a filament to create light. Because it takes so much constant energy to light up incandescent bulbs, they tend to use up lots of energy. On average, incandescent lights produce about 14 lumens for every watt they use.
A Drain on Your Monthly Energy Bill
While a single incandescent bulb may not result in a significant energy bill, installing many of them will cause unnecessary expenses when lighting your home or building. The more incandescent lights you have on, the more energy they will consume.
With the use of diodes instead of filaments, LEDs are far more energy-efficient than incandescent lights. When compared to the 14 lumens per watt incandescent bulbs produce, LEDs are far superior. They give off 60 to 75 lumens per watt—a five-fold increase over older bulbs.
The More You Switch, the More You Save
Just like incandescent bulbs, the more lights you switch over to LEDs, the greater the effect you will feel on your financials. While LEDs cost more initially, they will save you more money in the long term due to their energy-efficient nature. You can further save on LEDs by partnering with a commercial LED lighting supplier to sell you bulbs in bulk at a discount.
The Quality of Light
The light generated from incandescent bulbs can be sufficient in many circumstances. However, it produces relatively poor light coverage and quality when compared to LED-based light. Generally, it emanates an orangish glow that does not adequately illuminate the surrounding area.
Possible Adverse Effects
An incandescent glow also has the potential to cause headaches and eye strain over longer periods. This is because the glowing filament inside occasionally increases and decreases its light intensity rapidly. Beyond that, some incandescent bulbs may light rooms so poorly that you may need to strain your eyes further to see clearly.
LEDs come in various warm and cool colors, allowing you to switch out and pick the light temperature that is best for any given room. No matter what color you select, LEDs give off a clean, smooth, and even light throughout their surroundings.
Easier On the Eyes
As a result of their more even and consistent lighting, LEDs do not run the risk of causing eye strain. However, many LEDs produce blue wavelengths. These blue waves can suppress the production of melatonin in the body, which is the chemical responsible for drowsiness. While this may be advantageous if you suffer from fatigue or do not get enough exposure to sunlight during the day, it can negatively affect your sleeping habits when you expose yourself to it at night.
While heating a filament can produce decent amounts of light, it does not last very long relative to other light fixtures. The heat deteriorates the filament at a relatively quick rate. This results in an average lifespan of 750 to 2,000 hours for incandescent bulbs. The upper estimate equals around 166 days when the lights are active for 12 hours a day.
The filament may also suddenly fail over the course of its life, burning out and leaving the area in sudden darkness. While this may not pose a threat in many circumstances, there are situations where sudden loss of light can be dangerous. For example, situations where you’re using appliances, power tools, or performing physically laborious tasks could end in disaster if the room suddenly goes dark.
Because passing electricity through a diode is a much less physically stressful process, LEDs have much longer lifespans than any other type of light bulb. With an expected life of around 50,000 hours, an LED light can survive a decade when you keep it on for 12 hours a day.
Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs do not suddenly burn out once they reach the end of their lives. Instead, the diodes inside the bulb gradually begin to dim once they can no longer produce light. This acts as a warning signal to let you know when an LED is about to turn off and needs replacement.
Weighing Your Options
Incandescent lights have been the standard for decades, but they are becoming increasingly outdated in many contexts. While they are cheap, they provide lower-quality light while using up more energy. Incandescent bulbs also have shorter lifespans and can burn out without warning. The differences between LED fixtures and regular light fixtures are significant. But even though LEDs cost more upon initial installation, they more than cover their costs because of their extended lifespans and energy efficiency.