Having the right lighting in your home is essential. It can help to set the mood and even save on energy costs by reducing the need for artificial lights during peak daylight hours. And no lighting option offers more bang for your buck than LED lights. As LEDs are far more efficient and last longer than incandescent light bulbs, or even fluorescents, switching from these older technologies to LEDs can produce significant cost savings over time.
In addition, the low temperature and lack of UV emissions make LEDs a safer alternative for indoor spaces. If you’re thinking about making the switch to best led lighting, we’ve got you covered with this quick introduction to LED lights and how they work. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about LED Lighting
What is LED Lighting?
LED stands for light-emitting diode, a type of semiconductor that produces light when current flows through it. Each diode is usually contained within a tiny package that combines the semiconductor with other materials such as a phosphor coating to reflect the light and a heat sink to draw away excess heat. When current moves through an LED, it creates a chemical reaction that generates photons inside the semiconductor.
These photons are then released through the device’s two sides. By controlling the current and voltage, the light’s color and brightness can be set. LED lighting is more than a decade old and has evolved from technological curiosity to a staple in homes and commercial buildings. Most experts agree that LEDs are the future of indoor lighting, with predicted market growth of as much as 50% per year.
How Do LED Lights Work?
LED lights work by producing light through an excitation process. Electricity passing through a semiconductor material creates photons. These photons travel through a phosphor coating that converts them into visible light. The light then travels through a lens and reflects off a reflector, or inside the housing of the lamp, before it exits the device.
LEDs are semiconductors. A semiconductor is a material that has neither a complete nor an incomplete electrical conductivity. Silicon and germanium are two examples of semiconductors. There are two types of semiconductor materials: a p-semiconductor, which has excess positive charge; and an n-semiconductor, which has excess negative charge.
When an electrical current is applied to a p-semiconductor, the positive charge repels the negative charge in the current. This repulsion causes electrons to break away from their atoms and flow freely through the semiconductor material. When the current is remove from the p-semiconductor, the electrons flow back to their original atoms, releasing energy in the form of photons. N-semiconductors are similar but the repulsion causes positively charged atoms to break free and flow through the semiconductor.
How to make the switch to LED lighting?
The first step to making the switch to LED lights is to find out which ones are right for your needs and home. Of course, you’ll want to start by consulting a professional, who will help you to determine which type and wattage of light would be best for your space. Here are a few tips to make the process easier:
Understand your energy usage: If you don’t know how much energy your current lights use, it will be impossible to estimate how much you’ll save with LEDs. You’ll want to either measure your current electricity usage or call your energy company to get usage estimates.
Keep in mind the lifespan of the bulbs: LEDs last much longer than incandescent bulbs, but you’ll need to account for the upfront cost of the LEDs and when you’ll actually recoup your investment.
Consider the cost per hour: While the up-front cost of LEDs is more expensive than incandescent bulbs, you’ll save money in the long run because they last so much longer. This means that the cost per hour of use is much lower for LEDs.
Keep in mind the type of light: Some LED lights produce more blue tones than others, so you’ll want to be sure to select bulbs that provide a warm, inviting light.
LED Light Colors and Quality
When shopping for LED lights, you may see terms like “daylight” or “cool white”. These are generally used to describe the color of light emitted by a particular bulb. Daylight bulbs: These bulbs emit a warm, yellow light. They’re great for creating a cozy, indoor atmosphere or for growing plants indoors.
However, they’re not very good for reading or other activities in which a cool, blue light might be better suited. Cool white bulbs: These bulbs emit a cool, blue light. They’re great for reading, computer work and other indoor activities where a blue light is more beneficial. When choosing your LED bulbs, you’ll want to make sure that you select ones that provide a warm enough light for your needs.
Limitations of LED Lighting
While LEDs are generally considered safe for indoor use, there are a few limitations of which you should be aware. The first is that LEDs generally have a higher wattage than incandescent bulbs of equivalent brightness. For example, a 60-watt incandescent bulb may produce about 800 lumens, whereas an equivalent LED bulb may produce only 600 lumens.
This means that while you may use fewer watts with an LED, you’ll need to make sure that you have enough wattage to provide the brightness you want. You may also want to consider using lower-wattage LEDs in areas where brightness isn’t as important. Another factor to keep in mind is that, like other types of bulbs, LEDs will dim with age. This means that after a few years, your bulbs may not produce as much light as they did when they were new.
Which Type of LED Light Should You Buy?
When selecting the best LED light for your needs, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First, you’ll want to know how much power the light will use. While watts are an important factor, they don’t tell the whole story. You’ll also want to know how many lumens the light will produce. These two factors will help you to determine how many watts you need and how many lamps you’ll need for a given area.