LED stands for light-emitting diode, a semiconductor device that produces light when electrical current is passed through it. LEDs represent solid state lighting (SSL).
How are LEDs different?
Well-designed LED lights are more efficient and longer lasting. Traditional incandescent bulbs work by heating a filament in a non-combustible gas such as argon. Most of the energy is actually wasted as heat. LEDs are much cooler to the touch because they use electricity more efficiently, and are usually outfitted with a heat sink to disperse excess heat.
LEDs are typically amber, green, red, or blue. What we think of as white light is actually a blend of different LEDs, or the LEDs are coated in a phosphor substance to give off the right color. LEDs are commonly used as signal indicators, such as the power or warning lights on electrical devices.
LEDs are now being incorporated into fixtures and bulbs for general interior lighting. LEDs are so small that they allow for many design possibilities. Some fixtures may use light bulbs while others have LEDs permanently built in.
With old televisions, the picture tube accounted for 80% of energy use. It takes far less power to illuminate LEDs. Today’s LED TVs use far less power and can be made much flatter and lighter. LED bulbs use about 60-75% less electricity than standard bulbs. LEDs allow us better energy management, more efficient design, better performance, and the incorporation of other electronic features.
For instance, modern lighting systems are often equipped with time and motion sensors so they can activate when a person enters a room, and shut off moments after everyone is gone. This saves additional energy over the days when people forgot to turn lights off when leaving a room.
Incandescent bulbs burned out after about 1,000 hours of use. Although LED bulbs are more expensive, they can last for 50,000 hours or more, resulting in greater long-term savings.
Better for the environment:
Incandescent bulbs are cheap, but also bad for the environment. In manufacturing, traditional bulbs caused considerable CO2 to be released into the atmosphere. The fact that they burned out quickly caused many more to be consumed and become trash that was of both safety and environmental concerns. Even fluorescent lighting, while much more efficient than incandescent lights, contains mercury which is highly toxic.
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