With energy costs soaring, any savings we can make are welcome. Although LEDs were first invented in 1962, it’s only in recent years we’ve realised the full extent of their potential in terms of quality and efficiency. These days, LEDs look just like traditional bulbs and last around twenty times longer, plus prices keep getting lower. A switch to LEDs makes excellent financial sense looking at cost savings alone, but the other benefits they bring are also extremely compelling:

1) Cost efficiency
First and foremost, if you switch your bulbs to LEDs, you’ll instantly see a difference in your energy bills. LEDs use 90% less energy than traditional bulbs, so even the more expensive ones pay for themselves in just a couple of months. Add to that the fact that you need fewer bulbs for the same brightness, and that each bulb lasts on average 23 years longer than the traditional equivalent, and it becomes a no-brainer.

2) Energy efficiency
LED bulbs convert 95% of energy into light with only 5% wasted as heat, making them up to 80% more efficient than traditional bulbs. LEDs also consume much less power to give the same level of light. Globally, around 20% of electricity is consumed through lighting, so switching to LEDs has a huge impact on energy use. We can also use fewer bulbs to achieve the same brightness levels, further reducing energy consumption, as LEDs have a better quality of light distribution and focus light in one direction.

3) Longevity
LED bulbs last much longer than traditional bulbs and don’t burn out. Typically they have a lifetime of 25,000 hours, equating to over 22 years if used for 3 hours each day, whereas on average traditional bulbs last just 1,000-2,000 hours, or 1-2 years.

4) Durability
LED bulbs are made of epoxy lenses instead of glass and don’t contain a delicate filament. This makes them far more robust than traditional bulbs, as they can withstand vibrations or knocks. They’re also suitable for all environments, operating well in all conditions, from hot and humid to sub-zero temperatures.

5) Safety
Although LED bulbs provide a similar level of light to a traditional bulb, they do so at a much lower wattage with almost no excess heat. This removes the fire hazard that traditional bulbs posed, especially when the wattage was higher than recommended for the lampshade or light covering. Also LEDs contain no toxic elements, in contrast to the traces of mercury found in the majority of halogen or fluorescent lights.

6) Environmentally friendly
LEDs use much less energy to produce the same amount of light as other types of bulbs, plus they are made from fewer components and more recyclable materials, reducing their negative impact on the environment. They also last up to six times longer than any equivalent light source, so fewer bulbs need to be made. This means less resources are needed for manufacturing, packaging and transportation. LEDs are also easier to recycle than traditional bulbs.

7) Versatility
LEDs come in all fittings, sizes and wattages so every bulb can be replaced. For a long time, LEDs were thought of as only producing a cool, blue-toned light, but warm and coloured lights are now de rigueur. Another objection was that they couldn’t be used with dimmer switches, but that’s not the case either, you just need to make sure to use a switch that recognises low electrical loads, and this should be clearly stated on the packaging. And while the colour rendering index, or CRI, can vary more with LEDs than with traditional bulbs, if you use the same brand within a room or area in your home, you’ll be able to achieve consistency.

8) Utility
These days most lighting fittings can happily accommodate LED bulbs without the need for modification. The huge advances in recent years mean they now look almost identical to their traditional filament and halogen counterparts. LEDs also give out light almost instantly when they’re switched on and they are flicker-free. There’s even evidence to suggest that LEDs attract fewer insects than traditional bulbs.

LED R&D continues apace, with new types of lighting and smart bulbs a reality. In addition, LED prices are getting lower while their efficiency continues to improve. As energy prices seem set to keep rocketing long-term, it’s hard to think of a reason not to make the switch.

At HeatELEC we can help you with any questions you might have about LEDs – just give us a shout.