LED means Light Emitting Diodes. They are small but efficient bulbs. Solid State Lighting or SSL technology is used in LED bulbs. Light is emitted from the solid matter in SSL instead of gas, which is used in CFL or vacuum in incandescent bulb.
LED bulb basics
An LED emits light, when the electrons rotate around the internal structure of a semi-conductor. Semiconductor includes a positive and negative charged element.
There are holes or openings for electrons in the positive layer, while free electrons float around in the negative layer. When electricity is passed, the semi-conductor activates and the free electrons flow from negative to positive layer.
These energized electrons produce light flowing through positive charged opening.
Advantages of LED bulbs
Cool – Heat does not build up, so AC costs in your home decreases. LED generates 3.4 BTU/hour in comparison to incandescent bulbs 85.
Mercury-free – In manufacturing LED light bulbs, mercury is not used.
Long lasting – In comparison to fluorescent and incandescent (750 hours), LED bulbs last 10 times more. Some last for even 50,000 hours.
Durable – LED bulbs are solid and have no filament, so they can withhold bumping and jarring well. Filaments break or get damaged in specific circumstances.
Very efficient – LED bulbs use 2-17 watts electricity, which is 1/3rd to 1/30th times less in comparison to power used by CFL. You can save from less electricity bills and replacement of bulb cost as LED bulbs last longer.
Cost-effective – LED’s are expensive initially, but the cost is covered over time. The cost of LED light bulbs has decreased considerably in a couple of years and are continuously going down.
Today, varieties of LED bulbs are being designed, but you have to consider certain things.
How to choose LED bulbs
- Estimated required brightness – For the required brightness level use wattage given on the package to compare illumination. Lumen is used to measure alleged brightness, so higher lumens means brighter bulb.
- Select warm or cool light – Warm light is basically used for small spaces and white cool light is best for task lighting.
- 3-way bulb – The 3-way LED bulbs replace the 30, 60 & 75 W incandescent bulbs. It consumes 80% less power and can be used everywhere.
- Standard or pin base – You get to see several kinds of pin or screw based sockets for track or recessed lighting.
- Select between dimmable and standard bulbs – Dimmable bulbs are available that work ideally on standard dimmer switch.
- Select quality – Quality selection is vital because low quality chip fail easily.
- Certifications – look at the certifications, which include FCC, UL and Energy Star
Common styles include:
- Diffused bulbs
- Dimmable globe
- Track lighting
- Flood reflector
- Flame tip
- LED tube lights
LED bulb colours
Commonly used colour white or clear, but for special applications you can buy different colours.
LEDs have taken over household lighting. Big lighting companies are now investing in solid-state lighting technology.