Everything you need to know about LED lighting

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LED lighting is widely used in the home lighting industry. LED bulbs, LED strips, LED spotlights are used in all rooms of the house: living room, kitchen, bedroom, garage, bathroom. They are also used outdoors to light up walkways and terraces.

LED derives from the English term Light Emitting Diode and refers to a “diode emitting light”. In France, it is called LED or Light Emitting Diode.  It is also called SSL, or Solid State Lighting in English. It is an electronic component that allows the passage of electric current in one direction and simultaneously emits light.

Note that LED lighting is environmentally friendly and more efficient than conventional lighting. Indeed, it consumes little energy. LED bulbs are part of the low consumption range.

These characteristics are important to emphasize, because conventional lighting currently accounts for 12% of the electricity consumption of a home, alongside hot water and heating. Choosing LED lighting can only reduce the electricity bill of a household due to its good energy efficiency.

How LED lighting works

LEDs use the principle of luminescence, more precisely electroluminescence. Thus, they light up thanks to the light emitted by the passage of an electric current. Their unit of measurement is the lumen or lm.

The principle on which LED lighting is based is the production of a deficit of electrons in a given area and a surplus in another area. A photon is then generated at the junction between the two areas of material by recombining electron “holes”.

Lifetime of LED lighting

different bulbs

The operating time of LED lighting is very long (around 30 000 hours). This has a significant impact on the ecology.

Its use can therefore reach several decades and greatly exceeds that of other types of conventional lighting. In fact, incandescent lighting has a life of only 1,000 hours, compared to 2,000 hours for halogen lighting, and 10,000 hours for compact fluorescent lamps.

So LED lighting lasts 8 to 10 times longer than conventional lighting with an energy expenditure 4 to 5 times lower.

Therefore, it is obvious that LED bulb needs to be replaced less frequently, which can effectively improve the return on the initial investment.

Light emission

LED lights emit waves of monochromatic nature. The factors involved in the color are the nature of semiconductor materials, since they determine the wavelength emitted by LED lighting.

LED lighting offers maximum brightness from the moment it is switched on. LED lighting sources work in regular alternation between the on and off function of the LED bulb. This means that they instantly emit the desired light output without any change in speed. Therefore, this lighting system can be beneficial for outdoor lighting such as sidewalks and parking lots.

LED modules can be installed in a light fixture or integrated with specific electronic equipment. They will facilitate the management of LED lighting, such as presence detector or daylight sensitivity.

Cost of LED lighting

LED lighting has been strongly contested for its rather high cost in recent years, hence the price has dropped in the current market.

For example, in 2017, the price hovered around 5 euros in Europe and around 7 dollars in America for a LED bulb that lights up as much as a 60 W incandescent bulb, and slightly less than 10 euros or 12 dollars for the equivalent of a 75 W power.

As LED technology continuously advances, the performance of LED lighting evolves regularly and changes every 2 years, which allows to decrease the price by about 20% every year. Also thanks to the massive deployment of LED lighting in the market, which is worth billions of dollars in 2017 according to LED Inside, prices have largely dropped. This is to the delight of LED lighting consumers.

Luminous efficiency

LED lighting produces a light output of up to 100 lumens per watt. This efficiency is mainly due to the heat produced by the diodes. LED lighting products currently on the market have a much higher energy efficiency than halogen or incandescent. In fact, they are nearly 10 times more efficient than conventional lighting.

LED lamps with an A++ rating are the most efficient. They provide comfortability and high quality lighting.

Cold and shock resistance

LED lighting works well at low temperature and low voltage, which can be a crucial factor for the electrical safety of a building.  LED lamps heat up only at 32°C when turned on. In contrast, compact fluorescent lamps can reach a temperature of 70°C and incandescent lamps 150°C!

LED lighting products are also generally resistant to small shocks and vibrations. This makes them a reliable and safe type of lighting.

Safe to use

Using LED lighting does not present any health risk. Indeed, the proposed products are not made of mercury and are for the most part recoverable.  Their residues are not harmful to health, unlike the so-called compact fluorescent lamps.

Ecological light

The environmental impact of LED lighting is up to 85% less than that of conventional lighting. This is mainly due to the long life of this type of lighting and their luminous efficiency, as mentioned above.

In addition, the recycling of LED lighting is facilitated by the absence of harmful and toxic substances. LED lamps also consume much less energy than conventional lamps and produce less heat.

As LED lighting is still new, research is still underway to assess its ecological impact. In particular, recycling techniques need to be improved. Nevertheless, it is their ecological character that has made them a serious alternative to the old incandescent lamps.

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