Gone are those days when choosing a light bulb was so simple and inexpensive. You just need to choose a 40, 60 or a 100-watt bulb, depending on how much brightness you require. There was just one size and one design, and you just had to screw in the bulb in the holder and you are done. Yes, we are talking about the original incandescent bulbs, which are slowly being phased out. With the growth of technology, the original light bulbs are being replaced by compact fluorescent lights (CFL) and slowly the market sees an upsurge in the demand for LED bulbs.
What are LED Bulbs?
The LED bulbs are the lights of the future, available in variety of shapes, sizes and types. LED or the light emitting diode, produces a single colour on a wavelength of various colours that range from red, blue and violet. They are different from the incandescent bulbs in the method they produce the light. While in the traditional bulbs, lights passed electricity through a filament, in CFLs, mercury is used. When it comes to LEDs, there is the use of a semi-conductor that produces a light energy when current is passed through it.
Why Are Incandescent Bulbs and CFLs Phasing Out?
Studies have shown that the original light bulbs, inspite of being very cheap, consume too much of energy. The initial low price of the bulb is offset by the fact that it uses excess energy to produce light. To get rid of this disadvantage, there came the CFL lights. They are energy-saving lights but expensive than incandescent bulbs. Another drawback of CFLs is that they are lighted using mercury. Since mercury is a dangerous heavy metal, lamp bursts could be a risky affair.
Benefits of LED bulbs
- Long life: According to studies, an LED light lasts approximately 35,000 to 50,000 hours. On the other hand, incandescent lights last not more than 750 to 2,000 hours and CFLs not more than 8,000 to 10,000 hours. Thus, in terms of longevity, LED is the best option.
- Less energy consumption: Compared to incandescent bulbs and CFLs, the LED bulbs consume very less energy.
- Durability: LEDs are also referred as Solid State Lighting (SSL). This is because, the material used is a solid material and there is no filament or bulb to break. So, these lights are less vulnerable to breakage.
- Low heat release: Another advantage of LEDs compared to conventional lights is that they do not emit heat.
- Energy-efficient: Another reason why LEDs are preferred is that they don’t emit light in all directions. They emit light in a single direction, which makes it all the more energy efficient. LED lights can be used in a wide variety of applications and even in those areas where it is not easy to install conventional light fixtures.
- Low electricity bill: When you use LED bulbs, you save more than 80 to 85% electricity. Studies have shown that emission of light of an incandescent bulb of 60 watts is equivalent to an 7-watt LED bulb. As the wattage rises, the electricity bill, too, rises.
- Eco-friendly: There will be an increased demand for LED bulbs in the near future due to the fact that they are pleasant to the eyes, emit less heat, and save energy bill, which in turn saves the environment.
Does it Make Sense to Switch to LED Lights?
Yes, it does make sense to switch to these energy-efficient lights. While in the West, LEDs have been in use in full swing in homes, streets and industries, they are slowly gaining momentum in India. In most modern homes, you do see the installation of LED lights. They have all the advantages of an incandescent bulb and power efficiency of CFLs.
The only drawback is that they are much more expensive compared to CFLs or incandescent bulbs. But, in the long run, the user tends to derive benefit by saving on the electricity bills. LED lights are thus more cost-effective than their incandescent or CFL counterparts. The choice is yours.