Transform your Los Angeles Lighting Fixtures by Switching to LEDs
When it comes to lighting fixtures, the talk these days is all about LEDs and their many advantages. If you are one of the many environmentally conscious citizens of Los Angeles and are prepared to make an initial investment for lower running costs, then switching to LED lighting will suit you.
What is LED lighting?
LED stands for light emitting diode. An LED bulb contains a semi-conductor which emits light when an electric current passes through it. LEDs have been used for many years in remote control devices, digital watches and clocks, and more recently have become a popular option for commercial and residential lighting.
What are the Advantages?
LEDs have the longest life span of any type of light bulb. Although the actual life will depend on how it is used, manufacturers give an estimate of bulb life in multiples of 1,000 hours. Incandescents have the shortest life span at around 1-2,000 hours, halogens about 2,000 hours, CFLs (compact florescent lamps) 10,000 hours and LEDs 25,000 hours or more. Switching on and off does not shorten the life of LEDs as it does for some other types of bulb. LEDs start to fade towards the end of their life so you get a warning to replace them before you are left in the dark.
As much as 80% of the energy used in traditional incandescents is given off as heat which is counter productive in a warm environment. In contrast, LEDs use 80%-90% of the energy in light production.
Low Running Costs
Lighting accounts for around 20% of electricity bills. LEDs offer the most cost effective choice in terms of running costs. For equivalent light levels, LEDs use 90% less electricity than incandescents, while CFLs use 60-80% less and halogens 20-30% less. A 60W incandescent bulb can be replaced by a 13W LED to deliver the same level of light.
LEDs contain no toxic substances and are fully recyclable. In addition, they emit very little light in the infrared and ultra violet (UV) parts of the spectrum, making them the ideal choice for illuminating art works, fabrics, antiques and other objects that could be damaged by UV exposure.
Individual LEDs are tiny, making them suitable for use in small areas, and they provide directional rather than diffuse light, so they can be closely focused and energy is not wasted spreading light where it is not needed. LEDs can be combined in any shape and in a range of colors to produce fantastic variety. Color changing, strobing and fading can all be controlled from a computer or other device to create effects for theaters, special events, retail displays, or even your Christmas tree.
What are the Disadvantages?
The principal disadvanatge of LEDs is the upfront cost. Individual bulbs are more expensive than other types of light bulb. However, taking a view of the cost over the life of the bulb, including the cost of the electricity used, the price of LEDs is comparable to that of CFLs and much cheaper than incandescents.
Not all LEDs are dimmable and special dimmer switches are required for those that are.
While LEDS work well in cooler temperatures, making them suitable for outdoors in winter in many parts of the country, excess heat can stop them from working, so they have to be fitted with a heat sink for use in a wide range of temperatures.
Blue Light Hazard
There is some evidence, not in humans, that prolonged and heavy exposure to blue light from LEDs may cause damage to eyes. Staring directly into any light source is not a good idea.
Overall, LEDs have many advantages to recommend them. If you want to make the switch to LEDs and give your lighting fixtures a new lease of life, call your local Los Angeles electricians for advice today.
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