LED Bulbs: Everything You Need To Know
May We Reintroduce You To The LED?
LEDs get a bad rap. This is largely due to the first impression they made when they first came to market. Initially, they were bright, so bright, in fact, they were almost hard to look at. They had a funny bluish tint, and altered the colors of the objects they illuminated, giving them a “muddy” appearance.
Thanks to technological advancements within the industry, LED bulbs can essentially do everything incandescents can, but better, because they do it with a fraction of the energy.
What is LED lighting, really?
LEDs, or light emitting diodes, operate based on semiconductor technology. LEDs contain two types of semiconductors: n and p types. Essentially, when a voltage is applied, electrons zip from one semiconductor to the other. When an electron fills a “hole” where another electron used to be, it releases a photon, better known as light. This effect is called electroluminescence.
Electroluminescence, as a light source, provides a lot of benefits that incandescents don’t. Aside from lower energy consumption, LEDs emit less heat, making the bulbs cool to the touch while lasting significantly longer. This technology allows the lights to take practically any shape, including traditional-looking fixtures, extremely low profile LED flush mounts, or even unobtrusive commercial LED lighting.
Are LEDs Dimmable?
LEDs were not always dimmable. To this day, some aren’t. Make sure before purchasing, that the LED bulb you are interested in is not only dimmable, but is compatible with the dimmer switch you have in mind. All LED bulbs sold on Lights.com are dimmable using a standard dimmer.
This means the LED is built into the product. It typically takes the shape of the product and allows for an evenly distributed light output. The downside is you cannot change the bulbs after they burn out. This is not always a concern, as most LED light bulbs will last a lifetime.
LED Fun Fact
“The City of Los Angeles estimates it will see at least $7 million in electricity savings and $2.5 million in avoided maintenance costs annually with the switch to LED street lights. Street lighting can account for up to 40% of a city"s electricity bill, according to Eric Woods, writing at the Navigant Research blog. The LED fixtures used in Los Angeles . . . consume about 63% less electricity, and last much longer, than the high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures they replaced.” Justin Gerdes, Forbes
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