led light source

What is an LED Light Source? Important Things You Need To Know

An LED light source is gaining popularity nowadays. Even though technology moves faster than ever, light sources still keep on evolving, even if some are already at the end of their economic lives. Lighting is important in our homes, places of work, and community spaces. It gives illumination and a sense of safety. LED light sources are a rising star in light solutions nowadays. It has outstanding features that most consumers would pay extra for. So, why are LED light sources outstanding? Why is it becoming more popular today?

In this article, we’ll talk about LED as a light source. We’ll also discuss the benefits of LED as a light source and why it’s becoming popular today.

Getting To Know LED

LED light is an amazing piece of light source today. It works differently than traditional lighting sources like incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. When electric current passes through the LED node, it generates light that can be calibrated to different colors of the spectrum. It also doesn’t rely on heating or burning just to produce light. No special inert gases are needed for LED. Aside from lighting, it’s also used in screen technology and is considered one of the most sought-after kinds of LED technology by most consumers.

In short, LED light is famous. It’s applied in many industries and technology, which is why it’s gaining more recognition from people.

Benefits of LED Light

It Saves in Energy

One of the biggest advantages of LED lights is their energy efficiency. LED lights aren’t power-hungry. They can produce light at high lumens but only consume a fraction of the electricity cost. In general, LED light use 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also don’t generate heat and have no burning filaments or inert gases to produce light. It simply uses electrical reactions.

As you continue using LED, you’ll notice that electricity costs aren’t as high compared to other lighting options. But keep your expectations within realistic levels. Even if the LED is energy efficient, using it for prolonged hours will still add more cost to your bill. If you truly want to reduce electricity costs, shifting to LED light is the first step. You also need to reduce consumption to reduce energy costs.

It Can Last Long

Since LEDs don’t generate a lot of heat, they have a useful life that can last a decade. Incandescent lamps only last about 1,000 to 2,000 hours. Modern fluorescent light bulbs last around 20,000 to 30,000 hours. From the get-go, fluorescent light bulbs have a long useful life but that’s not the case with LEDs. Typically, LED light last a minimum of 50,000 hours. Other lower quality LEDs can last only 20,000 hours so it’s best to invest in high quality LEDs.

The average lifespan of LEDs will give you 11 years of useful life if used 12 hours a day. It can be more than that if you use it for less than 12 hours a day. That’s years of use without the hassle of frequent replacements.

It Is Good for the Environment

Because of LED’s lesser energy consumption, it proves to be a greener option than other lighting solutions. Aside from that, LEDs don’t contain harmful chemicals and gases. It doesn’t contain mercury, which can be toxic to humans in high concentrations. The reason why mercury is highlighted is because of the disposal of lightbulbs. Mercury from disposed lightbulbs to the earth and can be ingested by marine life. These high concentrations of mercury levels can go back to our tables when we eat fish and other seafood.

It is Used in Many Applications

Lastly, LED light are versatile and flexible. It can used in different applications and uses. Manufacturers can install LEDs in various shapes, sizes, and colors. They can also be used to make screens like monitors and screen panels. LEDs also have a wide color spectrum, making them perfect for displays because they can show different kinds of colors. Whether it’s indoor lighting or entertainment, LED has a role to play. And as technology advances, LED faces endless possibilities in applications and uses.

Efficiency of LEDs

LEDs are energy-efficient products because they use fewer resources to generate significant amounts of output. For only a few watts, LED lights can generate more lumens than other lighting products out there. This kind of efficiency makes LED a top choice for consumers who want to contribute to a cleaner and greener environment while getting sufficient lighting for their needs.

So, how efficient are LEDs really? Let’s go over the sample computations to better understand how it works.

Sample Scenario

Let’s say we bough a LED light bulb that produces 1600 lumens of light using 15 watts of power. The efficiency of this LED bulb can be computed by dividing lumens with watts.

LED Efficiency = 1,600 lumens / 15 watts

LED Efficiency = 32 lumens per watt

Is 32 lumens per watt a good number? Well, we can only know if we compare it to another lighting source. For illustration purposes, let’s use an incandescent light bulb.

An incandescent light bulb that produces 1,600 lumens consumes 100 watts of power. The efficiency of an incandescent bulb would be:

Incandescent Efficiency = 1,600 lumens / 100 watts

Incandescent Efficiency = 16 lumens per watt

Now, that gave us more perspective. We, therefore can say that LED is more energy efficient because it produces 32 lumens per watt of power, while an incandescent lamp only produces 16 lumens.

Assuming the cost of electricity is $0.25 per kilowatt hour, here’s how both lighting solutions fair if used at 12 hours per day for 30 days:

  • LED: 12 hours x 15 watts / 1,000 x $0.25 kWH x 30 days = $1.35 per month
  • Incandescent: 12 hours x 100 watts / 1,000 x $0.25 kWH x 30 days = $9 per month

Indeed, the electric cost of an incandescent is even more expensive than a cup of coffee at Starbucks, which is only priced at around $5 to $6. In countries where electricity is expensive, LED can help ease the monthly cost of electricity.

Cost Considerations

Though we’ve partially discussed cost in the previous section, let’s discuss the other factors of LED cost in this section. Here are some items that you need to consider:

  1. Initial investment: The cost of LED bulbs in the market is expensive at higher wattage. For instance, standard bulbs typically range from $5 to $10 per bulb, depending on the brand. Less popular brands can go as low as $2 per bulb, but there’s no assurance of longevity. However, popular brands can even reach as high as $15, while smart bulbs range from $20 to $50. 
  2. Replacement: Replacing busted LED bulbs only occurs once every 10 years, given that the bulb was not damaged due to force majeure. If buy LED today, you can expect to replace it in the next eight to 10 years, depending on usage.

LED Payback Period

For example, we purchased 10 15-watt LED bulbs to replace 20 units of 15-watt fluorescent bulbs. We’re aiming to cut costs because 10 LED bulbs can produce the same lumen output as 20 fluorescent bulbs. We use these bulbs 12 hours a day for 30 days, and the electricity cost is $0.25 per kilowatt-hour. The cost of each bulb is $10.

  • LED initial investment: 10 bulbs x $10 = $200
  • Electricity cost of fluorescent bulbs = 12 hours x 20 bulbs x 15 watts / 1,000 x $0.25 kWH x 30 days = $27 per month
  • Electricity of LED bulbs = 12 hours x 10 bulbs x 15 watts / 1,000 x $0.25 KWH x 30 days = $13.5 per month
  • Savings with LED = $27 – $13.5 = $13.5 per month
  • Payback Period = $200 / $13.5 = 14.8 months or one year and two months.

Hence, in just one year and two months, we’ve already recovered the initial investment cost of $200. But LEDs can last for up to 11 years. For the next ten years, we’re saving more because we’ve already recovered the initial cost in just a year. Without accounting for inflation, the estimated savings for the next ten years would be $1,620, give or take. That’s already a lot of money!

Conclusion

LED is a disruptor in the lighting and display industry. It’s becoming a top choice in lighting our homes, public spaces, and communities. It’s energy-efficient and gives users a high return on investment after just one year of using it. So, should you transition to an LED light source? Yes, you should! 

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