A test by Consumer Reports in the USA has found that, although the majority of consumers in America are using CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) in their homes, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are the better choice in the long-run. Despite their higher price tag, the research recommended LED bulbs to American citizens and states that “LEDs have some real advantages”. Figures are similar in the UK; many households still use incandescent light bulbs, but with the last phase of the EU ban now in place, mass switching to LED bulbs is taking place, and many are discovering these advantages for themselves.
Unlike many older bulbs, LED lamps do not have a filament, which means they cannot burn out and they don produce any wasteful heat energy. The illumination is caused solely by the movement of electrons within a semi-conductor, typically aluminium-gallium-arsenide. As a result of this, LEDs have higher luminous efficiency than halogen or incandescent bulbs, which required high levels of heated metal to become illuminated. These older bulbs generated a lot of useless heat energy, making the electricity demands unnecessarily high. The lack of heat output in the LED light bulbs means that the electricity consumed can go directly to creating light energy rather than creating heat for the purpose of creating light.
The report in the US also remarked that, although LED bulbs cost slightly more than halogen bulbs, the money is well-invested as they last much longer. With life spans of up to 50,000 hours (possible usage of over 20 years when used for an average of 6 hours per day), the initially higher investment when purchasing an LED bulb results in very high savings. These savings manifest themselves, both in outright savings on purchasing less replacement bulbs, and also in energy and electricity costs; a standard 4-watt LED GU10 light bulb can save the average household around £135.00 over the course of its considerable lifespan, and will produce the same level of illumination as a 40-watt bulb.
Many of the consumers interviewed before the report expressed concern about switching to LED bulbs because of the myth that they produce a cold and stark light which doesn’t create an inviting home environment. However, the report found this was a false allegation. We found that some LEDs have the same warm glow as incandescent, said Consumer Reports’ Dan DiCerico after the research was published. Available in attractive colour temperatures such as Warm White and Daylight, LED bulbs are fast losing their ‘bleak and cold’ tag and are becoming favourites for those attempting to create a cosy and appealing domestic atmosphere.
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Created by Steve Ellwood on 14th September, 2012
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