LED Bulbs: The Lighting of the Future
When looking into energy efficient lighting, many have switched over to CFLs, given their long shelf life and decreased energy consumption. However, LEDs (Light Emitting Diode) are becoming the next big thing in lighting given the fact that they are even more energy efficient and can last even longer. For the longest time, LEDs were used in out of the home projects, like construction and buildings, but now with advancements in the technology they are smaller and easy to use in the home, and more efficient than ever before. Many are predicting that LEDs will be used in over 60 percent of homes by 2020 and it is quickly catching on with the Green crowd as well as those who want to dramatically decrease their energy bills. Some of the advantages of LEDs are in the way they work. Unlike traditional bulbs or CFLs, the LED does not use gas or a filament, but instead use a small microchip to light the bulb. Due to this, LEDs have an extremely long life and can last for up to 50,000 hours or more. Because of their energy efficiency LEDs don't even get hot, proof of how much energy is saved by using them. The light they produce is natural and different glass bulbs around the LED can create different effects, just like traditional bulbs. In addition to the energy efficiency, LEDs are extremely versatile. There are many different types of LED bulb being produced these days, all to give off effects of traditional bulbs. They are available in a multitude of different colors and work with almost any lighting scheme. They can also naturally generate colored light which can make for interesting effects in places like a bathroom or a bedroom. While LEDs are point light sources they can be used for task lighting, accent lighting and generalized lighting. Point lighting also works well with some Modern design schemes such as Minimalist. LEDs also give out light immediately unlike some light bulbs that need to "warm up" first. Because of how LEDs cope with all sorts of temperatures they also work extremely well in outdoor lighting, particularly in colder climates. A neat thing about LEDs is that they are able to be dimmed to any brightness very easily so they are able to work in any sort of light ambiance you are trying to create. With the color of light and dimness this means that you have virtually limitless lighting combinations for your home. Unlike CFLs, LEDs do not need special handling to keep them from breaking since they are not toxic. They also do not need to be taken to special recycling centers although recycling them is always a good choice, particularly if you switched to LEDs to try to be green. On the subject of savings, LEDs are incredible at saving electricity. While the bulb is a bit costly at first, it pays for itself. In a study of the average wattage for lighting for a small apartment, LEDs generated 238 W, while traditional bulbs generated 1,145 W. This means that you have incredible savings on energy for lighting and you can find other things to buy with all that money. Like CFLs, when choosing to buy LEDs, you need to make sure you are getting a quality product. While you may be tempted to go for something cheaper to save on cost, cheap LEDs will cost you more in the long run. Look for a brand that is tested and will work for you in your home. If you are not ready to switch everything over, then switch just a few bulbs and lamps where you use light the most, and watch the savings roll in. More info on LED Lighting.