LED lights are one of the most popular types of lighting for all kinds of fixtures. They are considered the safest and most efficient choice among other types of lights. You’ll find them in everything from light bulbs to string lights. And they are almost always available wherever lights are sold. But most people don’t know exactly what LED lights are and how they can save them money. Here’s what you need to know.
What are LED lights?
LED is short for light emitting diode. They work by passing an electrical current through a microchip that lights up the LED. They run much cooler than other types of light bulbs because of the heat sinks they use to absorb the heat. This also keeps them working longer. In fact, LED lights can last for years without having to be replaced. And according to the Department of Energy, LEDs are about 90 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs (the most commonly used bulb).
Types of LED lights
Until fairly recently, LED light selections were limited and usually only found in color. LED Christmas tree lights were the most common forms of LED you could find. But technology has allowed them to be used in almost every other type on the market. For example, LED household bulbs are now very common, and in fact, preferred for their energy efficiency. You can also find LED lighting in reflectors, spotlights, tubes, and string lights. LED lights are also commonly used in items like lighting in clothing or hats. This is because they stay cool to the touch and are such tiny light sources. Tube LED lights are a fairly new development made to replace fluorescent tubes. They are a little more expensive, but many people prefer the cool white light they emit to the harsh yellow glow of fluorescents.
Colors of LED light
The most common colors of LED lights, until recently, were red, blue, green, and amber. A good example of this is in things like glow sticks and other Premier Glow party supplies. LED doesn’t naturally produce white light, so different technology has to be used to create the bulbs you can buy today. To create white light, various colors of LED are converted by a phosphoric material to create the desired shade. This is unlike other types of light, which naturally produce a white glow with built-in reactions.
Other types of light
While LED is quite popular, there are several other types of bulbs that are commonly used, as well. Incandescent is still the most commonly used household bulb because of its price. It emits a slightly warm glow that many people find soft and complimentary to most skin tones. These bulbs last somewhere from 700 to 1,000 hours.
The CFL, or compact fluorescent bulb is more energy efficient than the incandescent, but usually a bit more expensive. Fluorescent bulbs are known for their harsh yellow glow, but CFLs are made to be a little calmer. These contain trace amounts of mercury, which is considered to be harmful.
Halogen bulbs are similar to incandescents. These are used for their ability to mimic natural light and are whiter than CFLs. They burn a little hotter than other lights, but are still used for their sharp brightness in areas that need extra illumination. These might be recessed or under-the-counter lights.
While there are many types of lighting to choose from, LED is rapidly becoming the most common. They might cost a little more to purchase, but most find them worth the price because of their energy efficiency and long-lasting quality.