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LED lighting: Why exactly is it the lighting of the future?

14th February 2013 Print

LEDs are a semiconducting light source, and are used in a variety of devices such as indicator lamps and stand-by lights. The technology was introduced in practical components in the early 1960s and consisted of low-intensity multi-coloured lights. Modern versions however are very bright, and are available across the ultraviolet, visible and infrared wavelengths.

When it comes to product manufacturing, there are many advantages and disadvantages to using LED bulbs. Most notably they are very small, and can emit coloured light without using coloured filters. Their on/off time is quick too, and LEDs that are used in mobile phones or communication devices can have even quicker response times.

LED bulbs can also be dimmed, again widening their commercial use. Finally, LEDs are shock resistant, and because they are solid-state components, they are quite resistant to external shock. This helps the LED bulb to focus its light, unlike fluorescent and incandescent ones that sometimes need external light reflectors to focus. There are also some disadvantages to LED lighting, such as how the bulb’s performance and output depends on the temperature of its environment.

Modern Day Lighting

LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are now the choice for millions of households all over the world. Not only are they eco-friendly, but the amount of energy a household can save compared to traditional incandescent light bulbs is enormous – LEDs are nearly 90 per cent more efficient. From halogen incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps, there are a number of alternatives to LED lighting, however none are as efficient. Fluorescent and incandescent bulbs shine light in all directions, wasting energy as well as heat.

LED Technology

LED lighting has the ability to save large amounts of energy in direct and indirect ways, so it’s no wonder why it’s so popular with business owners and households alike. LEDs produce intense light by supercharging electrons, and the rapidly advancing technology has helped reduce the running costs of many businesses, including air-conditioning and computer screens. Shining light in one single direction, they reduce the amount of heat produced compared to traditional incandescent or fluorescent lights, and thus reduce the energy wasted.


One of the greatest benefits of LED light bulbs is that they are very cheap to run – so cheap in fact, that it only costs $1 a year to operate an Energy Star Qualified LED bulb. In comparison, a fluorescent bulb costs $1.20 a year, and a halogen incandescent bulb costs $3.50 a year. Traditional incandescent bulbs cost a crazy $4.80 a year to run, highlighting the cost-saving measures of LED technology. Furthermore, an LED bulb also lasts a lot longer than other light sources, in some cases up to 25 years longer!

Advances in LED technology means the future looks even brighter (pardon the pun). As research in the USA continues, they hope to reduce traditional electricity demands by over 1/3, meaning savings of around $250bn could be made. It would also remove the need for more nuclear power plants.