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Get lit with some LED knowledge!
You may recall a previous blog about lights (check it out here), but we were not done. Read on to find out some more information on LED lights and when and how to use them in just the right place.
When you think of LED lights, do you think bright cool white lights that might seem a bit blue in tone? We are here to help you think about the light at the end of the tunnel, a few options and why to choose LED (if you haven’t already).
So, what is LED you ask? LED = light emitting diode…which to break it down means it has an electrical current pass through a microchip, which then illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and . . . wah lah, you have light!
Fun fact #1: to prevent performance issues in LEDs, the head that the LED bulb produces is absorbed into a heat sink (which is a heat exchanger that absorbs thermal energy generated by an LED module and dissipates the thermal energy into the surrounding ambient air). Where are all our science peeps at? Because of the way heat is redirected in LEDs they are simply safer.
Fun fact #2: LED is 90% more efficient than incandescent light bulbs. The lifespan of LED lights is determined by when it starts to dim by 30%. What that means is LEDs don’t show its end of its life with a flicker, flash and pop but more so with a dimmed light that slowly dims over time. LEDs can last 15 times longer and that means big savings!
So, when is it best to use LEDs in your home?
Think of the spaces where you have a lot of recessed cans or lights are up high. You likely will want to change those are little as you can and LEDs are the perfect solution. When it comes time to change the bulb you actually will be changing the whole fixture . . . you know, in like 30 or so years.
Dimmable spaces and fixtures – who doesn’t want to set the mood with some LEDs?
Under cabinet lighting – LED strip lighting is even and eliminates your counter hot spots, but requires a transformer so don’t forget to plan for the little box in your design.
In just the bulb! Did you know you can get old fashioned “Edison bulbs” in LED, so you don’t have to compromise on the look.
Christmas lights… we would be silly not to mention this as we come up on the Christmas season.
Before jumping in the car to go invest a small savings on LEDs, we have a few important things to think about and research on in your own home.
1-Know they will cost more, but the payoff is worth it and they cost less than you think! Energy Star states for a 9W Energy Star certified LED bulb with 800 lumens it only cost $1.26 per YEAR! Check to see how many you need and can you start small and work up to the big changes. Start with the areas you can do yourself like lamps and save the bigger jobs like recessed can lights for the electrician.
2- Check the Kelvin as they range from your incandescent “yellows” 2700K up to your clear bright blues 7000k. The middle ground of 3000k-3500k is the perfect blend between the two.
3- Brightness is measured in lumens, not watts. Lumens indicate light output. Watts indicated energy used. This little chart from Energy Star is handy when converting from standard bulbs to LED and knowing what lumens you will be looking for on the box.
4- LEDs contain no mercury and are at least 95% recyclable! Go give mother earth a high five!
5- They can have some downfalls too like flickering, typically due to power supply issues, being loose, low quality LED or improper dimmer set up to name a few. They can also buzz, which indicates that you have a overload on the circuit. They also can feel not as bright which could be a loose wire, improper power supply, and or aging. Glare can be another issue, but simply adjusting the light beam more directional is a easy fix. While all of these are not common if properly installed, they are good to know and keep in your back pocket.
Fun facts #3: An incandescent lamp converts about 9-10 percent of the energy fed to it into light, whereas LEDs convert nearly 100 percent of the energy they consume as light.
Did you know?
Did you know that LED was invented by Nick Holonyak Jr. in 1963 while he was working for General Electric. If a LED light bulb was left on and never turned off, it would have a 3-year life span. The Times Square ball is made up of 32,256 individual LED lights – whoa baby! Shortly after reading this blog, we will be bringing in the New Year and looking at things in a different light!
Cheers to LEDs!