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RELEASE TIME:2016-4-13 18:40:45


Incandescent bulbs have been in use for well over 150 years. They have been the most prominent electrical lighting choice for all that time, producing their trademark yellow glow for generation after generation. In recent years, however, there has been a steady decline in sales of incandescent bulbs, primarily due to the development of compact fluorescent lights and now most recently, LEDs. In this article we are going to focus on LEDs, showing why it might be time to finally throw out the old incandescent bulb and embrace these more efficient light sources.
What Are They?
To show why an LED is a better choice than an incandescent bulb, we have to understand how each works.
Incandescent Lights : These bulbs have changed little in their long illustrious history. An incandescent bulb is comprised of a metal fitting which plugs into an electrical source. This is normally either bayonet or screw shaped in design. The metal fitting is wired to a piece of tungsten inside. This is called the filament and is surrounded by either a vacuum or an inert gas (a gas which doesn’t react to heat or electricity). All of this is encased in a glass bulb. When electricity passes through the metal fitting and into the tungsten, the filament begins to glow. This is because the atoms inside become excited and tiny subatomic particles zip through the tungsten causing the atoms to give off energy in the form of heat and light. The more electricity which is passed into the bulb, the brighter the light produced.
LEDs : LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs are made up of a material called a semiconductor. When an electrical current is passed through this solid material, its individual atoms become excited and release energy in the form of light.
The Advantages of LEDs Over Incandescent Lights
LEDs are fast replacing incandescent bulbs all over the world. Reasons for this include:
No Heat : LEDs produce little or no heat compared to incandescent bulbs. This means there is a reduced risk of accidental burns or fires, as well as not overheating an environment which can cause discomfort. This is of concern not just in warmer climates, but also when incandescent lights are used in a public venue such as a bar or theatre.
Solid : Because LEDs are made from a solid material, they are much more durable than incandescent bulbs. Dropping or bashing an LED by accident is not as big a risk as it is with an incandescent light which will smash, rendering it inoperable and dangerous due to broken glass.
Savings : LEDs last much longer than their incandescent counterparts. A standard incandescent bulb will last for a maximum of 1500 hours while an LED can last for up to 60,000! This means far fewer changes, which means lower maintenance costs. In the past LEDs were much more expensive, but now their initial cost completely justifies the savings which can be made in the long term.
Energy : Most LEDs consume only a fraction of the electricity that an incandescent bulb does. This means far lower energy bills. This is especially important for larger properties which can amass huge monthly bills. LEDs cut costs significantly in the long term.
Environment : Due to lower power consumption, LEDs are better for the environment, contributing less to climate change.
Colour : In order to change the colour of an incandescent bulb it has to be coated in a special, non-combustible paint. This is not exactly pleasing to the eye. LEDs come in a variety of colours making them more adaptable, that’s why they can be used for almost any lighting situation.
Variable : Some LEDs can change colour allowing them to cycle through the light spectrum. This is great for decorations, especially at Christmas time!
Smaller : LEDs are typically quite small and due to their design do not require a bulbous appearance. This is great for situations such as ceiling downlights where LEDs can sit flush with the roof without protruding. They can also be installed in more intimate spaces than incandescent bulbs.
Directional : Because LED lights are far more directional in the way that they produce light, they are perfect as spotlights. Incandescent bulbs on the other hand are more omni-directional which means that they are not as good at highlighting a specific space or object. This makes LEDs perfect for more elaborate lighting situations where it is more desirable to highlight features of a room or exterior.
Temporary : LED lights do not necessarily require a mains supply of electricity. They can in fact be battery powered which is why they are perfect for temporary lighting in any environment, even where a mains supply is not present. Battery powered LED light strips are a great option for this type of situation.
The incandescent bulb has had a long history, but with the advent of cheaper and more reliable LED lights on the market, it may well of had its day.



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