You have probably heard of LED, more scientifically known as “light emitting diode” lights, especially if you’re shopping for computer monitors or a new, flashy HD television for your living room. You may have also heard of the term when purchasing a new desk lamp, a table lamp, or even a new floor lamp. It’s safe to say that LED light bulbs are everywhere these days and that you might have a lot of questions related to them.
The biggest questions asked about LEDs pertain to its benefits and its shortcomings—these are reasonable questions. Whether you’re shopping for LED light bulbs at an online store like Atlanta Light Bulbs, it’s important to know what the positive and negative effects of LED lights are. Let’s take a look at them now!
The Positive Effects of LED Lights
Let’s get the good news out there first because there are a lot of benefits to using LED lights for your home.
- Energy Efficiency
Said on its own, energy efficiency sounds pretty nice. It definitely is a nice thing and it’s something that folks will notice when they purchase something like a large size flat screen television to replace their old liquid crystal display (or LCD) television. It might not be in the short term that they notice it, but they will indeed notice it when they look at their bank statement at the end of the year.
This is because LEDs spend much less energy, whether it’s a bulb hanging over your head or a bulb that’s placed within your television. It may not seem like it in the short term (and we will get into that later), but LEDs will indeed give you more power in the long term. Specifically, LED bulbs offer about ten times more power than incandescent bulbs, which can add up to approximately 60,000 hours of power.
- Overall Environmental Benefits
This may seem a bit more abstract, but environmental friendliness is a major benefit to utilizing LED lights and LED-based technology in your home or office. While you were looking at your end of the month or end of the year bill and marveling at how much money you saved, it would also do you well to look at how much energy you saved!
The reason for this is that light emitting diodes actually consume less energy than incandescent bulbs and similar technology. Specific aspects of LED lights—like brightness—outdo specific aspects of incandescent lights, in terms of wattage. For example, a 7-watt LED bulb produces the same amount of brightness as a 60-watt incandescent bulb. In addition to that, LED bulbs don’t produce the same toxic materials as incandescent bulbs, such as mercury.
The Negative Effects of LED Lights
- Other Environmental Concerns
While light emitting diodes are energy efficient and avoid many of the toxic materials found in incandescent lights, there have been more toxic materials found in LED lights. For example, a 2010 study found that arsenic and many other substances that could pose a danger when exposed to humans. While these types of toxins don’t necessarily cause cancer, they can definitely cause health problems with certain members of the population.
This isn’t to say that the benefits of using LED lights are outweighed by the potential problems with using LEDs. For example, there are much stronger correlations with the use of non-LED fluorescent light bulbs and carcinogenic agents. However, it’s always important to consider the other possibilities out there when making your decision on light bulbs.
- The Short Term Cost
While there is indeed a long term cost benefit of switching over to a primarily LED-based “diet” of lighting, there is an important cost to consider: the short term cost. Put simply, LEDs are just more expensive than incandescent bulbs. Specifically, an incandescent bulb will cost the average consumer around three dollars while an LED bulb will cost them around 15 dollars. That’s a pretty big difference.
That difference can make a very big difference when you’re talking about the economic situations of various consumers. For example, saving money long term might not actually benefit someone who rents their home, but rather will more likely benefit someone who actually owns or is paying off their own home.
- Light Directions
This is more of a subjective issue when it comes to the limitations of LED bulbs, but it can affect many different consumers of them. There is a potential issue that comes along with the direction of the light source that occurs within LEDs: because LED lights are directional, the only place where the light comes from in them is the upper half. This might not seem like a big deal, but it’s important to remember than incandescent bulbs scatter light all over the place.
The problem with this is that if you’re trying to use an LED bulb for an ambient source of light—such as a floor lamp—this can actually be less effective than an incandescent light. This requires a cost benefit analysis, of course: do you prefer short term effectiveness or long term savings?
Consider an Effective Alternative
Generally speaking, an important pair of questions to consider when considering a purchase of an LED light is this: how will this benefit me and how will this cost me? Hopefully, this article will have offered you some insight so you can make that decision in the most informed way possible.
This is a guest post written for cashrange.com by Carolyn Clarke
Carolyn Clarke is a freelance writer and an electrical engineer from Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of experience in the electrical industry, she has amassed the expertise to provide an informative and insightful articles to her readers. When she is not busy with work, she enjoys reading and exercising.