You have heard that LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are the future and you have probably been advised to replace all of your home lights with the new bulbs. They will last nearly 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs and will switch on immediately, unlike compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which take a while to warm up. Before you rush to stock up an LEDs, however, there are a number of things you must think about.
The bayonet fitting has been a standard for many incandescent light bulbs and replacement CFLs even during the past 30 years or so when Edison screw fittings were becoming the norm in Britain.
The screw fitting now has become the most popular fitting in Europe and the U.S., especially for small lights, but it is not universal. Even new-build homes have bayonet-type light fixtures in them. LEDs are available for a variety of fittings, but you can’t be sure that an individual trader will have the range of fittings you need. Visit MHA Lighting to ensure you find the fixture you need.
You must change your way of thinking about the brightness of electric lighting when dealing with LEDs. Many people today have been brought up with light brightness ranging from 40 watts to 100 watts and buy the bulb they need accordingly. LEDs are much more energy efficient. They produce the same brightness with eight watts than an incandescent bulb produces with 60 watts, or the 35 watts produced by a halogen bulb.
Although the LED light produces some heat, it is insignificant compared with the incandescent bulb. In addition, LED lights may be a difficult replacement for halogen bulbs in places such as kitchens and bathrooms. They are more of a directional lighting and do not shine around a given space as easily as incandescent or halogen bulbs. So you must take care to choose the right design of LED light to replace halogen spot lights.
Incandescent bulbs also produce a substantial amount of heat. Over 90 per cent of the power used in the bulb goes into producing heat and only the remainder produces light. This small amount of heat can warm a room, but it’s not only the heat output that makes a difference to the temperature of a room. Incandescent bulbs produce a yellow type of light. This produces a feeling of warmth in a room and is the main reason why they remain popular when compared with CFLs, which produce a fluorescent type of light. The standard white LED light bulb is white and leaves a feeling of coldness in a room when the light is switched on, so you may need to choose a specific colour of LED bulb or ensure that there are suitable shades around the light fitting if you are particularly sensitive to this issue.
The cost of an LED bulb seems prohibitive compared with incandescent, CFL and even halogen bulbs. An LED bulb can be 25 times as costly as an incandescent bulb. Although this cost can be recouped over years because the bulb does not have to be replaced as often and does not use as much electricity, the price remains a barrier. LED lights will become more popular once their cost can be reduced.