What is an LED and how does it work?
An LED, or Light Emitting Diode, is a semiconductor device that emits light when electrical energy is applied to it. It consists of a computer chip that is attached to a positive power lead and a negative power lead. The ‘anvil’ on the top of the negative lead holds one side of the chip and the ‘whisker’ on top of the positive lead holds the other side. The LED is encased in clear epoxy resin. 

Why are LED lights different and more desirable to use?

Light in most homes and commercial spaces are produced by incandescent or CFL bulbs. One of the most important features of LED Lights are: their energy saving nature.

Incandescent bulbs produce light when an electric current is passed through a conductor and the tungsten is heated to the point at which it gives off light. Unfortunately, these are not very energy efficient as roughly 10% of the energy is used to make visible light. The bulb structure of CFL's is a little different.

How do I fit an LED?

Fitting an LED bulb is easy! Like any regular bulb, check the base (light socket) and determines the kind of LED bulb you need to purchase.
These steps will guide you:

  1. Determine which light bulb fitting you have.  
  2. Determine which shape you are most comfortable with. 
  3. Determine how bright you want your lights to be. LED bulbs come in lower wattages with the same or similar brightness as higher wattage conventional lights. Believe me, you would not want to purchase a 10W LED bulb to replace a 60W incandescent bulb! Remember to look out for this word “Lumens” when choosing your LED. This determines how bright the bulb is.
  4. Determine if you prefer warm or cold light. Cold light is normally used to refer to light that is slightly blue. (I have heard it referred to by the lay man as ‘white-light’). This kind of light may be more suitable in a kitchen, bathroom or other situations you may prefer a slightly less yellow light. Other light bulbs have a slightly yellow glow such as that of an old incandescent or halogen. This is called ‘warm white’.  

These type of temperature choice is mostly associated with LED's and if your home or office has modern style and feel, you should definitely consider trying some cooler temperatures, as they can look great in the right context.

How long do LEDs last?

LED's unlike other light sources do not just burn out or blow. Rather, their brightness gradually fades over time. An LED's life is generally based on the number of its operating hours and a good quality LED is expected to have a rated life in the region of 30,000 – 50,000hours. A typical incandescent lasts up to 1,000hours, a comparable to CFL 8,000hours and a comparable LED 40,000hours.

What are the advantages of using LED luminaires?​

LED's add several advantages to the lighting industry:

  1. Energy Efficient:
    LED's are 80% - 90% more energy efficient than traditional lighting and conventional bulbs (CFL, incandescent, halogen etc). This means averagely 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light while 20% is lost in heat.
  2. Long Life:
    LED's are long lasting and as such do not need a change of bulb frequently.
  3. Low Voltage
    LED's are great for low-voltage power supply. This is sufficient for LED illumination. This makes it easy to use in outdoor settings, or on solar systems.
  4. LED's are highly durable and built with sturdy components that can withstand rough conditions and handling.
  5. Flexible Design:
    LED's by their nature can be combined in any shape to produce highly efficient lighting. LED's can achieve fantastic lighting effects with the additional property of being dimmable. LED's as a result are effective for creating an appealing mood.
  6. They require little or no maintenance translating into energy savings, maintenance savings and environmental sustainability.

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