Are LED bulbs energy efficient?

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While comparing Light-emitting Diodes to traditional light bulbs, the cost efficiency can vary significantly. A few factors define these differences that should be considered as per your cost versus lighting requirements.

As per the first law of thermodynamics, energy can neither be created nor destroyed only transformed and transferred meaning you can’t get more bang for your buck with LEDs. On the other hand, this technology has significantly improved the use of electricity. Rather than transforming much of the power into heat, as with traditional light bulbs, LEDs are more efficient, producing more light and less heat. Since regular bulbs produce more heat than LEDs, there is a dependant effect to consider. Your AC will work less to compensate, thus increasing energy efficiency.

How do LED bulbs work?

Semiconductor material containing positive and negative carriers meet and release energy as photons. The effect is referred to as electroluminescence. Electroluminescence takes place as electrons combine with electron holes causing energy to be released in the form of light. This process, known as doping, is done chemically by the use of semiconductors or materials usually used as insulators. They restrict the electricity allowing it to travel in one direction only. The opposite is true with conventional lighting that is dependant on alternating current. Light color being emitted is determined through the use of various semiconductor materials. The type of material, in turn, will produce corresponding wavelengths of light. The type of material determines the energy output of the photon eg. Gallium-Arsenide-Phosphorus will cause a red or yellow light.

LEDs have an advantage over traditional lighting. They require much lower voltage to produce the same quality of light as conventional bulbs. The efficiency comparison is 90 percent better with LEDs. Another clear advantage is the lifespan of an LED. Estimates show one will last 20 years or about 25,000 hours as opposed to 1-2 thousand hours given from conventional lights. Think of how often you might be up and down the ladder with the use of traditional light bulbs in this time frame. As mentioned earlier, due to the method in which light is produced, the amount of energy lost to heat is practically negligible. In turn, less heat contributes to a lower cooling bill. Clearly, LEDs have every advantage over conventional lighting.

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