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Are LED Light Bulbs as Energy Efficient as They Claim to Be?

Posted by Doug Root on January 14, 2019

LED light bulbs are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies. The rapid adoption of LED lighting technology marks one of the fastest technology shifts that we’ve seen in many years. The accelerated adoption of LED light bulbs is on track to save consumers and businesses across the U.S. up to $20 billion a year in electricity costs within the next decade, lowering U.S. carbon emissions by 100 million metric tons per year.

The LED lighting revolution has largely been driven by performance improvements, sharp cost reductions, aggressive policy support by government agencies, and relatively short replacement cycles for incumbent lighting technologies. This has made it the most popular and efficient lighting option for residential, commercial, industrial, and other lighting needs on the market.

But the question is - are LED light bulbs as efficient as they claim to be?

How LEDs are Different from Other Bulbs

Before we get into understanding the secret behind the efficiency of LED lighting bulbs, here’s a short overview of how LEDs are different from other lighting sources we use today, such as CFL bulbs and incandescent bulbs. The key differences include:

  • Light Source - LEDs that produce light are about the size of a fleck of pepper. A mix of different LEDs, such as green, red, and blue produce brilliant white light.
  • Direction - LEDs are designed to emit bright light in one specific direction, which reduces the need for having diffusers and reflectors inside the bulb that can end up trapping light. This feature is great for task lighting and recessed downlights.
  • Heat Produced - LED bulbs emit very minimal heat when compared to incandescent bulbs that release up to 90% of their energy as heat. CFLs produce 80% of their lighting energy as heat.

How Efficient are LED bulbs?

LED light bulbs use around 85% less electricity than your normal incandescent bulbs, and 50% less than fluorescent tubes. The efficiency of a light bulb is typically measured in lumens per watt. LEDs are better at efficient lighting because they provide higher lumens per watt than other types of bulbs. ENERGY STAR®-rated LED bulbs can last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and offer comparable and often even better lighting quality than other types of light bulbs.

LED light bulbs don’t produce any UV rays and can provide up to 100,000 hours or more of continuous lighting, saving you 20% in energy costs. Depending on the exact hours that your home or facility is lit throughout the day, this can mean a lifespan of anywhere between 6-30 years. CFLs last around 8,000 to 10,000 hours, while incandescents last around 1,000 to 5,000 hours. Fluorescent tubes can last around 20,000 to 50,000 hours.

Part of the reason LEDs are a durable and efficient lighting option is because they have no glass components and no filament that can break and burn out like incandescent bulbs have. The illumination comes purely from the movement of electrons in a specially designed semiconductive material. LED light bulbs are also mercury- and lead-free.

LED replacement lights can offer the right brightness and color for intended locations, while recessed downlights provide an efficient lighting option with decreased downlight wattage by 75% or more for bathrooms, kitchens, hallways, and other residential settings. Kitchen under-cabinet lighting is a great application, as are high-efficiency applications in industrial and commercial settings like street lights, parking lots, walkways, and modular lighting. Obviously, LED lighting bulbs are the perfect energy-efficient solution for today’s varied needs.

Upfront LED Lighting Costs

While LED lighting prices have come down dramatically and continue to do so as technology improves, they still cost more than other lighting bulbs. However, the high level of efficiency they offer means that businesses and consumers can recoup the upfront costs that go into buying LEDs in a short period of time. Besides consuming less energy, the long lifespan means that you also save money on the maintenance and replacement of bulbs. The fact that LEDs are also an eco-friendly option means you may also be eligible for tax incentives and rebates.

Buying LED Light Bulbs

Although LED lights may not be practical for every lighting application yet, they’re certainly the perfect lighting choice of the future and offer lots of benefits including energy savings. If you’re looking for efficient lighting for your residential or commercial lighting needs, look no further than Atlanta Light Bulbs. We bring you the largest selection of top-brand LED bulbs for all lighting applications.  Contact us for all your orders today.

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