Incandescent light (Traditional light globe/bulb) is a source of electric light that works by incandescence. An electric current passes through a thin filament, heating it to a temperature that produces light. The enclosing glass bulb contains either a vacuum or an inert gas (some toxic) to prevent oxidation of the hot filament. Unfortunately in this process by heating the filament not only does it dramatically lower the shock resistance but also heats the glass bulb/globe to well over 100 degrees Celsius. In conjunction with this, 80% of the incandescent lights power consumption is used in maintaining the heat needed to create the light and as a side effect heating its surrounding environment. The following 20% of power is actually producing the light, and therefore incandescent lighting only runs at a power efficiency of around 10% to 20% with a life expectancy of around 1000 hours. Halogen lighting also falls under this category but as halogen lights burn even hotter to produce a brighter light they only run at an efficiency of around 5% to 15%.
Fluorescent light is a gas-discharge lamp that uses electricity to excite mercury vapor (Extremley toxic). The excited mercury atoms produce short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor to fluorescence, producing
visible light. A fluorescent lamp converts electrical power into useful light more efficiently than an incandescent lamp. Lower energy cost typically offsets the higher initial cost of the lamp. The lamp is more costly because it requires a ballast to regulate the flow of current through the lamp. However fluorescent light's do not like being frequently turned on and off as this lowers their life expectancy. Fluorescent light's contain very toxic chemicals Mercury & Phosphorous, on accidental breakage these chemicals are released. Fluorescent lights are also subject to lamp flicker problems and visible surface colour variants.
While larger fluorescent lamps have been mostly used in commercial buildings, the compact fluorescent lamp is now available in the same popular sizes as incandescent bulbs and are used as an energy-saving alternative in homes. The benefits of fluorecents over incandescents are thier cooler running temperatures and increased running efficiency of up to 50% to 60% and a life expectancy of up to 8000 hours.
LED or Light-Emitting Diode is based on the semiconductor diode. When a diode is forward based (switched on), electrons are able to recombine with holes within the device, releasing energy in the form of photons. This effect is called electroluminescence and the colour of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photon) is determined by the energy gap of the semiconductor.
An LED is usually small in area (less than 1 mm2), and have integrated optical components that are used to shape its light pattern and assist in reflection. Versions of LED's are available in visible, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths and present many advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved robustness, smaller size, faster switching, and greater durability and reliability. However, current LED products for general lighting are more expensive to buy than fluorescent or incandescent light sources of comparable output.
The following facts will give you a good indication of the benefits of LED's over conventional lighting:
They never burn out.
LED lights are generally made up of multiple LED’s all joined together working as one unit. Therefore, if one LED stops working it will have very minimal to no impact on the light being emitted, where as when a conventional light has any problem it ceases to work completely. LED’s have a lifetime estimate of 60,000 to 100,000 hours, compared with the 1,000 hour lifetime of incandescent light bulbs and the 8,000 hour lifetime for compact fluorescent lamps. And even after they reach that limit, they will simply become progressively dimmer rather than immediately burning out.
Long term cost saving
With the average life expectancy of LED globes being 10 years plus, combined with an energy efficiency of 80% to 90%, there will be an immediate saving of around 60% to 70% on your electricity lighting bill. In comparison, to the conventional globe, over the same period of time up to ten light globes (of which run at 20% power efficency) would be needed, not to mention the time and recources required. This energy saving can be a huge added bonus to people who rely on solar & battery power, large scale lighting systems or simply around home.
They are better for the environment
All of our products are RoHS compliant to ensure the reduction of harmful chemicals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) into our urban environment and the people that manufacture them.
They attract bugs less
Bugs are attracted to high levels of UV rays and as LED’s do not emit ultraviolet light they are less inviting. This will not put a total end to your bug problem but you will notice a greater reduction of bugs accumulating around the light.
They emit very low if any heat
LED lights generate very low heat and are therefore cool to touch and can be left on for hours without risk to both the LED or individual if touched. Allowing them greater versatility in applications for which conventional lighting simply will not work.
They switch on instantly
LEDs switch on instantly and provide their full strength immediately. In the long term, the small components in LEDs are suitable for dimming the lights, and the light doesn’t change colour when dimmed, which is what happens with incandescent and halogen lights.
The colour properties of a light source are relevant in relation to white light, and are characterised by two parameters, namely colour temperature (expressed in Kelvin) and the colour rendering index (CRI) or Ra index.
The colour rendering index of a light source lies between 0 and 100 and indicates how good a light source is at rendering certain reference colours. A CRI of 100 is the best, and is equivalent to daylight.
Today, LED’s are available with a CRI of up to 91. A-rated energy saving bulbs have a CRI of just over 80.
The light from LED's is either warm (typically 2,700-3,000 Kelvin), neutral (3,500-4,500 Kelvin) or cold (4,500-10,000 Kelvin). The best LED’s have a colour rendering index of 80-90.
LED lights traditionally projected all their light in one direction, whilst the conventional lighting was able to emit light in all directions. This is why LED bulbs were best suited to lamps that project light in one direction, such as spotlights and downlights. But now, the recent introduction of the retro fit LED globe has enabled LED's to perform this function through cleverly arranged LED's around a central rod that evenly distributes the light in a 360 degree radius.
Safe voltage working levels.
LED’s use low voltage DC current within their own circuit, making them safer to work with.
Wider temperature tolerance
LEDs can operate in harsh environments and withstand temperatures ranging from -40 c to +85 c.