LED 101: Facts About LED Lights

What do you need to know about LEDs? Everything. LED lights—or Light Emitting Diodes—are innovative light sources that use electronic components called diodes to produce light directly. Other bulbs use heat to create light indirectly, which takes more energy. The use of diodes makes LED a more environmentally sound light source.

The lifespan of an LED light is more than 25,000 hours for a bulb (50,000 for a tube, and 50,000-100,000 hours for integral LED fixtures), as opposed to the 1,000-hour lifespan of a traditional incandescent bulb.

The electricity used over a lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5 to 10 times the original purchase price of the bulb itself (probably 20 times or more in a state with expensive electricity, such as New York). LED lights use 84% less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.

So what about color? LEDs are not naturally white light sources. They emit a light that’s nearly monochromatic, but recent innovations in LED technology make it easier to achieve a desirable “golden glow” that mimics an incandescent bulb. And, they are easily found in any color that you—or your interior designer—can imagine.

That said, not all LED lights are made equal, so avoid the “cheaper” options in the market. And, make sure your LED lights are compatible with any fixtures in your home before using them—otherwise, their lifespan will be short, making your investment moot.

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