Advantages and Disadvantages of LED technology
Quality LEDs are more expensive than incandescent and CFL bulbs but provide more lighting efficiency and use less energy. – Cree Inc.
Your electric bill will go down. Manufacturers estimate that LEDs are up to 85 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs and 10 percent more efficient than CFLs. So eventually, LEDs will pay for themselves with energy savings. LEDs are a lot sturdier and less likely to break than other bulbs. They also throw off less heat than CFLs and incandescents – a blessing in the Arizona summertime. And they don’t contain mercury like CFLs.
Uses for LED bulbs are growing. You can easily use them in recessed cans and most fixtures. “they’re not widely available for chandeliers or smaller fixtures because they haven’t figured out how to hide the driver inside a small bulb,??? says Allen Childers, owner of Statewide Lighting in Scottsdale. “What they’re working on now is producing a small bulb that lights up 360 degrees.??? LED bulbs work best right now in recessed cans because they’re good at throwing their light down. They don’t work as well in table lamps because they throw their light over 180 degrees and basically shoot illumination at the ceiling. Some candelabra bulbs work well; others do not.
You can buy very contemporary new chandeliers and fixtures designed for LEDs. Also available is LED strip or tape lighting for under cabinets or along floorboards. The strips come on reels and are fairly easy to install for experienced do-it-yourselfers. Manufacturers are also working on the price. Last month, Cree Inc., starting marketing an LED replacement bulb for a 40-watt incandescent for use in lamps and fixtures. It looks just like an incandescent and costs $9.97.
LEDs will change how you buy bulbs. You can’t grab a box of LEDs and toss them in your shopping cart after checking price and watts. You may have to study charts in the hardware of lighting store; you may need advice about what to buy, you definitely should start comparing lumens, a measure of light emitted by the bulb, instead of watts, the measure of power used by the bulb. You should learn as well about kelvins – a measure of color temperature. You might want to go to a lighting specialty store where they can explain the details and how examples of how LEDs work.
Here is a real-life example: We took a 65-watt incandescent recessed-can flood light to a store. Charts there said our old light was giving off 600 to 700 lumens of brightness. We couldn’t find the exact equivalent of a 75-watt bulb. The new LED light was rated at 13 watts and 750 lumens. We installed, the new can light did shine significant brighter than the old one.