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LED lamps v non-LED lamps - when is LED best

Author: Mark Chapman
Published: August 15, 2012

You could describe LED lighting technology as a bit of a late bloomer. For years, it was always the little red power light, while incandescents, CRT tubes and fluorescents got on with all the magic. But just look at LED now! Not only is LED technology bringing unprecedented depth and contrast to the latest cutting edge televisions and monitors, it’s also starting to revolutionise the world of lighting – simply look at the number of cars that now offer twinkly LED running lights and back lights.

Format friendly

LED lamps are starting to hit the market in formats suitable for most business and home applications. Multiple options are now available including LED bulbs to fit old favourites such as bayonet, screw and GU10 fittings. Needless to say, tubes and other specialist fittings have all been catered for.

All round durability

So what makes LED lights so good then? Well, first and foremost, incredible durability. LED lights just go on and on (that LED power light is always the last thing to go on a broken TV, after all). It’s not out of the question that an LED bulb could give you up to 50,000 hours of continuous use. This means they’re absolutely perfect for applications where the lights need to be on constantly, such as areas with no natural light or 24-7 working, as well as corridors, stairwells and security areas. This durability means they’re the perfect fit for hard to reach areas such as high ceilings or sealed fittings, or in areas where it’s impractical to stop everything to change a bulb, such as busy workshops.

Energy efficiency benefits

To go with the durability, LED bulbs are also incredibly energy efficient, drawing only 1/5 of the wattage of traditional bulbs. This means that they’re ideal for use in green builds or large scale projects where energy bills are a concern. Especially in areas that require constant 24-hour lighting, the initial costs of switching over to LED lighting will be paid back very quickly indeed and savings will then become very noticeable.

As with energy-saving bulbs, hand-in-hand with energy efficiency comes low-temperature operation. Because LED bulbs give off considerably less heat than an incandescent or halogen bulb, they can be used in areas where hotter bulbs can’t be, and will not heat damage fittings and shades. This means they are also ideal in areas where reducing ambient temperatures is desirable, such as offices and factories with a lot of electrical equipment, as well as venues and nightclubs.

Future of LED lighting

This being a fairly new use of LED technology, there isn’t quite the range yet as offered by other traditional lighting types. Particularly in the higher wattage output sectors (such as 75w+ in GLS), there are yet to be LED equivalents. Candle and golfball LED lamps are currently only available in 25w, though a 40w option is on the way. There is also nothing yet that matches the concentrated power and tiny size of a halogen capsule bulb. However this is a very young technology and it’s very likely that we’ll start to see it taking off in a number of different areas over time, as the benefits LED lighting offer are excellent.

Take a look at our full range of LED light bulbs / lamps.

Looking for more news and inspiration? Try our Lighting Advice section.