• Sam Helme

LED's VS Old School Technology

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

When you've been looking at replacing your light bulbs in your light fittings you've no doubt either picked up the first thing you've seen and been disappointed by it, or spent ages looking at all the different options and made yourself confused.

So what are the options when it comes to Light bulbs?

Honestly, there are lots! However the main 3 are:

Incandescent - The old fashioned bulbs that we all probably grew up with and burned our fingers on at one point! They aren't energy efficient and don't last very long.

Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb (CFL) - What most people think of as energy efficient bulbs. These have a spiral shaped appearance.

LED's - Highly energy efficient and due to progression in the technology can look like traditional incandescent light bulbs.

So what are the benefits of using LED's?

  1. High energy efficiency - generally LED's are around 70% more efficient than the incandescent equivalent for light output. This means savings to your electricity bill!

  2. Hassle factor - LED's have a much longer lifespan, meaning lower maintenance as you won't have to change the bulbs, and lower costs because you won't have to pay for replacements.

  3. More design flexibility - Due to the small size of LED's much more can be done with them than traditional bulbs. Whether it's in a linear fashion or several together to make a bulb, the possibilities are endless.

  4. Better Dimming - LED's are able to be dimmed to almost any level, and actually become more efficient the more the power is reduced. Unlike old technology's - some of which didn't dim at all.

  5. Instant light - Unlike fluorescents LED's don't take time to warm up, they instantly come on at full brightness and frequent switching doesn't damage them.

  6. LED's operate well in hot and cold temperatures - And because they run at a low voltage they are becoming the standard for use in bathroom, submerged and outdoor environments.

And the disadvantages?

  1. High upfront costs - Over time the savings from switching to LED's will massively outweigh the initial cost and lead to savings each year!

  2. Compatibility - Not all control equipment has caught up with the LED fittings so double check they will work together.

  3. Colour Shift - The potential for a light to change colour over it's lifespan getting warmer or cooler. This is improving with the progressions in technology but for some of the cheaper products on the market this can still be an issue.

So overall LED's are well worth the initial cost. I would recommend spending a little bit more to make sure you get a good quality fitting to avoid issues like colour shift later in the lifespan.

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