The incandescent bulb was invented in the 1800s and has completely revolutionized our lives. It uses a Tungsten filament which is slowly heated by electricity to produce light and heat. However, these bulbs were very inefficient and were slowly replaced with halogen lights, which were in turn being replaced with CFLs. However, CFL’s are notorious for causing headaches and their mercury content toxicity, because they contain Mercury.
Which is why LEDs are slowly replacing them (among several other reasons).
LEDs vs CFL
LEDs are made using diodes which are simple semiconductors. The conducting materials consist of Aluminium, Gallum and Arsenide which are wonderful conductors of electricity and allow electricity to flow freely and more efficiently in the diode.
Because LEDs are good conductors of electricity and don’t require a filament to be heated up, only 10% of the energy released as heat in comparison with Incadescent and CFL bulbs which release 90% and 80% of their energy as heat!
So as you can see, LED bulbs can help to cool down your home significantly in the summer.
The typical life of a CFL bulb is 10 years whereas LED’s last for 10-25 years or even more! The reason for this is because CFLs and Halogens contain metal filaments which tend to expand when they are heated. This constant expansion and contraction of the filaments when these bulbs are switched on and off tends to wear them down faster which is why conventional bulbs don’t last long. LED bulbs are also made with more rugged components which means that they don’t break as easily as conventional bulbs. Most bulbs have UV light emissions which are harmful for your skin and can cause cancer. However, LED bulbs have very low UV light emissions, which is why they could help you live longer.
LED bulbs use electricity more efficiently since they only release 10% of energy of heat compared to 90% and 80% for Halogen and CFL bulbs. They also use less wattage but give out the same amount of light compared to the normal, conventional bulbs. They use 40-50% less energy than CFL bulbs and 80% less than energy than Halogen bulbs. Because of this reason they are also very cost effective.
Think about this, if $100 of energy is used to power conventional bulbs like Halogens and CFLs which use 90% and 80% of the energy they use to produce heat, $90 and $80 are used respectively to produce heat instead of light.
LED bulbs which only use 10% of their energy to produce heat would give you $90 worth of light instead.
Did you know that there are some green energy utility companies like Atlantic Energy who give free LED bulbs to their customers? You can save the world and save some money at the same time!
LED’s ARE GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Unlike CFLs which contain toxic elements like Mercury, making them notoriously hard to dispose of and recycle efficiently, LEDs can be recycled easily. Because they are much more efficient than conventional bulbs and use less energy they help to offset a lot of CO2 emissions.
One report suggests that LED’s helped to save more than half a billion ton of CO2 emissions in the year 2017!
To put things into perspective, an average car produces 6 tons of CO2 in one year. In 2017, LED bulbs alone prevented CO2 emissions which are equal to the average emissions of 95 million cars!
Also, LED’s helped save carbon emissions which were equal to the tenth largest producer of CO2; Canada!
Imagine how much CO2 we can prevent from being produced if more and more of us switch to LED bulbs.
THEY HELP DISINFECT YOUR KITCHEN
Yes, you read that right! There are some LED bulbs which have been proven to inhibit the growth of bacteria on kitchen floors and counters, according to this study. They basically work by producing light at a certain wavelength which causes the bacteria to produce a substance which causes the bacteria cell walls to rupture and thus, results in the death of the bacteria.
You Can Adjust Their Intensity And Choose Your Colors
Blue light is known to affect our Melatonin levels, a hormone which is responsible for the smooth function of our circadian rhythm. The Circadian rhythm is basically an inbuilt, natural biological clock which signals an animal when it’s time to wake up or go to sleep. Blue light suppresses the production of Melatonin which makes us less sleepy causing sleep problems.
Big companies like Philips have started to make dimmable LED bulbs which you can dim them at night to help you sleep better. Many other companies have begun making them in such a way that you can even adjust their colors along with the intensity of the light. Philips for instance has come up with one series of “smart lights” which can be controlled with a smartphone to adjust the colors and intensity of the lights in your home!