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Just LED + Lights

LED Lighting Basics

Posted by Rob Vajko on

First off, let’s define the term. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. What that means is that LED is a semiconductor through which current flows and generates light. If you want to get into the science of LED lighting and learn about N-type and P-type materials, electrons, holes and all the rest, go to http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/led.htm.

What are the advantages of LED lighting?

In order to produce light you need energy. The problem with most other types of lighting is that in order to produce light something has to be heated up. Look at your ordinary incandescent light bulb. See that filament running between those two poles? That has to be heated up in order for light to be generated. Think, for example of a blacksmith. He heats up the metal he is working with until it glows white. That is essentially the same thing. What this means is that a whole lot of energy has to be used to create heat in order to create light. The energy used to generate heat is wasted energy and it’s where most of the energy goes.

This also means that the fine filament is going to eventually burn up. You can’t keep heating metal over and over again without it weakening.

Because LED lighting doesn’t use a filament (or a gas) to generate light, it lasts a whole lot longer. There’s nothing to “burn up”. LED lights can burn for 50,000 hours or more. That’s 6 years of continuous burning (light turned on and never turned off). That’s 50 times longer than an incandescent bulb which generally last for about 1,000 hours and almost 7 time longer than compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs which are rated around 8,000 hours.

The exciting thing about LED is that the process of turning it on and turning it off doesn’t weaken the bulb like it does with an incandescent bulb either.

LED lighting is much more energy efficient as well. A standard incandescent bulb might generate between 15-20 lumens per watt of energy used whereas an LED light generates between 75-80. That’s a HUGE difference.

Another advantage is that LED lights are housed in small plastic domes that are difficult to damage, unlike most other types of bulbs on the market. The way the LEDs are manufactured also means that the light can be “bounced” off the walls of the plastic case to efficiently direct in a particular direction rather than having much of the light wasted. A good example here would be the lighting of a kitchen counter. If you were to mount an incandescent or a fluorescent light under the kitchen cabinet above the work space, much of the light given off would actually light up the underside of the cabinet instead of the work surface. LED light, however, can be directed toward the work surface rather than being wasted where it isn’t needed.

Advances in manufacturing technology has allowed us to produce the semiconductor material cheaper and cheaper making LED lights much more affordable.

BEWARE, however. There is still a HUGE difference between LED that is made well and LED that is made cheap. There are cheap LED lights available all over the place on the internet but remember what your Dad told you “You get what you pay for!”

The LED lights and tape that we sell here at ledandlights.com are built well and built to last. The manufacturers use only the best materials. LED lights are not just made up of the semiconductor material. Many manufacturers out there, in order to cut costs, will use inferior terminal pin material or cheaper plastic or metal parts. LED lights and tape are designed to last for many, many years but in order for them to do that, all the parts have to last just as long as the LEDs themselves. Many of the cheaper selections available out there just are not designed to last making your LED purchase a waste of money. Spending a little more for high quality will mean that, once you’ve installed it or had it installed by a professional (One of the great things about LED, by the way, is that it is easy for a DIYer to install) you’ll never have to think about it again.

If you need help figuring out what to purchase or have more questions about the LED products were sell here at LEDandLights.com please contact Jessica. You’ll find all her contact information at http://www.ledandlights.com/contact/

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