Light Emitting Diode technology was discovered in 1907, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that commercial applications were found and only in the past decade has the technology advanced enough and become cheap enough to make LEDs a viable alternative to incandescent and compact fluoro lighting (CFL).
While LEDs are still a more expensive purchase than CFLs, they do come with distinct advantages.
Instant Lighting – Unlike CFLs which need time to reach their optimum illumination, LED light achieves full brightness immediately. This is critical in areas such as garages and passageways to avoid trips and other hazards.
Flexibility – Due to their compact size, LEDs can be used in strip lighting applications on ramps and stairs where it would be impractical to install other kinds of lighting.
Cooler – And we’re not just talking aesthetics! LED lights run cooler than other forms of lighting such halogens and CFLs. But, like all lights, LEDs do produce heat, so regardless of which lighting source you choose, it is wise to work closely with your lighting designer to plan suitable ventilation and heat sinks to maximise the life of your lights.
Toxin Free – LEDs are fully recyclable and contain no toxic hazards, unlike CFLs which contain a small amount of mercury. The US Environmental Protection Agency has a comprehensive hazmat procedure which should be followed if a CFL bulb is broken.
Long life – LED lights are projected to last 50,000 hours – that’s five times longer than CFLs
Lower energy consumption – LED lights use about 30% less electricity than CFLs. They can also be run efficiently on solar power which makes them ideal for outdoor lighting applications.
On/off cycling and dimming – Unlike CFLs, LEDs are dimmable. Another advantage is their lifespan is not affected by being switched on and off at regular intervals. LEDs could be used to replace fluoro tubes in stairwells. Installing LED lighting and motion detectors instead of leaving lighting on permanently can save costs by having light only when it is needed.
LED lights are also good looking, adding visual interest when used around pools, outdoor recreation areas and landscaping.
We expect the use of LED lighting to be the standard in all new developments, because of its flexibility and the advantage of longer term savings.
For established buildings and residential developments, replacing conventional lighting with LED lighting is affordable way to make a positive improvement to the value and amenity of your project.