Let There Be Light: How Led Light Bulbs Work and Their Benefits


Are you wondering how led light bulbs work? Check out this ultimate guide on led lights and the many benefits of making the switch.

An astonishing $54 billion — that’s the estimated value of the global LED lighting market in 2019. Market experts forecast this to grow by at least 13.4% more by 2027.

Whereas the sales of CFL light bulbs continue to dwindle. In the US alone, shipments of CFL-based lighting products have gone down by 46.8% from 2Q 2018 to 2Q 2019.

LED lights, after all, are the most energy-efficient lights in the market. It’s because of this efficiency that LED lights have saved the US at least $675 million in 2012 alone.

Ready to learn how LED light bulbs work and how switching to them can benefit you and your home? Then let’s dive right into it!

A Quick History Lesson on LED Lights

LED is an acronym for “Light Emitting Diode”. We have US engineer Nick Holonyak to thank for its introduction in the US. Back in 1962, he introduced the first-ever kind of LED in the country, which took the form of a red diode.

From there, a suite of other colors followed, starting with the yellow and green diodes.

Today, you’ll find LED lights available in a wide array of whites, from soft to warm to bright whites. Yellow and green are still around, and you’ll also find LEDs in blues, purples, and various other colors.

How LED Light Bulbs Work: A Look Into the Tiny Diodes That Light Them Up

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An LED light consists of a diode chip, a type of semiconducting device. In this case, the diode acts as a switch that directs electrical current in only one direction.

Each diode chip comes with two semiconductor materials. One is a P-type (positive) material, the other being an N-type (negative) material. A small section of these two then gets bonded together to form a P-N junction.

An electrode then goes onto this junction. Electrodes are metal terminals that emit or collect charged particles.

With this set-up, the diode chip can now direct the flow of current into a single direction.

Once connected to an electricity source, electrons will move towards the P-N junction. It’s this method and flow of energy that allows LEDs to generate light.

LED Efficiency Compared to Other Lighting Products

LED is the most efficient lighting technology as it converts 90% of energy into light. The remaining 10% then becomes heat.

Now, compare that with Edison light bulbs, which convert 90% of energy into heat. Meaning, of the electricity it uses, only 10% turn into actual light! That’s why incandescent lights get quite warm to the touch, especially after hours of use.

As for CFLs, or compact fluorescent lamps, they can transform 85% of energy to light. That’s way more efficient than incandescent bulbs, but still not up to par with LED.

The Lifespan: How LED Lights Fare

If you’ve ever wondered, “do LED lights last longer?”, the answer is a resounding “Yes, they definitely do!” Their average rated lifespan is 25,000 hours, but they can last twice longer — as in up to 50,000 hours. That equates to about three up to six years of use.

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Edison bulbs last for only a fraction of that — about 1,000 to 2,000 hours. That’s a staggering 25 to 50 times shorter than LEDs!

CFLs, with their rated life span of 6,000 to 15,000 hours, last longer than incandescent lights. Still, that’s considerably shorter compared to LED though.

Extensive List of Uses and Applications

In homes, LEDs can go into virtually any light socket rated between 40 and 75 watts. These are the most common watt ratings for lights in kitchens, baths, and bedrooms. You’d want to be certain though, as some older light sockets may require an LED transformer.

LED lights for business use can save even more money, seeing as the commercial sector use more light. From illuminating interiors to outdoor paths, LED bulbs are the most cost-efficient option.

Moreover, their brightness and quality make them perfect as high bay lights. Their directional lights are ideal for lighting up large spaces. Here’s a guide that you may want to check out for more high bay lights information.

LED Lights: The Most Environmentally-Conscious Choice

LED lights, with their exceptional energy-efficiency, will help you trim your lighting costs. More than that, they can help you minimize your carbon footprint. That’s because energy-efficient products produce much lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

In fact, in 2017, LED lights prevented 570 million tons of carbon dioxide from polluting the air. Even if you swap even just a single Edison light bulb with an LED one, you can already avoid creating 400 pounds of GHGs!

Keep in mind that GHG emissions are among the leading culprits behind global warming. That’s why as early as now, you’d want to switch to LED and other energy-efficient products.

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Any Caveat to Using LED Lights?

If there’s any drawback at all, that would be the cost, as LED lights are no doubt pricier than other bulbs. Still, the price of LEDs has dropped by almost five-fold from January 2011 to July 2018.

Back in 2011, a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb cost between $45 and $50. Fast forward to July 2018, and that price has sunk to a mere $10, with some products even being cheaper!

So, even if LEDs cost more upfront, they’re still worth it because they last way longer. Also, imagine the convenience of not having to shop for light bulbs every other three months or so.

Do Your Wallet and Environment a Favor by Switching to LED Now

There you have it, your ultimate guide on how LED light bulbs work and the benefits they bring. Now that you know, it’s time to swap out your old lights with these bright, energy-saving bulbs. The sooner you do, the sooner you can cut both your lighting costs and carbon footprint.

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