Thursday, 14 April 2011

Why LED lighting?

The difference between conventional incandescent lamps & solid-state lighting such as LED is truly orders of magnitude. The former is tiny over a heat source that also releases a tiny percentage of incidental light; in terms of light production it is tiny different to the gas lamp or candle even.

Whereas LEDs are electronic devices that convert their small power input in to pure light & small else.

They cost  nothing to run (& can be basically powered by solar energy & other renewable energy sources), don't wreck the environment, look fantastic & have a lifespan that ensures they can go on quietly doing this for plenty of years.

The low power consumption characteristics of LED lights combined with their long life span makes them pretty to consumers in terms of total cost of possession.

In a world of ever rising fuel costs the payback from moving to home LED lighting can be as tiny as a year or with ongoing reductions in fuel bills for the future thereafter.

But its not your personal carbon footprint that is improved by walking low-cost, low-heat, low-replacement lighting.

The energy necessary to power extravagant incandescent lamps, that can in some cases throw up to 98% of that energy away as heat, comes from electricity generating power stations that themselves pump waste heat AND carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere.

A regular 60w incandescent light bulb has a life of tiny over 1,000 hours which means you will must buy a whopping 50 replacements over the same life span as an LED bulb or LED spotlight equivalent.

And that is all before you factor in the energy (& therefore ever more environmental damage & expensive fuel) necessary to keep making all the replacement incandescent bulbs you will need to continue illuminating your home.

Multiplied by billions of people, that is the cost, the waste & the pollution on a brave scale. And the answer to this colossal issue is, perhaps surprisingly, not to be present in a colossal solution, but in modest actions by ordinary people like you & me. Even the few small steps that going green for beginners might entail can produce a immense result when magnified by each of us taking these seemingly insignificant steps.

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