Why are LED lamps so efficient?

Modern LED lamps are much more efficient than incandescent or fluorescent lights and because of that are becoming the standard choice for buildings of different types all over the world. They save you money on bills while reducing the use of energy resources and your impact on the environment. Other advantages include the ability to produce light of different colour shades and temperatures which can be used to regulate the circadian rhythm of building occupants and even be used for therapy.

It is estimated that LED lamps consume 70%-90% less energy than incandescent lamps, at least 40% less energy than fluorescent ones and can last for more than 20 years! How can they be so efficient and last for so long?  First let’s understand how they work on the video below from MakeCrate

LED lamps work quite differently from incandescent and fluorescent lamps. In LEDs an electrical current passes through a microchip and then through a semi-conductor material within the light sources releasing energy in the form of light. In incandescent lamps an electric current passes through a metal filament which is heated until it becomes extremely hot and emits light as a result. In this process incandescent lamps release approximately 90% of their energy as heat and only 10% as light. In a fluorescent light, electrodes are placed at each end of a tube containing gases and an electric current flows between them. This process produces visible light and heat and consumes 70% less energy than incandescent.

Some heat is also released from LEDs when they are lit, this is absorbed via a heat sink and most of it is dissipated to the surrounding environment helping increase its useful life. Fluorescent and incandescent lights are not provided with/cannot support heat sinks, as a result they tend to be extremely hot to the touch, and with time, the heat wears out their components causing a reduction in useful life.

Another aspect that differentiates LEDs from other lamp types is that they are directional so rather than emitting light to all directions they can emit light only to where it is needed making a more efficient use of light and energy resources.

Put together all the characteristics and differences above and you can see how LEDs perform better than its counterparts. If you are the handy type and want to assemble your own LED light bulb or just want to understand better about each element that goes inside it you will find the video below very helpful. It may not cost you less to build your own LED light bulb as ready made ones are becoming so affordable, but it could be good fun!

LED lights are a great invention, they are energy efficient, last for many years (which means less waste!), and can be used for a wide range of applications. Soon enough we are going to be talking about incandescent light bulbs as a relic of the past, which they already are in some countries. Do you still have any incandescent or fluorescent lamps in your home? Come on let’s get these replaced and Green it Yourself…Now!

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