Saving energy can be a hot topic, especially when it comes to lighting. Incandescent lights dominate the markets, as they are in 85 percent of households worldwide. Alternatives such as fluorescent lighting, however, are rapidly becoming more prevalent but still have some disadvantages. One type of lighting that eliminates many of the disadvantages but still has to be improved for practicality is the light-emitting diode, or LED.
LED lights are available in two modes, "cool white" and "warm white," each of which is relatively long-lasting. The average incandescent bulb has a lifespan of 1,000 to 2,500 hours. Fluorescent lights can last 10 times as long but LED lights can last 25 times as long, ranging from 35,000 to 50,000 hours.
Monochromatic and Energy Efficient
LED lights operate as close-to-monochromatic, meaning the colors they emit can be different. Examples are Christmas lights, a common type of small LED light. LED lights are also extremely efficient; they can save roughly 75 percent in energy when compared to the common incandescent bulb.
Heat release is the main method by which an incandescent bulb wastes energy; anywhere from 80 percent to 90 percent of its energy is lost to heat as opposed to light. An LED emits a heat level of nearly zero.
Directional lighting is light that flows in one direction as opposed to dispersing over a large area. An incandescent or fluorescent bulb spreads out over a large area, which means that much of the illumination is wasted, especially if you're utilizing the light for a task. For both recessed and task lighting, the bulbs must be placed in a special holder containing a surface that disperses the light in one direction. LED lights eliminate this problem as they are designed to disperse in one direction.
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