What Is an LED Light and Why You Should Use Them?

LED lighting has swiftly taken the lead among other types of lighting options. Not only is it versatile, but it is also energy saving, better for the environment and even good for your health. Read on to learn more about LED lights and get a better understanding of them.

What Is an LED?

Inside an LED bulb are light-emitting diodes, which is what LED stands for. These are semiconductor devices that will shine light whenever an electric current moves through them. Illumination is produced by the particles that are carrying the current combining with the material of the semiconductor.

All diodes give off photons, but only certain kinds of diodes will emit them as electromagnetic energy as opposed to heat like other lights. An LED light is a kind of SSL or solid-state lighting, which means that it emits light from solid matter. In the case of LED lamps, this means the semiconductor.

As mentioned, LED lights generate light because of the two semiconductors in the electrodes: the p-type and n-type. The p-type is a semiconductor that has extra holes, while the n-type has extra electrons. Connecting the negative semiconductors to the positive electrode will energize the electrons and allow them to flow and create light.

Do LED Lights Need A Transformer?

Whether you are installing LED outdoor wall lights or LED downlighting indoors, you may wonder if you will need a transformer to make the change from traditional bulbs to LED. The purpose of an LED driver, or transformer, is to limit the flow of electrical current through the light. This is because halogen transformers bring out much more power than is necessary for LED lights to operate.

Usually, the housing of the bulbs in LED downlights, wall lights and other varieties will have the correct driver already installed to suit the bulb. This means there is usually no need for adding a transformer.

Sometimes, you will need to replace an old transformer with an LED driver in order to stop it from blowing the LED. That said, most of the time, you will only really need to consider LED transformers when you need to control a much larger flow of electricity than what you will be dealing with using LED wall lighting or even bright outdoor lighting.

Can You Recycle LED Lights?

Many people laud LED lights as eco friendly because of the low-energy lighting they provide. Even so, energy saving is not the only way they can benefit the environment. Alongside the LED running cost being low, they are also recyclable.

LED lights have no toxic elements in them like other bulbs, such as mercury. Because of this, they won’t harm the environment. Moreover, they are made from electronic components that are perfect for recycling. This includes the transformers, semiconductors and diodes, which can be recycled just like any other kind of electrical equipment. LEDs are also made out of glass and a few metals that are recyclable.

Sometimes, there may be specific instructions that you will need to follow depending on the light. Be sure to check the packaging to see if any apply.

can you recycle LED light bulbs

What Is a COB LED?

A COB is a variation of LED lights. COB stands for chip-on-board and is basically a variety of LED chips that are bound to a substrate material like silicon carbide and packed together tightly. The result is one large LED chip that provides its light and brightness uniformly. For this reason, it is a popular choice for filmmakers and photographers.

Because there are multiple chips, COB lights have a larger light-emitting area than most other light sources, meaning more lumens per square inch. Other benefits that make COB LED lights stand out include:

– High-intensity lighting, even at a close distance
– Compactness owed to the small chip sizes
– Design simplicity, since only two contacts and a single circuit are needed
– Increased life, reliability and stability for superior thermal performance
– Better for running on battery operation due to the energy output

Image of COB LED chip

What Are the Health Benefits of Using LED Lighting?

To the surprise of many, modern LED lights have also been reported to have benefits to the health of those who use them. LED wall lighting, downlighting and even lamps have the potential to provide advantages that other lights cannot.:

1. Elevated Mood and Energy
Because the colour temperature of LED lights can mimic that of the blue wavelengths found in natural daylight, it may help improve your mood. This is especially true during winter when there is less sun; Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs in a lack of daylight, so having daylight-mimicking lights may mitigate those symptoms.

2. Aligns Circadian Rhythm
The light given off from LEDs may also help you get better sleep. By avoiding harsher lights that block melatonin production and providing you with exposure to similar wavelengths as natural light, you could get your circadian rhythm back in order.

3. May Decrease Headaches
Headache and migraine symptoms may vary from person to person, but those who live with them usually struggle with a core issue: light sensitivity. Flickering fluorescent lights and too-dim task lighting can make headaches worse. LEDs provide more thorough lighting and may make it easier to see while allowing you to choose the colour temperature of light that is better suited to your taste. This isn’t possible with many traditional bulbs.

4. Improves Learning and Productivity
Studies have shown that LED lights in classrooms and offices have improved the concentration of those in the space. It is thought that proper light sources, colour temperatures and light levels may support wellness. Furthermore, since LED lights emit less heat, the actual space they are working in can stay cooler, keep them more comfortable and therefore boost performance.

5. Lessen Anxiety and Stress
Because human beings thrive in sunlight, a lack of natural lighting can cause detrimental effects. In lighting that doesn’t look natural, people can experience stress or anxiety. By using LED lighting that mimics daylight, it may be able to lessen feelings of anxiety and stress in indoor areas.

6. Non-Toxic
LEDs don’t have any hazardous materials like traditional bulbs do, such as in fluorescent and incandescent lights. Primarily, it contains no mercury, which can be quite dangerous even in small amounts.

Why Use LEDs Instead of Halogen Bulbs?

Though halogen bulbs have been popular for decades, more and more people are making the switch to LED lights. There are many reasons for this:

– HEAT EMISSION. LED lights barely put out any of their energy as heat–only 10 or 20 percent. This makes them much cooler than halogen bulbs that expend almost all of their energy in heat. This makes halogen bulbs hard to replace as touching them is hot and uncomfortable. It also makes halogen bulbs more dangerous and likely to set something on fire.

– COST. While LED lights can cost more per unit, during the grand scheme of things, you will purchase fewer LEDs than you would halogen bulbs. LEDs can last a minimum of 20,000 hours, while halogen bulbs only last a thousand or so. You will not only spend less money buying the lights, but you will save on energy as well.

– LIFESPAN. As mentioned, LED bulbs last much longer than halogen bulbs. In many cases, they can last as much as 40 times longer.

– ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY. These lights are safer for the user and the environment since they do not have any toxic chemicals, such as mercury. If you break a CFL bulb, the mercury vapor could harm both your health and the environment. There is no risk of that with LED bulbs since the mercury simply is not there.

Glowing LED energy saving bulb on a green background

 

Below are a few examples of the versatility of LED lights:

 

1. CSL024 5 Watt Square Recessed LED Downlight Fitting

CSL024 5 watt suare black recessed LED downlight- Anti glare LED downlightRecessed lighting is a popular choice in many modern environments. It is available as LED lighting as well. The CSL024 5 Watt Square Recessed LED Downlight Fitting is a sleek, square-shaped recessed light that has a domed interior that causes the light to reflect and gleam. The product comes in four interior finishes, making it easy to work it into any space. The LEDs inside of the light output a total of 430 lumens or the equivalent of a single 45-watt halogen bulb.

 

2. LWA228 4 Watt LED Round Interior Wall Light

LWA228 4 watt round feature wall light

An LED wall light such as the LWA228 4 Watt LED Round Interior Wall Light is an ideal way to brighten darkened corridors and corners. The light uses four CREE LED bulbs to shine a total of 400 lumens back onto the wall. The fitting creates a halo effect around the circular fixture, giving your space an artistic finishing touch. It is available in neutral options of black or white.

 

3. LWA216 12 Watt LED Black Outdoor Up And Down Wall Light

LWA216 12 watt black up and down LED exterior wall lights

Exterior LED lights are equally as popular as interior varieties. The LWA216 12 Watt LED Black Outdoor Up And Down Wall Light also provides a wall washing effect as the Round Interior Wall Light, but it is more dramatic and better suited to outdoor spaces. A total of 860 lumens shine from the light fixture up and down the wall, which is equivalent to an 85-watt halogen bulb.

 

4. LBL251 5 Watt Hexagonal Surface Mounted LED Downlight

LBL251 5 watt hexagonal surface mounted LED downlight - Surface LED ceiling light

Those whose ceilings are not equipped for recessed lighting but who love the look of it can benefit from surface mounted lights like the LBL251 5 Watt Hexagonal Surface Mounted LED Downlight. The light has a sleek, modern hexagonal shape and plays host to GU10 LED lights that output 400 lumens. The neutral finish choices of white, black or silver make them easy to incorporate into any space.

 

5. LPL354 6 Watt Globe LED Pendant Light

LPL354 6 watt globe metal pendant lightLED lights are every bit as decorative and ornate as traditional bulbs. That is evident here in the LPL354 6 Watt Globe LED Pendant Light. The pendant light features a spherical shape with a mid-century modern touch. The upper portion of the light is finished in your choice of black or silver, while the lower portion is a milky ivory colour to diffuse the 400 lumens of 3000k warm white light beautifully.

FINAL THOUGHTS

LED lights are an increasingly popular choice and for good reason. They pose benefits to the environment and the health of those in a space lit by LED lighting. They can also save energy, which can lower the cost of energy bills. Above, we explained what LED lights are as well as their benefits, while also showing a few examples of the diversity of LED lighting.

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