LEDs have become the most efficient source of lighting available, using up to 90% less energy than incandescent lighting and 60% less than fluorescent lighting. However, LED lighting has not always been the cost-efficient alternative that it is today, with the first LEDs costing around $200 each. Since the first visible LED was created in 1962 the technology has grown rapidly, with LED lights becoming an extremely popular lighting solution in recent years.
A Light Emitting Diode (LED) is an electrical light source that only allows an electrical current to flow in one direction. LEDs contain two conductive materials that are placed in contact with each other - once electricity is applied to the diode, the atoms in one material become charged with energy. This energy is then released in the form of electrons into the other conductive material - this release of energy is what creates light. The process of generating light is what distinguishes LEDs from traditional lighting, as regular incandescent bulbs produce light by creating heat.
When comparing LEDs to traditional lighting technology, the increased energy efficiency and extended lifespan result in a substantial long term savings. As previously mentioned, LEDs use up to 90% less energy than incandescent (including halogen) and 60% less than old fluorescent lighting, resulting in instant energy cost savings. On top of this, the extended lifespan of LED bulbs means they need to be replaced far less regularly, further reducing any additional maintenance costs. Investing in a full LED conversion may seem daunting initially due to the investment required. However, the subsequent savings will mean any initial investment is soon repaid. Our blog post on the savings that can be made by converting to LEDs includes a great example of exactly how much a business could save by making the switch.