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Greenlight Optics
The 411 on LEDs
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You’re wanting to switch the light bulbs in your home from incandescent to LED. But, you have no idea where to start. What are the benefits? How are they different than the bulbs I’m already using? Why should I choose one brand over another? These are just a few of the questions you may be asking yourself. Relax; we’ve got some information that will make the process easier for you.

The basics
If you haven’t heard, let us be the ones to tell you; LEDs are more eco-friendly than incandescent bulbs are. Besides having zero traces of Mercury in them, light-emitting diodes use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs do. They also tend to have a lower temperature than incandescent bulbs, so managing the heat in your home or workplace will be easier with LEDs

And you won’t have to switch out these lights as frequently as you do with incandescent bulbs. Most LEDs can last up to 20 years. (Plus, these lights don’t attract bugs. So that means you can enjoy that summer barbecue in peace!)

How do they work?
Most people tend to go for a warm white light for lamps around their home. LEDs can be adjusted to a variety of color choices, so you can choose a funky blue or a normal white when looking for an LED. To emit white light, LEDs emit light in a narrow wavelength, which actually requires red, green and blue LEDs to be mixed to create the white light.

Another way LEDs function is having a phosphor work together with the LED. The LED is coated with a phosphor to have the emitted light move to the white end of the color spectrum. 

Gone are the days of measuring light in wattage; LEDs measure their brightness in lumens. Don’t be afraid of the high numbers labeled on LED boxes though; a 1,600 lumen LED won’t be as bright as 1,600 watts (if they make such a bulb). A 1,600 lumen LED is equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent bulb. Need more help understanding how to convert watts to lumens and vice versa? Check out this handy chart.

If you’re looking for a general-purpose lamp in the living room or whatnot, then an 800 lumen (60 watt) LED is a great starting point. But if you’re looking for a specific use, such as lights in a garden or to illuminate an outdoor walkway, you may need a higher intensity. Choosing a bright LED can be an efficient form of lighting where there are low power levels.

That’s the lowdown on LEDs. Do you use LEDs in your home or office? Let us know what benefits you’ve found from using them in the comments!


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