About LED Lights

About LED Lights

Up until recently, the majority of Christmas lights were incandescent. The standard style of light bulb, they are illuminated by a heated filament wire. While easy and cheap to make, and readily available, they have issues. They are inefficient, giving less than a 20th of the energy produced as light and instead mostly creating heat. Also they are short lived and fragile, being made of glass. Because of this, recently a drive to replace them has begun, as light makers in everyday applications as well as Christmas decorations, have been phasing in other technology. In this case it has led to the rise of LED style light bulbs.

Although Light Emitting Diodes have existed in some form for decades, the rise of them as an alternate style of light is recent, first coming to notice in the late 90s. Since then they have slowly grown in usage, with many official public Christmas decorations such as the Capitol tree using LEDs.

The differences between LEDs and incandescent bulbs are many. They are cool to the touch, not being illuminated by heating something to a white hot glow, for one. Because of this, they also use far less energy, approximately a tenth, on average, the consumption of an equivalent sized incandescent bulb, and yet also glows brighter. They are more durable, being made of molded plastic rather than glass, and since the coloration isn’t created by a coating on the bulb, they aren’t subject to fading or chipping of the color. LEDs also last far longer, with their average lifespan before being replaced being around 25,000-100,000 hours of illumination.

With all of these advantages, it might seem that people would immediately switch to these new style bulbs, but there are a few factors to consider. For example, as a newer technology, LED lights cost more. Their price is dropping all the time as they become easier to make, but there still is a difference. The difference can be as little as a few dollars on a string of miniature lights, but this may be a factor to consider. In general, LED lights are brighter than incandescent lights. The intensity of the lights can be overwhelming, especially indoors, to people not used to them.

Also, the colors take getting used to. In particular, white colored lights come in three different colors. People who are looking for a light that has the same hue and tone as old style bulbs would be best suited to the Warm White or Warm Clear style bulbs, as they are shaded with that slight hint of yellow to create the impression of candle light. The lights also come in a blue toned Polar or Cool White color, to give an icy feel. Pure white lights, on the other hand, are as close to colorless as may be expected, and because of that have a remarkably intense effect that some people may not be ready for.

If you are looking to cut costs and maintenance, by all means consider LED as the option for you. But as always, it would be wise to consider all the facts at hand before trying this new concept.

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