LED Lighting Technology: Brighter, Safer and More Efficient
Electricity in the infant years was primarily used for household lighting. The incandescent light bulb lit homes across the world for many, many years. It was not until the last decade or so that we saw any changes with compact fluorescent and light-emitting diodes (LED) lighting. Now LED has now taken over the shelves of hardware stores across the country.
LED lighting was discovered by the British back in early 1900s and advanced by Russians in the late 1920s. The technology stalled until the early 1960s when two engineers from Texas Instruments developed infrared LED light. Next came variations of the LED lighting including visible, infrared, and ultraviolet LED lighting. The cost prevented the technology from household use and was primarily used
as indicator lighting in expensive lab equipment and semiconductor chips. This technology has matured over time with first household usage being in a remote control for TVs. Today we have a broad range of applications of LED lighting. There are two primary advantages of LED lighting. It is inexpensive to run and it lasts 25 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs. On average, LED lights can last up to 3 years longer than incandescent bulbs and is 6-7 times more efficient than incandescent cutting energy usage up to 80%. The initial cost of this LED lighting is higher than traditional lighting, however the price points are coming down. Major investment in manufacturing and government investment into this technology have driven the price down.
The holiday season is upon us and there are several applications of LED lighting to light up your Christmas season. LED Christmas lights operate much cooler than incandescent, they last much longer, and several strings of light can be connected due to the reduced energy consumption. The chart below is the estimated cost of electricity to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days according to the energy.gov website:
Overall, LED lighting has made significant progress in the last decade. This technology is maturing, and applications are being developed to meet the consumer needs. LEDs are finding their way into our homes and they are here to stay.