LED bulbs – The future of lighting
How do they compare.
LED light bulbs offer many advantages compared to older bulbs such as fluorescents and incandescent bulbs. Today’s LED bulbs are 100 percent efficient at turning electric energy into light. In comparison, compact fluorescents are 50 percent efficient, and incandescents are only 15 percent efficient.
In terms of lifespan, LEDs typically last around 2-5 times longer than fluorescents and up to 25 times longer than incandescents. Along with reducing the frequency of changing your bulbs, it is also better for the environment, as they do not contain toxic mercury, which is found in compact fluorescents. LED bulbs do not flicker, and are not affected by extremely hot or cold temperatures. They are also dimmable and produce high quality ultra-violet free light.
How do they work?
Today’s LED bulbs use solid-state lighting technology, meaning they emit light from solid matter, instead of a vacuum like incandescents or the gas from compact fluorescents.
Using a semiconductor produced from positive and negative charged components, an LED emits light by transferring electrons around its structure. The positive layer has holes for electrons and the negative layer has free electrons which float. When electric energy is used to transfer the electrons from the negative to positive components, they emit light as they circulate into the positive charged holes.
How will they impact the future?
- In 2012 LED bubs were only 12% of the lighting market, but that number has grown to 25% in 2014, and is projected to be 80% of the market by 2020.
- The U.S. Department of Energy estimated that widespread conversion to LED bulbs by 2025 will reduce lighting electricity demands by 62 percent, removing over 258 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
- Global sales of all types of LEDs are expected to almost double from about $3.6 billion in 2013 to more than $7 billion in 2016.