LED lights are the new green

Those cute curly light bulbs are no longer on the green shopping list. CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) are no longer the cutting edge of energy-saving technology. The new lighting kid on the scene is the LED. OK so LED lighting technology has been around for a while, but mostly in smaller lighting situations, such as the on/off light on the TV or, more recently, long-lasting, pin-point flashlights.

The good news is that advances in LED technology means it can now be used in the home and office to replace all the old style tubes and light bulbs. More good news is that LED lighting is very energy-efficient, long-lasting and reliable. The only bad news is that it’s still more expensive to purchase initially than conventional old-style lighting.

So is it worth making the change?
Let’s look at how LED light bulbs compare with CFLs and you can decide for yourself

1. LED lights use 30-50% less energy than CFLs. This results in huge energy savings over their life-time and they end up paying for themselves in saved electricity costs in less than two years.

2. LED light bulbs last far longer than CFLs. They are less prone to burn out in hot or cold temperatures and last up to 50,000 hours, as opposed the less than 10,000 hours of CFLs.

3. LED’s are a solid light source and so are far more durable than CFLs, many of which never reach their optimum lifespan because of breakages.

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4. CFL’s contain mercury which is extremely toxic. When they break in the home this substance is dangerous to anyone who comes into contact with it. When disposed on in landfills the mercury remains toxic in the environment. While LEDs still need to be properly disposed of, as they do contain some heavy metals, they do not contain mercury. And because they last so much longer than CFLs there will be far fewer of them to be disposed of.

5. The quality of light in new technology LED’s is far better than most CFL’s and there is a wide range of colours and warmths to choose from.

With LED’s, as with most good things, you get what you pay for. There are many cheaper copies which won’t live up to the promises in terms of lifespan and energy saving. It is much better to invest in the best quality and latest technology that you can afford, from a reputable company, which will last you for many years, than to cut costs and end up with a lesser product. Look for established companies that specialise in LED products, such as Candela LED in South Africa, and get their advice on the best products to suit your needs.