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Pros and Cons of LED Lightbulbs

Pros and Cons of LED Lightbulbs

You might remember playing with LEDs at school or in the science kits your kids got for Christmas, they are often used to help us learn how electrical circuits work. You have probably seen them on newer Audi's and a lot of other brands of new car, televisions, computer screens and many traffic lights now use LED lights too. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode and these new bulbs offer many benefits over the traditional, incandescent bulb which was invented by Thomas Edison. In this post we are going to look at the pros and cons that LED bulbs can offer.


In 1962 Nick Holonyak, Jr. was working for General Electric and invented the first visible-spectrum LED. The first LED lights where red diodes, pale yellow and green diodes were created next. Shortly after their invention LED lights became part of calculator displays. In the 90s after the invention of blue diodes researchers discovered they could coat them with a phosphor to making the blue diodes appear white.

Energy Efficiency

When they were first invented LED bulbs were no more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. According to this blog post about LED light bulbs, “the original range of LED bulbs was very limited. Just a few, like the low voltage dichroic and GU10 lamps were introduced. Many of these bulbs were available in only one watt making them of very little use. It was believed that background or decorative lighting would be their main role.”
After a push for further research and development Philips developed the first 600 watt LED bulb. Modern LED bulbs offer better energy efficiency because manufacturers string several low energy consuming LEDs into each bulb, 40 one watt LEDs can produce the same amount of light as a 60 watt incandescent bulb.

Cooler to Touch

LEDs don't produce heat like incandescent bulbs do, incandescent bulbs produce heat in the form of infrared radiation which makes them hot to the touch. Being cooler to touch means LED fixtures can be positioned in locations where the heat generated by other light sources would be an issue. Even LEDs lose 60-95% of their power through heat output.


LEDs do not have fragile filaments that can be broken and they can last for up to 60,000 hours, the maximum lifespan of traditional bulbs is 2,000 hours which reduces waste and the need to change them (obviously).

Not Toxic

The low energy bulbs which have replaced incandescent lights in many homes and workplaces these new bulbs contain mercury and argon gas, the bulbs and the chemicals they contain have caused a wave of concern around the world.

Cost of Installation

The initial installation and purchase cost of LED lighting can be quite expensive, LED bulb will cost over ten time a traditional bulb. Initial cost is the only drawback to LEDs really but LEDs can last 58,000 hours longer than traditional bulbs (just one LED bulb can last as long as 58 incandescent bulbs), they are much more energy efficient and non toxic so are a good long term investment.
This post was supplied by David Easter Managing Director of online electrical wholesalers, Cannon Electrical.
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