Now-a-days we are hearing a lot about LED lights and about replacing old lamps with LED lamps. But what is LED and why should we replace old lamps with LED?
Lets first talk about Filament or Incadescent bulb. This is the old style bulb which was invented by Edison. It works on the principle of heating a very thin tungsten filament. Once the filament heats up, it emits yellow light. Since heating is required, it results in lot of wastage of electricity, as what we really need is light and not heat. Thats why filament bulbs are very hot and they last only few months as the filament breaks due to constant heating. Filament bulbs are very inefficient way of producing light.
To make lighting more efficient, Flourscent Tubes or CFL bulbs were invented. This is the tubelight that we are all so familiar with. It works on the principle of passing current through a mixture of gas and mercury. It causes the gas to emit light. This works much more efficienctly than filament bulb. It consumes 5 times lesser electricity than filament bulbs. It also lasts about 5 times longer (average life of about 3 years). But there is still a lot of wastage of power in Flourscent tubes and bulbs. Also, they are not environmently friendly as they contain mercury which is poisnous.
The latest breakthrough in the field of lighting was provided by LED or "Light Emitting Diode". LED is an electronic component rather than elecctrical. It is very efficient way of generating light. It consumes about half the power of flourscent lamps or about one tenth the power of filament lamps for generating same about of light. It works on very low voltage (12 to 36 volts), whereas we get a supply of 230 volts in our power lines. Thats why LED requires a AC to DC adapter to convert 230 volts AC power to low voltage DC power. There are many benefits to using LED lights:
1. Very power efficient, consumes very low power (ten times more efficient than filament bulbs)
2. No unnecessary heating
3. Very high life. Good quality LEDs have light of more than 10 years
4. Since LEDs are very small, they can be moulded into a variety of sleek and modern form factors. Thats why you can find LED lights with very nice designs, which was not possible with CFLs
5. Environment friendly as they do not contain mercury or any poisnous elements.
Earlier LEDs were expensive, so very few people could afford. But with the advance of technology, LEDs have become very cheap now and easily affordable by common man. However, one must be careful when buying LEDs. It can also tend to have harmful effects. Badly designed LED lights can emit UV or IR radiation which can be harmful to health. We highly recommend going for LEDs lights from good brands which are BIS certified and marked with 'no UV/IR'.