Most people are familiar with the main benefit of LED light bulbs: they are considerably more efficient than other forms of lighting. This means they’re cheaper to run and also better for the environment. However, there are a lot of interesting things that are less known about LED technology. Here are a few facts about what makes them different:
LEDs were invented 50 years ago
- Most people think of LEDs as a fairly recent invention, but they have actually been around since the 1960s. It has taken until now to be widely adopted by the public, partly due to developments in colour choices. A lot of people had reservations about the ‘blue’ light given off by early LEDs. Now, there is a huge range to choose from, including more traditional warm-toned bulbs. LED bulbs have also dropped in price considerably.
LED lights have antibacterial properties
- This is one of the reasons why they are often used in fridges and to light food displays in shops and cafés.
LEDs don’t give off much heat
- LEDs are safer because they don’t reach the same high temperatures as incandescent bulbs. This means you’re unlikely to burn yourself on one, (unlikely with ceiling-mounted lights, but more important with bedside lamps and those within the reach of children).
LEDs give off light instantly
- Incandescent bulbs work via a filament that gets very hot and glows white, giving off light. LED light bulbs, on the other hand, do not need to warm up in order to start working, so they give off light instantly when turned on. This makes a big difference compared to CFLs, which can take ages to give off a decent level of light.
LEDs are less attractive to insects
- It’s pretty annoying when your light becomes an irresistible attraction for every moth and bug in the world. LED bulbs don’t attract so many bugs as traditional forms of lighting, because they give off much lower levels of infrared and UV radiation. Insect-killing lights give off bright ultraviolet light for the very reason that it attracts bugs.
LEDs are recyclable
- LEDs are made from more than 95% recyclable materials. They contain no mercury, so they are not hazardous when broken or taken apart, unlike incandescents.
LEDs last for years
- LED bulbs last longer. Yes, they cost a little more to buy, but they also last up to 10 times as long as halogen bulbs. They don’t burn out like halogen bulbs – their brightness just fades slowly with time. Their longer lifespan makes LEDs much better value for money in the long run.