LED Lighting 101

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode.

LEDs began as exciting but expensive electronic components in the sixties, used in handheld calculators and other similar devices. Through research and development, LED technology advanced, became more efficient and less expensive, until it reached its current form.

LED lighting is very different from other lighting sources such as incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). LEDs are the size of a fleck of pepper, and a mix of red, green, and blue LEDs is typically used to make white light.  LEDs emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light. This feature makes LEDs more efficient for many uses such as recessed down lights and task lighting. With other types of lighting, the light must be reflected to the desired direction and more than half of the light may never leave the fixture. LEDs emit very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat and CFLs release about 80% of their energy as heat.

LED is a highly energy efficient lighting technology, and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in the United States.  Residential LEDs – especially ENERGY STAR rated products — use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.

LED standard base light bulbs (A Shape) are available in several colors.  We like Batteries + Bulbs Duracell dimmable soft white bulb in the purple box because it most resembles incandescent.  Daylight is actually whiter than soft white and cool white is not recommended.    PECO is promoting these bulbs with a subsidized discount now.  We recommend you retrofit your existing lamps and recessed lighting (with the appropriate replacement size).  Please note that if you have dimmer switches on incandescent switched you will need to upgrade the dimmer switches to work with LED recessed lighting.

We also recommend purchasing LED lamps and fixtures, such as those featured here.  The chandelier featured above is Hudson Valley Lighting’s Ashleigh Chandelier by Mitzi.   The Floor Lamp featured is Koncept Lighting’s  Lady 7 LED Dimmable Telescopic Floor Lamp.