Tired of the Myths, Get the Facts About LED Lights

Families and businesses alike are looking for ways to keep their homes and workspaces as efficient as possible. As technology changes conversations like this happen more and more often.

Person A: Do you know LED lights save power?

Person B: Yeah, but they’re expensive.

Person A: Well, they do last longer and save power, after all.

Person B: I know, but they’re not good for your eyes.

Person A: That’s not true. They don’t contain any hazardous substances either.

Person B: Fine, but I think I’ll wait a bit more until I get one.

Person A: Why?

Person B: I don’t know. I guess I’m waiting for them to get better.

Person A: Let’s bust some of those myths

Myth 1: LED lights are expensive

Yes. LED lights are more expensive than traditional light bulbs and no one is going to argue that. A cost analysis by the Consumer Federation of America, found that a typical American family uses between 20 and 40 indoor light bulbs. Rough cost of an LED bulb is about $5 (compared to $1 for a regular light bulb) and replacing them all would come up to at least $100-200, depending on the number of bulbs. By switching to LED lights, you can save up to $3,600.00 in energy bills for a period of 25,000 working hours (and most LED lights these days come with a 50,000 hrs. warranty which is 13.7 years if you keep your lights on for 10 hours a day).

Cost-effectiveness analysis

Fluorescent Incandescent LED
Projected life span of a light bulb 10,000 hrs. 1,200 hrs. 25,000 hrs.
Cost per bulb $2 $1 $5
Bulbs needed for 25,000 hours of use 2.5 21 1
Total cost for 25,000 . $40 $171 $26

*Source: https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/led-light-bulbs-comparison-charts/

Power savings for a household with 25 bulbs (period of 25,000 hours)

Fluorescent Incandescent LED
Total cost for 25 bulbs $1,000 $4,275 $656
Total savings by switching to LEDs from incandescent lights $3,275 $0 $3,619.

*Source: https://learn.eartheasy.com/guides/led-light-bulbs-comparison-charts/

Myth 2: LEDs don’t save energy

As we’ve mentioned in the previous myth, energy is one of the things LEDs do save. They last up to 15x longer than standard light bulbs and use 90% less energy. If that doesn’t count as saving, we don’t know what does. And how do they do that? Well, LEDs are designed to emit small amounts of heat while producing the brightest light of them all. That’s the secret, they take up small amounts of power to produce light and not don’t waste it to generate unnecessary heat.

Myth 3: It’s just another light bulb, who cares

We care. And here’s why:

  • LEDs save power
  • LEDs shine brighter
  • LEDs are not harmful to your vision
  • LEDs don’t contain hazardous substances
  • LEDs save money
  • LEDs can be dimmed and controlled
  • LEDs work in extreme environments
  • LEDs produce small amounts of heat
  • LEDs are highly efficient

Myth 4: LED bulbs don’t last long

Imagine a researcher watching an LED bulb for more than five years. Why five years? Manufacturers nowadays claim that an LED bulb can last for more than 50,000 hours. Thankfully, there are empirical data which support the claims and it’s been over 50 years since the early LEDs and that’s way more than the warrantied life span!

Myth 5: LED lights aren’t efficient

This is just another in a line of myths surrounding LED lighting. The answer here is straightforward and all we need is a bit of math. Formula is based on the amount of light different kinds of bulbs produce per watt of energy. The same amount of light is produced by a 100-watt incandescent bulb, 15-watt fluorescent bulb and 8-watt LED bulb. The difference is obvious. LEDs are 12x more efficient than incandescent lights and 2x more efficient than fluorescent bulbs.

Myth 6: LEDs contain hazardous substances

LED bulbs do NOT contain mercury or any other toxic substances like fluorescent lights do (and mercury leaks if a fluorescent tube is broken). Standard LEDs are made of variety of inorganic materials. Phosphorus used in LED lights is bound in semiconductor material.

Myth 7: LED bulbs need time to warm up

One more myth busted. LEDs shine bright like a diamond the moment you turn them on! Unlike the widespread-power-saving-bulbs or fluorescent lamps, they don’t flicker or take time to turn on. Even if you switch them on and off continuously, it won’t affect their life span.

Myth 8: LED light can’t be dimmed or controlled

This is partially true but only because there are two types of LED light bulbs: dimmable and non-dimmable. So, if you’re looking for the one that can be dimmed, please check out the packaging to find out if there is a dimming feature. One crucial thing to keep in mind is that you need a good LED dimmer, one that can exploit full potential of an LED bulb.

Myth 9: LED bulbs can’t handle extremely cold environments

When used in cold temperatures, LED lights are actually more efficient and their life span is extended. Only extremely high temperatures can cause malfunctions (because they impact electrical and electronic parts). Therefore, an LED bulb working in coldest climates still gives its best.

Myth 10:There is little value now, waiting until they get better seems reasonable

There’s really no need to wait any longer. General LED light bulb life expectancy is 50,000 hours. If you keep your light on for about 10 hrs. a day, your life bulb won’t fail you for at least 13 years. Add 90% in energy savings to that. No one can or will deny that the LED technology will keep evolving, but why wait? The figures above show that the investment of $5 can return much more overall.