In a world of increasing environmental awareness, the demand for energy efficient lighting is constantly growing. Many people and businesses are seeking lighting options that not only reduce energy consumption, but are cost efficient and highly functional. LED tube lighting may offer a solution for many consumers.
What are LEDs? LED is an abbreviation for light-emitting diode. LEDs are basically small semiconductor chips that illuminate when they conduct electricity. Conventional incandescent lighting works by producing light as a by product of a wastefully heated filament. But the majority of the energy conducted by LEDs is converted into light, so LEDs are almost twice as efficient as comparable incandescent bulbs.
Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are also more efficient than incandescent lights, and have recently become a popular option for many consumers. But while CFLs are efficient, LEDs are more efficient because of their remarkable lifespan. LEDs typically last as much as 50-75 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and as much as 6-8 times longer than CFLs. LEDs are more expensive than incandescent and fluorescent lights initially, but over time their higher efficiency and longer lifespan make them an energy and cost saving solution.
Furthermore, LEDs do not present the potential environmental and health risks that fluorescent lights do. Many fluorescent lights contain mercury, which is highly toxic. While CFLs usually only contain small amounts of mercury, any exposure to mercury is a potential risk. Also, improperly disposed CFLs potentially lead to long-term health and environmental risks as the mercury builds up in landfills and nearby groundwater. Many CFLs are also coated with a phosphor coating that can pose risks for breakage and disposal.
Anyone who has worked in an office or warehouse with fluorescent tube lighting knows about the irritation and distraction of constantly flickering lights. In some cases, fluorescent flickering over long periods can even cause vision and eye problems. Another advantage of tube lighting with LEDs is the elimination of flickering. LEDs do lose their luminosity of time, but the output for their advertised lifespan is a steady, clear stream of light.
For those seeking energy efficiency and long-term cost savings, LED lighting seems like an obvious solution. But for years LEDs have mostly been used for limited purposes such as display and indicator lighting. Now, however, LED technology is producing products with the illumination needed for everyday use. Meanwhile, as we have seen with semiconductor technology generally, LED lighting will probably only get continue to improve.
LED tube lighting is presents an energy efficient and environmentally friendly option for most businesses and consumers. The upfront costs for LED lighting may be higher than other options, but the long term savings and benefits potentially far outweigh those initial costs. And, as LED technology improves, the savings and benefits can only improve as well.