What is the LED Light Technology

Frequently asked questions about LED Lighting

What is an LED?

An L.E.D. or light-emitting diode is a two-lead semiconductor light source. LEDs were originally developed years ago for use in expensive electronics equipment such as laboratory and electronics test equipment, and then were later used in circuit boards, TVs, radios, telephones, calculators, and watches. Initially, they were very expensive to produce and were not widely used. Recent developments in LEDs now permit them to be used in a variety of lighting products for task lighting, and the price has become much more affordable.

Do LED light bulbs save energy?

Yes, LED bulbs do save energy, not only because the actual bulb wattage is lower for the same light output as other types of bulbs, but also because they burn cooler and will save on air conditioning costs.

How much energy do LED bulbs save?

The amount of energy that LED bulbs saves varies, but it’s usually anywhere from 20% to 80% because of the reduction in wattage. If you are interested in calculating how much LED bulbs can save you, you can check out my easy-to-use energy savings calculation page where I show you exactly how to do it.

Do LED bulbs look as good as incandescent bulbs?

I think LED bulbs look just as good, and in some cases better than incandescent bulbs. There are so many options now for color choices, that you can tailor your LED bulbs to fit your tastes and needs for almost any application.

Do LED bulbs really last longer than other light bulbs?

LED light bulbs last considerably longer than other types of bulbs. The hour rating of LED bulbs is usually anywhere from 25,000 hours to 50,000 hours and up, which is 10 to 50 times longer life than incandescent, fluorescent and halogen bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are rated anywhere from 750 to 5,000 hours, and fluorescent bulbs are usually rated at 10,000 – 20,000 hours.

Why do LED bulbs last longer than other bulbs?

LED bulbs last longer for several reasons. First off, LED bulbs do not have filaments which create a large amount of heat. Also, there is no metal fatigue, no oxidation, and no evaporation of metal components. LED bulbs are far less fragile, and are very rugged, solid-state devices with no glass to break.

How do I know if I’m picking out the right LED bulb?

Choosing the correct LED bulb can be tricky, so you need to know what bulb type you are replacing first and then you can pick out a replacement bulb or retrofit to put in its place. You also want to make sure you are getting the correct color of LED bulb to match your current light output. If you need help figuring out what kind of bulb to choose, you can look at my Choosing LED Bulbs page. In addition, if you need help figuring out how to choose the right LED color, you can check out my page Understanding Kelvin Temperature for a simple explanation.

What is the difference between ballast bypass and direct install LED tubes?

Ballast bypass or ballast rewire LED tubes require additional wiring for them to work in your existing fluorescent fixture, because the existing tubes run on a ballast which is inside the fixture. You will need to wire the tubes directly to the sockets in order for these to work. The benefit of this type of LED tubes is that once you bypass the ballast, you will never need it again and after the LED tubes burn out, you can just replace the tubes and won’t have to change the ballast. I have done it myself and it’s not difficult.

The direct install LED tubes can be put right into your existing fixture with the ballast still in there, but the ballast will have to be replaced when it burns out, and this could happen before the LED tubes burnout. This may be a better option if you don’t feel comfortable with the wiring. If you would like more info on ballast bypass and direct install LED tubes, visit my page here.

Can I replace my compact fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs?

There are many LED replacements bulbs available for compact fluorescent replacement, but finding the right base can be a little tricky. There are LED CFL replacements available for both 2-pin and 4-pin options, and they come in different configurations. See my page How to Choose LED CFL Replacements for more information and detailed pictures of the different CFL bases.