An LED is a microchip that emits light. LEDs can produce different colors of light including white light comparable to compact fluorescent (CFL) and incandescent bulbs.
Features that distinguish LEDs from other lighting sources:
- Direct light - LEDs do not require reflectors to point light in the direction it is needed. This makes them ideal for under cabinet and recessed lighting.
- Long lasting - Quality LEDs come with an estimated life of 35,000 to 50,000 hours. In contrast, a typical incandescent bulb will last about 1,000 hours.
- Durable - LEDs can perform well outdoors and in cold temperatures.
- Instant light - LEDs do not require warm-up time to reach full brightness.
- Rapid cycling - LED performance and life are unaffected by frequent on and off.
- Low profile - Many LEDs are compact and can fit into an assortment of lighting fixtures.
- Dimmable - LEDs can be dimmed, but must be designed to do so. Not all are compatible with dimmers designed for incandescent lighting.
- Higher purchasing cost - Most LEDs cost more to buy than CFLs and incandescent bulbs.
- Lower operating cost - The lower operating costs of LEDs and CFLs make them much cheaper than incandescents in the long run.
LEDs can create drama and interest or simply provide quality light to complete a task. They greatly extend lamp life, eliminating frequent replacement, which makes them ideal for hard to reach placement. LEDs can significantly reduce energy consumption without compromising light level.
Buy ENERGY STAR®
When shopping for LEDs:
- Look for the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR® LEDs must meet performance standards for dimming, rated life, color quality and color temperature.
- Look for lumens. Lumens measure light output. The higher the number, the brighter the light.
- Watts measures energy used. The lower the wattage, the less energy needed to emit light. Watts do not measure brightness or appearance.
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