Imagine you could cut down your energy consumption by up to 90%, save money on your electricity bill and forget about changing a bulb for years at a time. Considering changing to LED lighting might be the way forward.
At Ben Guest Services our Rickmansworth and Watford based electricians are fitting hundreds of LED light fittings and bulbs weekly.
What is an LED?
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. They are often referred to as solid light bulbs, and are extremely efficient. Traditionally they were limited to a single bulb and were used in instrument panels, penlights and Christmas tree lights. Manufacturers have now developed clusters of the small bulbs, which enable a much wider range of uses. Modern bulbs have clusters of up to 180 bulbs and are encased with a diffuser lens to spread the light and give a boarder beam. The high cost of producing LED bulbs was a limiting factor in its rise. However, new technologies are bringing the prices down rapidly and combined with their other advantages, mean that LEDs are quickly replacing traditional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.
Advantages of LEDs
- Long-lasting - LED bulbs last up to 10 times longer than a compact fluorescent, and far longer than typical incandescent bulbs.
- Durable - Since LEDs do not have a filament and are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring and bumping.
- Cool - LED bulbs do not cause heat build-up. Common incandescent bulbs get hot and are a fire risk if used in certain situations.
- Mercury-free - No mercury is used in the manufacturing of LEDs. This means less pollution from the manufacture and disposal of the bulbs.
- More efficient - LED light bulbs use only 2-17 watts of electricity (1/3rd to 1/30th of Incandescent or fluorescent bulbs). LED bulbs used in fixtures inside the home save electricity, remain cool and save money on replacement costs since they last so long.
Uses for LEDs
LED lights can be used both indoors and outdoors and not just as a replacement for traditional lighting:
- Replace existing halogen down lights to save up to 90% on your energy bills.
- Staircase: Use LED recessed lighting in a wall as a guide light or as a feature.
- Kitchens: Use under units, in units and on plinths to create various effects.
- Bathrooms: LED lights can be set into the floor or the wall.
- Children's bedroom or nursery: LED lights can be set into the walls to create a dim nightlight effect.
- Driveways: LED lights can be added to paving to light paths or the edge of the driveway.
- Walls: LEDs are a great feature inset into garden walls for a nighttime light effect.
- Decking: LEDs can be used to define an area of decking in the garden.
- Ponds: Use submersible LEDs for underwater light effects.
A qualified electrician should be used for the installation and replacement for any of these lighting projects.
Choosing an LED bulb
Many different models and styles of LED bulbs are emerging in today's marketplace. When choosing a bulb, keep in mind the following, and don’t forget to ask a local qualified electrician if you’re unsure which LED light fitting will suit your home:
- Brightness - Choose desired brightness level. Brightness used to be measured in Watts but a much more accurate measure is being introduced. Lumins measure perceived brightness with a greater number meaning a brighter bulb.
- Warm and cool light - New LED bulbs are available in 'cool' white light, which is ideal for task lighting, and 'warm' light commonly used for accent or small area lighting.
- Standard base or pin base - LEDs are available in several types of 'pin' sockets or the standard "screw' bases for recessed or track lighting.
- Standard and dimmable bulbs - Some LED bulbs are now available as dimmable bulbs.
- Quality - Do not buy cheap bulbs. They are inexpensive because the bulbs use a low-quality chip, which fails easily.
You should always use a qualified electrician to replace existing light fittings with new LED light fittings.
If you would like advice on choosing and fitting replacement LED fixtures and bulbs, our electricians will be happy to help. We’re based in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, just outside Watford and we have provided advice on LED lighting.