Save energy with versatile LED lights

As domestic users adjust to a new era of energy-saving lighting options, LED lights can make a substantial difference to your energy bill. They are far more efficient than halogen bulbs and provide a natural-looking and efficient source of light. LED lights look to be the solution to lighting demands for years to come.

Saving the planet one light at a time

LED is the abbreviation for light-emitting diode, invented around 50 years ago, but only recently coming into regular domestic use. LED lights use considerably less energy than incandescent, fluorescent or halogen lights. Essentially, they do this with circuitry that efficiently converts power into light, while generating very little heat.

Their most obvious use is as replacements for halogen bulbs in downlighting set-ups. LED lights can provide an energy saving of around 80% for an equivalent output. LED lights can produce illumination equivalent to daylight for around 50,000 hours before they need replacing. Given the average domestic usage, that works out around 15 years.

LED lights are robust and do not contain mercury or hazardous chemicals. Lights vary depending on the manufacturer, but LEDs are usually about 90% recyclable. LED lights can be used with dimmer switches, but you have to check that the lights you have purchased are compatible with dimmers. Not all LED lights are suitable.

Unlike the CFL bulbs that have replaced incandescent bulbs due to EU regulations, LED lights come on instantly, and do not share the bulky spiral shape of CFLs.

LED lights will gradually fade after years of use. The output decrease is very slow and gradual, and may not even be noticeable.

Safety issues

LED lights generate far less heat than other bulbs, so safety concerns should not be a problem. Lampshades or glass light fittings that were unsuitable for use with high-powered incandescent bulbs can usually be used safely with LED lights. LED lights may also be safer to use in Christmas decorations.

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