Since their initial application as indicator bulbs in the early 60’s, light emitting diodes (LEDs) have become a common household accessory, being found equally in TV remote controls, torches and fairy lights. LEDs are now used in more permanent light fittings throughout the home, enabling interior designers to have a creative ball with up-lighting, down-lighting and coloured strip-lights.
Fortunately, it does not take a complete upheaval of the electrics to install this bright and energy efficient alternative to standard incandescent lighting. LED bulbs have been designed to exactly fit original light fixtures and so a quick and simple replacement is now possible. The price of an LED bulb may be slightly off putting when it is over ten times higher than normal bulbs, but the benefits are numerous.
Firstly they are highly energy efficient, reducing energy use by up to 90%, yet remain considerably brighter than other eco-friendly options and take less than a micro second to reach full luminous intensity. On top of this, LED bulbs are far safer since they are not contained in fragile glass but usually sit behind a polycarbonate lens (as seen in the commonly used LED GU10), and do not emit any heat which has always been the danger of standard bulbs. These factors add up to create not only an extremely durable product, which can live for up to 60,000 hours of illumination, considerably longer than any standard alternative, but also a very environmentally friendly one.
This new capacity for retrofitting lights in the home will enable people to make an easy switch to brighter and more energy efficient lighting. With whole ranges of bulb styles available for different fittings (bayonet or screw-ins) and dimmable options too, being energy conscious is no longer just a case of installing a dimly glowing eco-friendly bulb. The only dilemma is whether to go for bright white or warm white, a decision which can easily change the mood of any room and may depend upon the function of that space. For instance, in the kitchen a bright light may be preferred to help see clearly when preparing food, while in the living room a warm glow may be preferred to create a cosy atmosphere. Whatever the needs, LEDbulbs are becoming an extremely adaptable and practical option for lighting needs throughout the home.