The light-emitting diode (LED) is one of today's most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies. Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting.
LED is a highly energy efficient lighting technology, and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in the United States. Residential LEDs -- especially ENERGY STAR rated products -- use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.
Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (compared to no LED use) of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today's electricity prices.
HOW LED’S ARE DIFFERENT
LED lighting is very different from other lighting sources such as incandescent bulbs and CFL's. Key differences include the following:
Light Source: LED's are the size of a fleck of pepper, and a mix of red, green, and blue LED's is typically used to make white light.
Direction: LED's emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light. This feature makes LEDs more efficient for many uses such as recessed downlights and task lighting. With other types of lighting, the light must be reflected to the desired direction and more than half of the light may never leave the fixture.
Heat: LED's emit very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat and CFL's release about 80% of their energy as heat.
“Top Things You Didn’t Know About LED’s…”
8. A light-emitting diode, or LED, is a type of solid-state lighting that uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. Today’s LED bulbs can be six-seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent.
7. Good-quality LED bulbs can have a useful life of 25,000 hours or more -- meaning they can last more than 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs. That is a life of more than three years if run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
6. Unlike incandescent bulbs -- which release 90 percent of their energy as heat -- LED's use energy far more efficiently with little wasted heat.
5. From traffic lights and vehicle brake lights to TVs and display cases, LED's are used in a wide range of applications because of their unique characteristics, which include compact size, ease of maintenance, resistance to breakage, and the ability to focus the light in a single direction instead of having it go every which way.
4. LED's contain no mercury, and a recent US Energy Department study determined that LED's have a much smaller environmental impact than incandescent bulbs. They also have an edge over compact fluorescent lights (CFL's) that’s expected to grow over the next few years as LED technology continues its steady improvement.
3. Since the US Energy Department started funding solid-state lighting R&D in 2000, these projects have received 58 patents. Some of the most successful projects include developing new ways to use materials, extract more light, and solve the underlying technical challenges. Most recently, the US Energy Department announced five new projects that will focus on cutting costs by improving manufacturing equipment and processes.
2. The first visible-spectrum LED was invented by Nick Holonyak, Jr., while working for GE in 1962. Since then, the technology has rapidly advanced and costs have dropped tremendously, making LED's a viable lighting solution. Between 2011 and 2012, global sales of LED replacement bulbs increased by 22 percent while the cost of a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb fell by nearly 40 percent. By 2030, it's estimated that LED's will account for 75 percent of all lighting sales.
1. In 2012, about 49 million LED's were installed in the U.S. -- saving about $675 million in annual energy costs. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions