At Rancho Electrical, a large number of the projects we complete involve installing LED lighting to replace older incandescent or fluorescent lighting systems. These projects often have the effect of increasing light levels, sometimes drastically, while still lowering energy costs for the client. So what makes LED lighting so special?
The first key to understanding LED lighting is right in their name: LEDs are light emitting diodes. A diode is an electronic component that conducts electricity in a single direction. When you connect a power source to a diode in the correct direction, electricity flows. If the power source is reversed, there will be no current.
When electrons flow across any diode, they will release photons. In most diodes, these photons are low-powered, falling outside the visible spectrum, and absorbed readily by the materials that make up the diode.
In an LED, however, the diode is constructed to create a photons of a specific power level. This can range from infrared, on through the visible spectrum, and even into ultraviolet. Then, instead of absorbing the photons inside the diode itself, an LED is shaped so that the light is emitted outward, where it can be utilized.
In an incandescent light source, electricity is forced through a tungsten filament. Because of the low conductivity of tungsten, it heats up as the electrons flow through it, quickly getting hot enough to glow.
It’s that heat that makes incandescent lighting so inefficient. Instead of being used to create light, a lot of the electricity in a traditional light source is wasted through heat. LEDs don’t create almost any heat, on the other hand.
By the Numbers
- An incandescent light produces 17 lumens of light per watt of power.
- A similarly sized LED light can produce more than 75 lumens per watt.
- An incandescent bulb is usually rated to last around 1000 hours.
- An LED-based bulb can last 50,000+ hours.
Consider how much you could save if your business switched to LED lighting. Not only would energy costs go down dramatically, but your lighting would be virtually maintenance free for years. If you’re ready to make the switch, contact us at Rancho Electrical today.