Frequently Asked Questions about LED light bulbs

What exactly is an LED, and how does it work?

LED stands for Light-Emitting Diode, the most energy-efficient form of indoor and outdoor lighting available today. Basically, it’s solid-state lighting that uses a semiconductor to produce visible light when an electric current runs through it. Since LEDs emit light in a very narrow band of wavelengths, they are far more efficient than other types of bulbs that emit light in a much wider band of wavelengths.


How do LEDs compare with other types of bulbs?

LEDs need much less electricity and last far longer than other types of bulbs. For example, an LED bulb uses 75% less electricity than a traditional incandescent bulb, and lasts 25 times longer (1,000 hours versus 25,000 hours). Even when compared to compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) – those squiggly bulbs that were so popular a few years ago – LEDs use 30% less electricity and last more than three times longer.


Do LEDs have any other advantages?

Yes! One big advantage is that LEDs have very little waste heat. Incandescent and CFL bulbs can throw off 90% and 80% of their energy as waste heat respectively, making your air conditioning work that much harder. And unlike CFLs, LED bulbs contain no mercury, eliminating worries about breakage or disposal.


How do LED bulbs compare in terms of brightness, color, light quality, etc.?

The brightness of a bulb is measured in lumens – the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the bulb. LED bulbs provide far more lumens for the amount of electricity used than either an incandescent or CFL bulb (e.g., it would take an 18-watt CFL or a 75-watt incandescent bulb to match the 1,000 lumens produced by a 12-watt LED). LEDs are available in all “color temperatures”, from warm (to match the yellowish glow of incandescent bulbs) to cool (for a whiter or bluer light). In terms of light quality, LEDs have a high color rendering value, which means that the color of items being lit by LEDs are reflected truly and naturally.


What is an LED retrofit?

Simply put, an LED retrofit is the replacement of the lighting system you already have with a new, more energy-efficient technology. Performing an LED retrofit will reduce your energy and maintenance costs while improving the quality of your lighting.


What are lighting control systems?

Lighting control systems – which are sometimes called “smart lighting” – allow you to maximize your energy savings by creating an intelligent network that provides the correct amount of light when and where it’s needed. These systems can use a central computer to communicate with lights throughout a facility and may also include devices like occupancy sensors, dimmers and photocells that can independently operate individual lights.