A World Without LEDs
LED technology is relatively new but in only a few years it has made a significant difference in the way we live. From functional to entertainment uses, LEDs are all around us, offering high quality light and extending the lifespans of our appliances and disposable equipment. And, as the price of LED bulbs has come down, and their effectiveness has improved, LED sales are booming.
On one hand, it’s quite difficult to imagine what the world would be like without this technology, because it’s already been incorporated into so many areas of our lives and the things we purchase. On the other hand, however; all you have to do is return to the 80s and 90s when LEDs weren’t widely commercially available. These decades were known for their waste, greater expense and a general disregard for the environment.
Here we will take a look at just how much of a difference LEDs have made, and what our world would be like without this technology to drive innovation and environmental awareness.
A Wasteful World
Fast moving consumer goods are called that for a reason; they are purchased in tremendous quantities by the global population, and the technology that drives them also undergoes frequent updates and improvements. Newer technologies make previous generation technologies obsolete and can replace them in a matter of years or months.
When used in light pipes and backlights for appliances and technology, LEDs won’t need replacing for the equipment’s lifespan. That means less waste and less maintenance, as well as more use for the device itself.
When used in disposable and/or portable equipment, LEDs can also contribute to longer battery life spans. In a world without LEDs, we would have a lot more electronic waste and not get as much from our devices as we can today. We would also be spending a lot more time and money on unnecessary maintenance on our devices and appliances if they did not incorporate LED technology.
A Toxic World
Believe it or not, the additional use of incandescent bulbs in the last 1900s is releasing more toxic mercury into our environment. When a CFL light bulb breaks, or is thrown out, it can’t just be tossed into the rubbish bin. Throwing a CFL into a landfill site is dangerous, so it has to go out with the recyclable rubbish. How many people actually do this?
By comparison, an LED does not contain mercury, does not pose an environmental risk and can be safely disposed of with household rubbish.
Research shows CFLs also emit a small amount of UV radiation, and people who have sensitive skin may find it gets irritated when close to these kinds of bulbs. Without LEDs, we would be living in environments with greater UV radiation emissions. Our environment would also be a lot hotter, as UV radiation emits heat—one of the major reasons why CFLs are less effective.
A Hostile Environment with Irreversible Damage
Some suggest that reducing the use of electricity in domestic residences and the commercial sector can make a significant difference to the world’s attempt at reducing its carbon emissions. It is believed that a saving of 25 billion tonnes of carbon is possible if this approach is adopted successfully.
Without immediate and drastic change to our energy generation and consumption, and our methods of storing and disposing of waste, such as incandescent and halogen bulbs, we will create a hostile environment—an environment we cannot heal because of damage we cannot reverse.
An Expensive World
Lighting is one of the biggest consumers of electricity, behind appliances. Converting to LED lighting technology could reduce residential energy consumption by as much as 90%, and their electricity bills too.
While LED bulbs may be more expensive in the short term, their cost is falling steadily. High quality LEDs can repay their costs in as little as six months. After that, your electricity savings literally put money back in your pocket. Think of it as a long term investment that benefits you and the world around you. And, the more LEDs you have in your home or office, the greater the savings.
A Wasteful World
LEDs deliver energy savings of between 90% and 95%. Right now, LED technology is still under development as technologists look for ways to make them more effective, more eco-friendly and more affordable. Right now, the average lifespan of the LED is around 50% longer than those of incandescent bulbs.
With a 50,000 hour average lifespan, an LED bulb lasts the longest of all available lighting technologies. Incandescent bulbs last 1,200 hours on average and CFLs, only 8,000 hours.
It is interesting to note that 25% of the bulbs currently sold in Europe are actually used for commercial applications. And, even though incandescent bulbs make up two thirds of global bulb sales, they consume 25% of the world’s electricity and only produce 4% of its electric light—the waste is astronomical, unnecessary and totally illogical.
Even with the LED technology at our disposal, the world is still using antiquated lighting methods. These methods are unnecessary because LEDs only use between 6 and 8 watts, compared to the 60W of an incandescent bulb and 13 to 15 watts used by a CFL.
An Impractical World
LED lighting has solved a number of practical lighting problems, especially where CFLs or halogens cannot be used because the environment is sensitive to heat. LED light bulbs can also be used in extreme hot and cold environments, unlike their traditional counterparts, which are more temperature-sensitive.
Because LEDs switch on instantly, they are especially useful in time-sensitive applications, such as car brake lights.
LEDs are also available in small sizes where other light bulbs cannot be used. The fact that they emit light in only one direction makes them a much more efficient light source than CFL and incandescent bulbs as well.
Without LEDs, we would not be able to work as effectively in impractical locations.
LightRabbit is the UK and Ireland’s authority on LED bulbs and can help you to make cost-effective, environmentally friendly replacements in your home. This means less maintenance and a lower cost output. Make the switch to energy efficient lighting today and start reaping the benefits—in your home and for your world.
Read more LED Lighting Help and Advice in our Buying Guides Section by clicking here or check out which LED bulbs you need with our handy LED Bulb Base Selector Page by clicking here. You can find more specific domestic LED lighting advice by clicking here..