Inhabitat is thrilled to host the Lighten Up! An LED Lighting Design Competition, because we believe that LEDs are the future of lighting technology. From their incredible energy-efficiency and long lifespans, to their design-friendly forms and flexibility, LEDs offer a number of benefits over outdated and energy-hungry conventional incandescent light bulbs.
LEDs are energy efficient
LEDs are designed to operate using minute amounts of power compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. This means that a 12-watt LED bulb like the Tess LED Light Bulb from Elemental LED can produce the same amount of light as a 75-watt incandescent while cutting energy use by a factor of four. If you switch out your old incandescents to LED bulbs, you could save substantial money each month on your energy bill.
LEDs last longer
LED lights such as Elemental LED’s Flexible LED Strip Light also last much longer than fluorescent tubes, halogen fixtures and incandescent bulbs – today’s most efficient LEDs can last for up to 50,000 hours of use. Compare that to the average incandescent bulb, which has a maximum lifetime of around 1,000 hours, and the average fluorescent light, which lasts for up to 10,000 hours, and it’s clear that LEDs are the longest-lasting option.
LEDs don’t emit heat
Since LEDs are highly efficient, most of the energy they consume is given off as light – not heat, as is the case with incandescent lights. This means that LED lights will not contribute to ambient heat gain in a temperature controlled room, area or storage space the way that incandescent lights do. This also means they can be placed near or on objects without the risk of burning them or causing fires.
LEDs are low profile
LED lights go way beyond the bulb and tube and can accommodate discreet, low profile lighting designs previously not possible. LED lights, like Elemental LED’s Flexible LED Strip Light with a width of 0.3 inches and depth of 0.1 inches, can be tucked above, below or behind objects completely out of site, creating a seamless finish. This means that with LED lights, illumination can be added anywhere in a space no matter how tight the spot, and the designer can achieve the perfect diversified, layered lighting design.
LEDs are customizable
LED lights, like Flexible LED Strip Light from Elemental LED, can accommodate any size of space and any color scheme. The strip lights can be cut with a scissors to the exact length needed, from two inches to 16 feet. In addition, LED lights offer custom color control. With LED strip lights, you can choose whether you want your lights to give off a warm white light or a cool white light. You can also buy LED lights with color-changing RGB chips, like the Color-Changing LED Strip Light from Elemental LED, that offer full-color customization, from red to green to purple and more — the possibilities are endless. In contrast, incandescent, fluorescent and halogen lights are only available in bulbs, tubes and bars at a fixed size and color.
LEDs are design-friendly
LEDs come in a large variety of forms that are not possible in incandescent, fluorescent and halogen lighting. This combined with the fact that LEDs generally stay cool to the touch and last a long time opens up innovative new possibilities for lighting design. LEDs can be incorporated into lighting fixtures made from paper, fabric, metal, or any material imaginable, and that are any shape or size.
LEDs are the future
As the cost of fossil fuel soars and energy demands increase, energy efficiency will become an increasingly important consideration for all household products and appliances. LEDs are 10 times more energy efficient than incandescent lights, more durable, and last about 400 times longer. As we write this article in 2013, LED lights are currently more expensive than incandescent, CFL or halogen equivalents, but the upfront additional cost is well worth the money saved in electricity bills and replacement costs, as well as the upgrade in quality of light, flexibility of design and customization. You can expect the prices of LED lights to drop significantly in the next 2-5 years as demand grows and more and more manufacturers start producing them. Despite all the green hype you may have heard about compact fluorescents, they are just interim technology. In 10 years, the whole world will have shifted to LEDs — the light of the future!