LED Bulbs
The next lighting solution?



LED bulbs, what are they?

There is always a way to do things better. Edison’s incandescent lighting bulb was a breakthrough invention, allowing people to light up their homes, streets and working places during the dark hours. An incandescent bulb converts electricity to heat and a small part of that heat is radiated in the visible wavelengths. Incandescent lighting bulbs are not efficient, and staying with them cause electricity bills to grow unnecessarily.

More cost effective lighting solutions

The two more cost effective ways to light up a space are the compact fluorescent lighting bulb and LED light bulbs

What is a LED?

A LED (Light Emitting Diode)bulb is an electronic Solid State device that converts DC current (electrons) into light (photons); Interesting to know, a Photovoltaic Cell is doing just the opposite, it converts sun radiation (photons) to DC current (electrons. LED devices and solar panels go together, the solar panel as an electricity DC source matches perfectly to the LED device as a DC load.

One swallow doesn’t herald the spring and one tiny LED can hardly lights a mouse hole. However, combining many LEDs will provide a lot of light, and this is exactly what manufacturers of LED light sources do.

Combining LED bulbs in parallel

So, the LED lamp combines many Light Emitting Diodes in parallel. The LED bulb manufacturer still needs to adapt the bulb to the available voltage (220V AC 50Hz, 110V AC 60HZ, 12V DC, 24V DC) and to the socket. (Edison screw for home use, bayonet or bipin cap for car and flashlights). AA batteries can provide the needed voltage and current directly to parallel connected LED lights.

The AC Light Emitting Diodes bulbs in standard sockets were late to the market but they snatch a market share very quickly now

A comparison between the different lighting bulbs

Residential lighting using incandescent bulbs is comparable to throwing money out the window. These bulbs are banned by law as of 2012 in the US and will be history hereafter. CFL bulbs and LED lights are so much more efficient.

CFL bulbs have relatively longer life than incandescent life outweighing their higher price, their light is white (not pleasant to some people eyes), they consume 6-8 times less electrical power than an incandescent bulb with equal luminosity. Special care must be taken to recycle them when they end their life because they contain a small amount of mercury. Most of the CFL bulbs can't be dimmed, however CFL bulbs that can be dimmed are available.

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) bulbs are efficient, can be fit into smaller size for special applications such as Christmas lighting and swimming pool lighting, they show much longer life than CFL bulbs, not like CFL they can be dimmed and they don’t contain mercury

Last but not least, LED can come with variety of colors…

A personal note; when I got my EE degree, electronic vacuum tubes were used all over the place. Transistors were a curiosity, let alone integrated circuits (chips). Present time EE graduates looks upon vacuum tubes as an anachronism (if they heard about them). Lesson learned – solid state (LED bulbs) will prevail as the winning devices.

Click to view my page on solar lamp post lights, a balanced combination of LED devices and a small solar electric panel

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