High-Power LEDs: The Battle of the Bulb

High Power LEDs
High Power LEDs
With so much variety in energy efficient lighting, it can be difficult to choose which option is best. But with recent advances in LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology, the lighting industry has been revolutionized. The development and production of “power chips” or “high current chips” enabled LEDs to be more widely used, allowing them to better compete with other light sources. High-power LEDs are energy efficient, long-lasting, and environmentally friendly causing many to rethink the tried-and-true HIDs and CFLs. But with new technology come new questions – which will win the battle of the bulb?

CFLs (Compact Florescent Lamps) have become popular alternatives to incandescent bulbs because of their low power consumption. The typical CFL bulb consumes around 15W of energy, a close second to the slightly more efficient high-power LED at 10W of energy. But CFLs contain small traces of mercury, making them potentially hazardous and therefore difficult and often expensive to dispose of. With that in mind, LEDs sound like the obvious best option. But the high-power LEDs tend to be quite a bit pricier than their contender. However, because they last longer and use significantly less power, LEDs makeup for the high ticket price in the long run. Additionally, high-power LEDs mercury-free composition makes them more environmentally friendly and easier to dispose of.

At first glance HIDs (High-Intensity Discharge) and LEDs seem comparable in their energy consumption, but because of the structure of the bulb, many lumens are trapped within the protective coverings of HID bulbs. However if strong multidirectional light fits your need, HID bulbs are the best option as LEDs offer more concentrated, directional light. Unlike HIDs, High-power LEDs don’t require a warm-up, meaning there’s no wasted time waiting for lights to reach their maximum brightness. In the price category, HIDs definitely have a lower upfront cost but with a lifespan of up to four times longer and virtually no maintenance expenses, LEDs again make up for the initial sticker shock. Unlike high-power LEDs, many HID bulbs have been known to emit harmful UV radiation and contain toxic chemicals.

Each energy efficient lighting option offers its own pros and cons. The low ticket price of HIDs and CFLs means less money out of your pocket up front, while the lifespan of LEDs means a longer lasting bulb and less maintenance. However if green is your goal, then the environmentally friendly high-power LED may just be your bulb.


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