whyledsefficient-001When it comes to lighting, nothing compares to an LED light in terms of efficiency and lifespan. We’ve briefly talked about how an LED is a light-emitting diode that can utilize less energy in order to produce similar levels of light as incandescent or CFL lightbulbs. They also have the unique feature of not getting nearly as hot. Yes, LEDs can produce heat, but at much lower levels. Switching over a variety of lighting fixtures with a commercial lighting retrofit can provide improved efficiency and reduced energy costs. But what makes an LED so efficient?

In 2003, scientists were able to show that for the first time more light could be generated and output than energy that was consumed through the use of an LED. Even then, to produce 24 mW, a light-emitting diode was four times more efficient than a incandescent light bulb that you would typically see in someone’s home. With continual improvements over the last decade in efficiencies, costs for LEDs have dropped significantly.

There are two components of an LED system that dictate the efficiency of an LED and its ability to provide cost reductions.

The LED Device

If we look ahead to the efficiency that an LED can provide, by the year 2020 there is a high probability that an LED can produce 150 lumens per watt. Compare this to a standard incandescent bulb that will produce anywhere from 13 to 18 lumens per the same amount of energy. An incandescent bulb works by running electricity through a filament that will then heat up and glow, providing light from electricity. LEDs work through a somewhat more complicated process. An LED has both an anode and cathode portion to the diode. When electricity is applied to the diode, this activates the electrons within the device and they emit photons. Essentially this process, because it does not rely on heat output, is more energy efficient than incandescent, or even CFL, light bulbs. Changes in materials and manufacturing have made the device not only more energy efficient, but also much more cost effective over the years.

The Luminaire Holding an LED

Along with the LED device itself, the luminaire holding the device can make a big difference in the efficiency of the LED. LEDs are notorious for having an efficiency droop. When you increase the electric current to an LED, they actually can become less efficient than expected. There are a couple of theories behind the cause. The Auger effect is the widely held theory, but there is also belief that heat due to the light fixture could cause problems for LEDs as well. Knowing what are the best fixtures to use with LEDs and how to utilize the directional lighting to your best benefit is key in getting the most out of an LED during everyday uses.

The LED is the perfect addition to any commercial lighting situation. Here at American Lighting, we know it’s not easy to completely redo a lighting system, however, a commercial lighting retrofit at your California business may be the solution. Being able to take advantage of long-lasting and highly efficient LEDs will help save money across the board. Contact American Lightingtoday to receive a quote for your facility.