St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

10 reasons for switching to LED lighting

Assorted LED lamps (photo by Geoffrey.landis at en.wikipedia)
Assorted LED lamps (photo by Geoffrey.landis at en.wikipedia)

There are many good reasons why the inventors of blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for physics. Since the invention in 1990s, blue LEDs have allowed the development or improvement of many everyday items such as smartphone and TV screens. Even more importantly, it’s been calculated that switching to LEDs could reduce the world’s lighting electricity usage from 20% of the total down to a mere 4%. We can all help make that happen and there are at least 10 reasons why you might like to change your lighting to LEDs:

  1. Energy efficiency (lumens/watt) – 50% savings over fluorescent, 90% over halogen or incandescent today and improving rapidly. This translates into energy cost savings.
  2. Longer bulb life – e.g. halogen 1,500 hours to LED 30,000-50,000 hours, which also equates to a lower maintenance cost in commercial/industrial environments.
  3. LED bulb costs coming down whilst energy costs are going up.
  4. Many LED bulbs are dimmable, unlike fluorescents.
  5. Colour temperature – LEDs are available in a range of ‘warm’ to ‘cold’ light versions as well as a range of colours for specialist uses (e.g. the night lighting of Millennium Bridge in York).
  6. Flexibility– they are not only available in bulbs but also many other forms, such as bendable strips and sheets, a range of beam angles and fitting types, frosted or unfrosted, etc.
  7. Excellent for off-grid installations – because (a) limited power is available and the cost per watt of energy delivered is high, and (b) LEDs are widely available in 12V DC.
  8. No start-up delay when switching on, unlike many fluorescents.
  9. Works better in cold environments than fluorescents.
  10. Less heat output than other technologies which is especially important in hot climates, in refrigeration lighting, and to reduce electrical fire danger.

For more information, including how to work out your financial payback time, the different types of LEDs and what to consider before switching, download our All About LED Lighting (pdf file) produced by St Nicks supporter Randall Ghent.

Randall delivered a brilliant talk on the subject at our November 2014 social, which focused on the LED lighting he has installed in his house in York, largely on-grid but also as part of a small off-grid solar power system. He also discussed the LED systems that he installed when serving as project manager for £80,000 in energy-efficiency installations for the train operating company East Coast. All this experince is combined in his info sheet and we’d like to thank him for sharing it with us. Please feel free to pass it on if you find it useful.


17 November 2014 | Categories: Inspiration