What is incandescent lighting?
The modern incandescent light bulb is basically a filament of tungsten (which has a melting point of 3422°C) within either a vacuum or an atmosphere of inert gas – e.g. nitrogen or argon. This is all contained within a shell of glass or fused quartz. Electric current flows through the filament, heating it to a temperature that produces light. In contact with inert gas, or with nothing at all (i.e. in a vacuum), the filament is protected from oxidisation.
During the 19th century, electric lighting was being developed in Europe and North America. Early incandescent light bulbs contained filaments of platinum or carbon – two elements that also have very high melting points. In Britain, it was physicist Joseph Swan who created the first commercially viable light bulb.
Incandescent light bulbs typically last for around 1,000 hours. So if a bulb is left burning 24/7, it will last for about six weeks.
What are LED lights?
LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs work by passing an electrical current through a diode made of a semiconductor material, such as silicon. Tiny amounts of positively and negatively charged materials are added to the silicon to manipulate the way in which the diode conducts the electrical charge. This process is known as doping. The use of semiconductors in electrical equipment is a format called solid-state technology.
The very first application of a semiconductor diode was the crystal detector, used in radio transmission at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1947, the first working transistor was invented, using germanium as the semiconductor. Solid-state technology really took off in the 1960s and ’70s.
LED bulbs have a life-expectancy of up to 50,000 hours – so if a bulb is working 24/7, it will probably last for more than five years.
Advantages of LED Lighting
Although the traditional light bulb is cheaper to buy in the first place, it really isn’t economical in the long run. These are some of the ways in which the LED light bulb will save you money and be kind to the environment:
- Longevity. An LED bulb lasts up to 50 times longer than an incandescent bulb.
- More lumens per watt. Most of the electrical energy used by an incandescent light bulb is converted to heat, and only a small proportion is turned into light. In comparison, the LED light bulb produces three to four times more visible light, and a lot less heat.
- Energy efficient. In hot weather, the heat-producing incandescent light bulb can mean higher air conditioning running costs. Although in colder weather the warmth emitted from a traditional light bulb might be seen as a plus point, a property’s heating system is actually more cost effective.
- Eco-friendly. Less energy is used by an LED light bulb than by its incandescent counterpart, contributing to a lower level of CO2 emissions in electricity production.
Many commercial and community spaces are now changing over to LED lighting. For large areas like offices, warehouses, and village halls, there are some fantastic LED panel options available.
If you’d like to know more about LED lighting, or if you’re interested in converting your commercial premises to LED, just give us a call on 01603 559 311.