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LED options for designer lamps

Feb 09

LED options for designer lamps

Every designer knows that a good table lamp must not only be appealing to look at but must also be able to serve its purpose well. Thus, design aside, properly choosing the appropriate light source for a lamp should be on top of the designer’s to-do list.

Power efficiency and cost saving have become major considerations in today’s lighting fixtures. Incandescent light bulbs are commonly used in lamps because they emit a warm light color that is perfect for a cozy, relaxed setting. Unfortunately, incandescent bulbs are also notorious for being inefficient and less durable. Fortunately, there is another option – LED.

An LED or light emitting diode is a type of solid-state lighting that is exceptionally efficient and durable. Unlike the incandescent and fluorescent lights that are made up of filaments inside glass bulbs or tubes, an LED contains small lenses where tiny chips are placed on a heat-conducting material. Because of its design, LEDs have very low power consumption thus making them more energy efficient and a big cost-saver.

The major advantages of LEDs are:
• Efficiency – when designed properly, an LED typically emits 80% light energy and the rest is lost as heat energy whereas incandescent bulbs are the exact opposite where 80-90% of its electrical energy is lost as heat energy. This translates to a significant reduction in electricity costs. Also, LEDs emit light in a single direction thus further decreasing energy waste.
• Durability – an LED is a type of solid-state lighting. As the term suggests, LEDs have no hollow areas and moving parts that are susceptible to breaking, wear and tear, and shock. A typical LED can be dropped without breaking. A well-designed LED is
rated for 50,000 hours of usage compared to just 2,000 hours for incandescent bulbs, 10,000 hours for compact fluorescents, and 30,000 hours for linear fluorescent bulbs.
• Size – LEDs are incredibly small in comparison to its light output. This makes them perfect for designer lamps that needs light sources in unconventional locations. They can be used in a bunch, or strategically placed in a lamp to create light effects.
• Lower temperatures – this is a crucial aspect for lamps, especially desk lamps. Both the incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs convert most of its energy to heat. For incandescent bulbs, 90% of its electrical energy is given off as heat while heat waste
is at 80% for fluorescent bulbs. LEDs, however, only wastes 20% of its energy as heat. This makes LEDs ideal for reading lamps or desk lamps where accidental contact with one’s skin often happens. As well, LEDs are perfect for hot areas where the common cause of light fixture failures is heat.

But there’s a downside to LED bulbs too. Because it is a relatively new technology and the market is not as large yet, LEDs are more expensive than conventional light bulbs. Though recent moves in the lighting industry as well as government response to addressing climate change have made a head start in lowering LED prices, it will still take quite a while before it becomes more affordable. However, because LEDs last longer and are more durable, the expense is really worth it.

About the Author:
Cassandra Allen
Marketing Director of IllustraLighting
Cassandra is a marketing professional with over 15 years of extensive experience leading corporate marketing and internal communications for multi-national companies in diverse industries.