Posted on 08, January, 2016
Last Modified on 21, February, 2020
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Halogen light bulbs used to be the go-to for lighting homes and businesses in America. Like traditional incandescent bulbs, their illumination comes from an electric current run through tungsten wire, which generates heat and a bright white light. What makes halogen more efficient than incandescent bulbs is the gas behind the glass — halogen prevents the build up of soot from the burning metal, increasing the life of the bulb. Over the past decade, however, bulbs have become even more efficent with the development of the light-emitting diode, or LED for short. When these bulbs first hit the market in the early 2000's, they came at a high cost of $30 to $40 per unit. However, in recent years, LED technology has become more and more affordable as it has made its way into our homes, businesses, and institutions. Why have LED bulbs become so popular? Read on to see what makes LED such a great alternative to halogen lighting.
LED vs Halogen Lights
|Heat Emission||10%-20% of total energy||80%-90% of total energy|
|Power Consumption||Average of 8 Watts||Average of 90 Watts|
|Lifespan||50,000 - 60,000 hours||800 - 1,200 hours|
Advantages of LEDs
LED lights are much better for display cases than halogen lights for numerous reasons. The biggest factor separating these two display options is heat emission. Halogen lights use about 90% of their energy giving off heat, making them a potential fire hazard near combustible materials. With such high temperatures, halogen lights can be dangerous and cause burns if touched. An LED emits a mere 10% of their energy in heat, making them much more energy efficient and cool to the touch. This feature is particularly important if you regularly attend trade shows because many convention centers now enforce restrictions on halogen light due to safety issues and energy conservation.
Halogen lights are much cheaper to purchase, but the lifespan of an LED light is about 25-50 times longer. Longterm users of LED's will save money on the amount of replacements that need to be purchased. Users will also save costs on power consumption. An average LED light uses 8 watts of power, while halogen lights average about 90 watts. That's more than 12X as much! You can also expect the cost of LED bulbs to come down as technology advances in the coming years.
Real-Life Applications for LEDs
Now, let’s take a look at some real-life applications. In retail, LED lights are preferred and recommended by many jewelry stores. Besides the previously mentioned benefits, LED light is more natural than halogen lighting. Customers are only disappointed when a necklace or bracelet is removed from a display case and it ends up appearing differently when in natural light. This issue can be avoided with LED light. Jewelry will be enhanced in the display, but will not be a different color or tone. LED lighting can also be directed at specific areas, while halogen light radiates in every direction, giving LED a clear advantage in showcasing merchandise.
LED lights are environmentally friendly! These lights are 100% recyclable, leaving a small carbon footprint. Not to mention over the lifespan of an LED light, you would use about 25 times the materials to produce the incandescent lightbulbs. There are essentially zero UV emissions from LED lightbulbs. This also makes LED ideal for using in museums to illuminate items, such as artifacts and old documents. Don't risk damaging a piece of history by choosing the wrong lighting!
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- Average LED usage = .008 kilowatts
- Average Halogen usage = .09 kilowatts
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