Recently, leading US LED manufacturer CREE achieved a record 254 lumens per watt in the lab. It may be a year or two before this technology reaches the market, however efficiencies of up to 160 lumens per watt are available now. When this gets derated with temperature, electrical and optical losses, we see LED products coming to market between 70 lm/w and 110 lm/w depending on colour rendering quality and temperature.
Compared to incandescent at 13 lm/w, halogen at 14.5 lm/w and compact fluorescent at 67 lm/w, LEDs are the most energy efficient lighting technology.
The lifespan of a LED globe varies according to a number of factors, including ambient temperature, heat sink design, and driver quality. In general, the rated lifespan of LEDs can range from 15,000 to 100,000 hours. This specification is determined by the time taken for the output to degrade by 30% - LEDs continue producing light long past their rated lifespan.
* Warranty usually covers the quoted lifespan as if the light was switched on 24/7. If the life span is rated at 25,000 hours the warranty will be about 2.5 years.
LED lights don't "blow", nor do they break when dropped. Unlike CFLs, they release
no hazardous chemicals at end-of-life. The long service life of LED lights means you will rarely need to replace them anyway.
Even though LEDs are very efficient at producing light, approximately 90% of the energy consumed is still dissipated as heat. Comparatively however, far less heat is dissipated by LEDs, not only because of their inherent efficiency - the operating case temperature of a LED light globe is around 65-85ºC, significantly less than a filament lamp which operates in the range 150-270ºC.
Imagine a living room with 10 x 50 watt halogen lamps operating at 220ºC - essentially a 400 watt heater in the ceiling. Compare this to 10 x 10 watt LED lamps operating at 80ºC - the same light output, yet heat dissipation is a mere 10 watts!
This reduction in dissipated heat energy means lower air conditioning costs, increased effectiveness of insulation, and of course, less risk of fire.
LEDs are fine-tuned to produce very specific ranges of colours, and modern lensing techniques allow precise coverage for all applications, from benchtop to factory floor.
Whether you require loungeroom comfort or showroom brilliance, the multi-dimensional design capabilities and low running cost of LED lighting systems means they are perhaps the only future-proof lighting solution.