How is LED Lighting Technology Superior?
Compared to incandescent, compact fluorescent and halogen lights, it is obvious that light emitting diode (LED) lamps with their advanced technology are better from every point of view.
CFLs outshine incandescent – Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use one-third the electricity used by incandescent lamps, generate heat of only 30 British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour compared to 85 BTUs by incandescent and last ten times longer.
LEDs outshine CFLs – LED lamps use one-thirtieth the electricity of CFLs, generate 3.4 BTUs, and last 10 to 15 times longer – that’s an 80% savings of electricity over incandescent! Unlike CFLs, LED lamps contain no mercury, which makes disposal easy.
LEDs have improved since the early days. Now, in comparison to other lamps, you can count on LEDs to have:
- Greater color variability.
- Dimming capability.
- An instant turn-on capability.
- Designs for use in almost any area.
- An ability to be shaped to fit into compact and irregular spaces.
- Low maintenance while lasting three to five times as long as CFLs.
- A solid design that holds up well to jarring and bumping.
- More than 100 lumens (density of light) compared to 60-75 for CFLs.
Where Did LED Marketing Go Wrong?
In spite of being superior to old-fashioned lighting technology, LED sales continue to lag both on the business and home fronts. The reasons are disturbing:
- Costs – The price continues to be a problem for many people. In three to five years, the initial costs of LEDs will be recouped through savings in electricity and maintenance. For example, a 40 watt LED lamp costs about four times an equivalent CFL. However, people tend to look only at the immediate price.
- Poor Retailing – Many retailers fall short of marketing LED lamps and fixtures correctly. Lacking in variety of styles of LEDs, general lighting displays are not conducive to giving homeowners a view of the amazing adaptability within the home.
- Ignorance – Many people remember when LED lamps first entered the market, what they could and couldn’t do, and associated them with costly environmental protection and inadequate performance. Consumers are unaware of the amazing improvements and don’t know about the electrical and maintenance savings. They confuse LEDs with CFLs and don’t realize that LEDs do not contain mercury and can be used with dimmers.
- Sales Targets – Building tenants, for example, may be aware of the savings that can be realized with LED use but don’t get to make the choice, which remains in the hands of the owners.
- Inadequate Government Support – Incandescent lamps are banned, but as long as consumers have access to them – and many do – as well as there being no oversight and little incentive to move to LED use, this situation will drag on.
How can these Problems be Overcome?
- Costs – should be reduced by say, 30%, in order to encourage people and businesses to make the switch. As well, improved technologies will continue to lower prices as they have already.
- Retailers – should be educated and encouraged to improve product placement, offer special promotions and provide information and comparisons for consumers.
- Information – should be widely publicized including informed guidance made available via various sources with comparisons of technologies at the retail and corporate level.
- Sales – through third-party providers should be encouraged and these independents should be licensed so that users, such as corporate customers and tenants, can deal directly with them.
- Governments – should be better educated and encouraged to provide subsidies, and should be urged to offer government support for corporate subsidies.
In general, society and many businesses are missing out on the electrical cost benefits and the amazing environmental protection that goes hand-in-hand with the use of LED lighting technology. More marketing and better education is needed for widespread acceptance – the sooner, the better.
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