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It’s a funny business, when there’s a new kind of technology out there, or just something that not enough people know enough about; because the inevitable happens. The myths, misconceptions, half-truths and just lies start to get passed around and accepted as fact.
Now that LED lighting is in the spotlight (see what we did there?) more than ever now, myths have been spread like wild fire. These misconceptions, although sometimes so ridiculous you wonder why anyone would believe them, are not particularly helpful.
We thought it would be interesting, and let’s face it, fun to highlight some of the best (and funniest) myths about LED lighting we have come across over the years and disprove them once and for all.
Myth 1 – LEDs Don’t Get Hot
While many of the myths are going to discuss paint LEDs in a bad light, this one actually does the opposite.
Although it is true they don’t emit quite as much as alternative light sources, because they are extremely energy-efficient; all light sources emit some, so don’t be fooled. LEDs are not some strange exception to that particular rule.
Why do people think this? When LED lighting is designed correctly, you can touch them without there being a risk of burning yourself.
Myth 2 – They Are So Energy Efficient It Takes Ages For Them To Burn Out
Again, it’s not false to say that LEDs are incredibly energy-efficient. That’s why there is so much encouragement towards people switching from incandescent and halogen bulbs to LEDs.
However, the funny thing is LED bulbs never actually burn out. As they head towards their final days, they just start to become increasingly dimmer, very gradually.
Myth 3 – LEDs Are Expensive
This is something that many people worry about, with good reason. However, this statement is only true if you are talking from the perspective of how much it costs upfront. Hands down, upfront, LEDs are more expensive than many of the alternatives.
To understand what the full cost of LED lighting is though, you need to look at it in terms of a full lifespan. That helps to establish its value, especially in a commercial environment such as when upgrading to LED office lighting.
Although the actual light bulb or fixture will be more expensive, the electricity usage will be less expensive, in many cases by at least 75%. Furthermore, you won’t need to keep replacing the bulbs and there is virtually no maintenance required.
Myth 4 – LEDs Are White Light
It may sound silly to say, but ‘white LED’ is not actually a thing. Any LED lighting you see that looks like it is white, is actually a blue LED with a special coating of yellow phosphorus, to give the illusion of white light.
Another way white light is produced is by mixing green, blue and red LEDs. This is how large white signs, like those massive jumbo-trons are created.
Myth 5 – All LEDs Are Blue
Following on nicely from the above, surely this is true? Well, yes…only if you want a blue LED though. Since its inception many, many decades ago, advancements have been made that make it possible for all manner of colors to be possible using LED technology.
Myth 6 – Lighting Accounts For a Small Percentage of my Electricity Bill, So Why Bother to Change it?
Another common misconception is that because lighting, as it stands, accounts for around 15% of the average household’s electricity bill; it is not seen as vital to change it. However, as all other items used in our homes are being improved and gradually becoming much more energy-efficient. it is believed that by 2025, if changes are not made to lighting it will account for a jaw-dropping 45% of the bill.
Myth 7 – LED Lighting Keeps Changing, So I’ll Wait Until it Gets Even Better
Yes, it’s true that LEDs are in a constant state of flux and evolution. However, waiting until ‘it gets better’, is not really a sensible option. It is possible, for instance, that LEDs will never actually stop changing. Would you say the same thing about a computer? Waiting until they get better?
No, of course you wouldn’t, because you would be missing out on all the benefits that computers, or as another example, smart-phones, can offer you now.
Myth 8 – LEDs Are Not as Bright As My Old Bulbs
So, this is where you need to understand how the brightness of incandescent was measured, and how it should have been. In the past, wattage was what was used to measure brightness, when it should have been lumens. This has led to the vast majority of customers purchasing the wrong lighting, especially when it comes to interior bulbs such as LED Candelabra bulbs.
Statements on labels that read ‘similar to 60W’ and ‘replaces a 60W’ therefore, are designed to be confusing. We, as consumers, need to stop honing in on wattage and pay more attention to luminosity.