Myths About LED Lighting

Whenever new technologies come on the market, myth and rumor tends to gather around them. Ironically, these myths are often driven by underlying facts. Information that is completely accurate at one time continues to be passed on as fact long after it becomes obsolete.

In this article, we’d like to cover just a few of the myths surrounding LED lighting and debunk them.

Myth 1: LEDs are too expensive
This myth is reinforced whenever you step into a hardware store. Every LED fixture, bulb or tube costs more than their traditional equivalents.

But energy costs alone will eat up the “savings” you get on the front end by buying an incandescent. For example, a 100 watt-equivalent daylight bulb will cost around $6-7 as part of a two or four pack, several times the cost of an incandescent. But the LED bulb will cost less than $2 to operate each year. That’s because they use 16 watts of electricity to generate the same light as the 100-watt incandescent.

Meanwhile, a 100-watt incandescent bulb would use over $12 of power over the same year. In other words, the difference in energy use is about $10, which more than pays the entire cost of the LED bulb in the first year! Add to that the cost of replacing the incandescents when they burn out, which will happen every 750 or 1,000 hours of operation, or at least once a year. Many LED bulbs last for 13 years. Over that 13 years you would replace the incandescents at least 13 times and spend an extra $130 per bulb. All that adds up to far more than the most expensive LED.

Learn more about the cost of LED fixtures.

Myth 2: LEDs are one-size fits all
Once, LED bulbs came in a narrow range of white coloration and only a few wattages. LED fluorescent tubes were not yet available, so changing from fluorescents to LEDs required replacing all the fixtures.

But in recent years technology has advanced rapidly; there is now an LED equivalent for any type of incandescent and fluorescent light you can imagine. You’ll find a wide range of colors, wattage and styles, from outdoor floodlights to multicolored party bulbs, and even UV/black lights!

Myth 3: LEDs are not dimmable
This is an excellent example of a misconception that used to be true. When LEDs first reached the market, they only worked at one power setting. If you put them on a dimmer switch, they would either shut off or flash.

These days, dimmable LED fixtures and bulbs are common. They cost a bit more than other LEDs because of the need for special circuitry to control the dimming, but they still come out ahead of older technologies when you factor in energy and replacement costs.

Unfortunately, these aren’t all the myths out there about LED lighting, but the good news is that we have the right information and we’re ready to share. We’ll debunk some more myths in the next edition of the Bright Ideas blog.