Our Guest Blogger this month is Karen Boom. Karen is a fully qualified electrician who runs her own business, aptly names “She’s Electric”. You all know how much we love and support Women in Technology! Here Karen tells us all about LED lighting and why it’s the new ‘must have’ technology in electrics!
My name is Karen Boom and I’m a fully qualified and insured electrician, based in Billericay, Essex. My focus is on providing a safe and professional service to you, whatever the job – from simply installing a light fitting, to testing and inspection, to a full house rewiring.
LED Lighting – what is all the fuss about?
So, you have probably heard people talking about LED lighting. You may think it’s a bit like “Marmite”…..people seem to love it or hate it and you may be wondering what on earth all the hype is about and have really no idea what it actually is. Fear not. I am going to attempt a brief introduction and hopefully shed some ‘light’ on why LED is becoming so popular.
I will start by saying that every Electrical Lighting Installation is different and so before making any decisions about replacing or upgrading your current lights, you should seek the expert advice of a qualified and registered Electrician. It is also important to note that not all LED lamps are of good quality. The market has been flooded by cheap imports and so you should always purchase any item of electrical equipment from a reputable source. LED lamps are more costly up front, however, with the right advice and the right product, the savings you can achieve on your lighting energy bills will soon have you feeling soooooooooooooooooo money supermarket!!
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. The technology behind the product is very clever. Here are a few reasons why LED Lighting is so popular:
LEDs have extremely long life spans. Most good quality lamps are guaranteed for 50,000 hours which equates to approximately 17 years if the lights are on for an average of 8 hours a day. Imagine living in a home where you never had to change a bulb again.
And although the initial cost of installing an LED may be higher, they last a lot longer, which means less money on new fixtures in the long run. They also reduce the amount of time spent on maintenance and replacement.
2. Energy Efficiency
With electricity costs rising people are demanding lighting that costs less to run. This is where LEDs excel. They are extremely energy efficient. They produce a large amount of light for a relatively small amount of energy. A traditional Halogen GU10 lamp uses 50 Watts of energy. The equivalent LED GU10 lamp uses 7 Watts of energy. Therefore if you have 10 spotlights in your kitchen you are using 500 Watts Vs 70 Watts. You pay your energy provider for each and every one of those Watts.
3. Lower Temperature
Traditional lamps heat the element within the bulb to such a high temperature that it gives off light, which wastes a lot of energy, on heat rather than light. This not only has an impact on the ambient temperature of a room, it also effectively “cooks” the lamp and the fitting, significantly shortening the life of both. I have also seen many cases where fittings have been jammed up against joints and cable has been trapped behind badly fitted lights and these instances create a serious fire and safety hazard. LEDs however are cool to the touch. As light produced by LED lighting is a result of the diode, the majority of energy used is actually producing light.
LED lamps are available in different colour temperatures. Cool White, Warm White, Daylight White, Single Colour and Colour Changing options. This is a good thing as different lighting effects can be created by choosing the appropriate temperature. This is another strong reason why you should seek the proper advice as you do not want your cosy lounge to be as bright as an Operating Theatre.
5. Cost Savings
Ultimately, switching to LED is really a bit of a “No Brainer”. Energy prices are only ever set to increase and the promises made of reducing your lighting energy bills by 90% are all true. The facts and figures speak for themselves. As a general guide, the cost of running 10 GU10 Halogen spot lights for a year is £150. The equivalent running costs for the LED lamps for a year is £15. A good quality LED GU10 lamp will cost approximately £15 (£150 for 10). You will be in payback after just one year.
LED lamps are very ECO Friendly. Unlike some CFL and halogen bulbs, they contain no harmful and toxic polluting substances like Mercury, Phosphor and Lead. This means they are far safer to use around the home and can be recycled without damaging the environment. They also do not emit and UV (Ultraviolet) light.
I am passionate about electrical safety and energy saving and I offer a completely non obligatory lighting design and advisory service and can also do all the maths for you!
If Karen has piqued your interest, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org