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There are many different types of residential LED lighting, often available as both stand-alone light fixtures and replacement bulbs for existing fixtures. Uses typically range from small indoor task lights to traditionally-sized indoor recessed lights to large outdoor spotlights. Due to its energy-efficiency, long life and versatility, residential LED lighting is becoming more popular in many areas.
LED stands for light-emitting diode. These lights have been around for many years. At first, this type of light typically produced only small amounts of light, which limited its earliest uses in the home to things such as the clocks in small electronics, including microwaves and VCRs. Over time, the use for residential LED lighting increased to include small-task lighting, such as under cabinets and in closets.
Today, small LED lights are often grouped together to be used in larger applications. This has helped make the options for residential LED lighting nearly the same as for traditional incandescent and fluorescent lighting. Commonly available LED products now include indoor fixtures, such as desk lamps and recessed lighting, as well as outdoor fixtures such as porch and flood lights. LED bulbs that can be used to replace incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs in existing fixtures are also available.
One of the most touted benefits of LED lights is energy-efficiency. These lights often use nearly 75 percent less energy than typical incandescent lights and put off much less heat, which is essentially wasted energy. Many are efficient enough to run on solar or battery power. This ability to run on alternate power sources and put off little heat has help fuel many of today’s task-related residential LED lighting options, including outdoor step, under cabinet and small space lighting.
In addition to being highly energy efficient, most residential LED lighting sources also have an extended life expectancy, as compared to traditional lighting. Depending on the exact conditions the LED light is used under, it could last up to six times as long as a similarly placed compact fluorescent light bulb. As compared to incandescent light bulbs, LED lights may last up to 40 times as long.
One drawback for many people is that residential LED lighting is typically more expensive to purchase than traditional lights. LED flood light bulbs, for example, may cost nearly three times as much as a comparable compact fluorescent bulb and nearly 20 times as much as an incandescent bulb. Many argue, however, that the savings in energy and having to replace burnt out bulbs less often make up for the initial purchase price of many residential LED lighting options.
I just used LED strips to create under-counter lights in my kitchen. I would say that it was of intermediate difficulty, but the results are outstanding. The total cost of the project was minimal and it only took a few hours.
Providing light right where I need it makes using the kitchen more productive, and the lights give a dramatic look to the room.
It should be noted that the common incandescent light bulb, excepting special bulbs, will be banned by energy-cost aware governments. Only fluorescent bulbs and tubes are energy saving on a par with the LED bulbs. But the fluorescent bulbs are more toxic and fragile than the LED bulbs. The future belongs to LED.
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