LED lighting is different from fluorescent and incandescent lights in many ways. When functioning properly, LED light lasts longer, is more versatile and is more efficient. It produces directional light, meaning that LEDs emits light in a specific direction. This is different from CFL and incandescent lights which emit heat and light in every direction. This translates to greater efficiency of energy and light in several applications.
On the flipside, for an LED bulb to produce light in every direction, the engineering required to manufacture it is more sophisticated. LEDs come in several colours, with the most common ones being blue, green, red and amber. Different colours are combined to produce white light. White light can also be produced by covering different colour LEDs with a phosphor material which creates white light by converting the original colour of light.
While white light is used in homes, coloured LEDs tend to be used as indicator lights and signal lights, such as on a computer’s power button. Unlike an incandescent bulb, a white LED bulb does not emit a complete spectrum of light. This is due to the process by which the photons or lightare produced.
In an LED bulb, two things happen when an electron gets on the other side of the PN junction. First, the electronis reduced to a lesser state of energy and second, any extra energy becomes a photon.
A CFL works differently from an LED in that it consists of a tube containing gases with an electric current which flows between electrons at both ends of the tube. Heat and ultraviolet (UV) lights are produced because of this reaction. Like LEDs, CFLs also have a phosphor coating. It is this coating that converts UV light into visible light.
Incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, use electricity to heat a metal filament until it whitens, thereby producing light. This results in incandescent bulbs releasing as much as 90% of their energy as heat.
While many believe that LEDs don’t produce UV radiation, this isn’t true. However, the amount of UV produced by LEDs is not significant because they only produce a small amount, while emitting even less. It works this way because the amount of UV that LEDs produce is converted to white light by the lamp’s phosphor coating.
The amount of UV radiation emitted by lightbulbs is important to consider because when excessive, it can be dangerous. When omitted in extremely high doses, UV can cause skin cancer, cataracts and sunburns.That is why we have to slather on the sunscreen when the sun is harsh. Luckily, humans are not exposed to these dangers with artificial light sources.
Lighting types that produce high enough amounts of UV can damage fabrics and artwork over time. Museums are beginning to swap out these lights for high-quality LEDs to ensure that artefacts retain their original colours for longer.LEDs are also the light source of choice in external installations, residential kitchens and commercial food service applications because they don’t attract bugs, unlike bulbs that emit UV.