LED lighting has to a large degree replaced incandescent light bulbs in many usage cases. An incandescent light bulb has a short life (a few months or years max) and only converts a small amount (10%) of their power consumed into useful light, the rest 'lost' as heat. The LED based light bulb in comparison is around 85% efficient at converting energy into useful light and has a lifespan measured in many years.
Understandably power efficiency is the main driver for the move to LED lighting
. Second after this was the reduced heat output, which removed the need to deal with so much heat to dissipate in the light fitting itself, thereby reducing costs and increasing the range of applications available.
LED Environmental Impacts
LED's lights, like all mass produced goods, contain many parts and associated materials. It's not all good news, a study XXX found the following:
- Aluminum heat sinking - high power LED cluster or module generate significant heat, this has to be removed by a heat sink most often made of aluminium (which requires significant refining and power to produce).