What is an LED Lightbulb?

A light-emitting diode (LED) bulb is a small, intense lightbulb about the size of a match head. An LED lightbulb uses semiconductor technology to replace traditional filament-style lighting. The bulbs’ design allows for maximum brightness and interchangeability with traditional lightbulb styles. The bulbs themselves have many energy and longevity benefits that other forms of lightbulbs cannot match.

An LED lightbulb normally is made of several LED lights clustered together and powered by a single source. An LED lightbulb does not produce much visible light, so bunching them is the best method for imitating the strength of traditional lightbulbs. The tiny bulbs of an LED lightbulb usually are housed in a container that looks like a traditional lightbulb, with a glass case and screw-threaded bottom. This design means that most LED bulbs do not require a special source and can be screwed directly into lamps and fixtures the same way traditional bulbs would be.

There are four distinct ways LED light has benefits over traditional types of lighting. The biggest advantage an LED lightbulb has over its competition is its energy efficiency. A traditional lighbulb uses the bulk of its energy heating up the filament that creates the light, losing a great deal of that energy to the heat that is produced and costing the user money for electricity that is never converted to light. LED lights give off very little heat, and some claim to be proven at 80 percent efficiency. This efficiency rating means that only 20 percent of the energy used in the bulb is wasted on heat.

Another advantage that LED lightbulbs have over the competition is longevity. A traditional filament-style bulb typically lasts about 1,000 hours, and a fluorescent light averages about 10,000 hours of operation before needing replacement. By contrast, the tightly clustered mini-bulbs of an LED lightbulb have been known to last anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 hours.

The compact construction of LED bulbs also contributes to its durability. Filament and fluorescent bulbs are delicate and often are unable to function after being dropped even a small distance. LED lightbulbs, on the other hand, are more resistant to cracking and breaking.

Finally, another advantage that LED lightbulbs have over traditional bulbs is brightness. Brightness is measured by lumens per watt of energy used. A filament-style bulb usually gets about 15 lumens per watt. An LED lightbulb provides about 50 lumens per watt, giving its user much more light in the same size package.