LED lighting is very different from other lighting types such as incandescent and Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). LEDs use much less energy to provide the same amount of light as other forms of lighting. One of the main reasons LEDs are so efficient is that most of their energy is used to solely create light, rather than creating light and heat, as less efficient forms of lighting key differences include:
- Light Source: LEDs are the size of a fleck of pepper and can emit light in a range of colors. A mix of red, green, and blue LEDs is sometimes used to make white light.
- Direction: LEDs emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light. This feature makes LEDs more efficient for many uses such as recessed downlights and task lighting. With other types of lighting, the light must be reflected to the desired direction, and more than half of the light may never leave the fixture.
- Heat: LEDs emit very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat and CFLs release about 80% of their energy as heat.
- Lifetime: LED lighting products typically last much longer than other lighting types. A good quality LED bulb can last 3 to 5 times longer than a CFL and 30 times longer than an incandescent bulb.