Basics of LED Lighting

Basics of LED Lighting

, by Chas Waters, 3 min reading time

Most of us have seen those big-budget blockbuster movies depicting what the future will look like with visions of flying cars, fully automated everyday fixtures and sophisticated robotics creating a bigger, cleaner and more innovative world. While many of these advancements are still far off, the first step to this shiny and modern future is already here in the form of LED lighting. LED bulbs are now included in a variety of different products and applications because of their exceptional energy efficiency, non-toxic, eco-friendly design and versatile usage.

LED lighting is a sophisticated technology that is greatly different than the sources of lighting most people are familiar with, such as incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. To best use LEDs in your everyday life, you should understand how they work and their best uses — but let’s start at the basics of LED lighting.

What Is an LED Light?

An LED — light-emitting diode — is a semiconductor light source that turns electrical energy into light. When an electrical current flows through the diode, traveling in one direction from the diode’s positive side to the negative side, it emits light. They require much less power to operate and produce more energy-efficient light than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

LED Specs Explained

Previously, when you went to the store to pick up new incandescent lightbulbs, you likely only checked the bulb’s wattage and possibly its lifespan, happily settling for whichever brand was on sale that week. When selecting LED bulbs, you’ll find there’s a variety of different products and terms describing the LED’s performance. But what, exactly, is a lumen or the bulb’s efficacy and wattage consumption, and how does that compare to traditional bulbs? Don’t get frustrated and reach for those inefficient incandescent bulbs — here are some of the most popular LED specs explained:

  • Replacement wattage: Wattage measures how much energy a lamp requires to operate. For example, you’ll find incandescents available in 40- or 60-watt options. When replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, you need to know the traditional wattage your lamp uses. An 8 watt LED bulb will typically replace a 40-watt incandescent bulb.
  • Rated lifespan: LEDs don’t go out in a brilliant blaze such as incandescents — they dim over time with use. The bulb’s rated lifespan is how long the manufacturer estimates the bulb will operate before reaching 70% of its original output.
  • Lumens: A lumen is a measurement of how much light the bulb emits.
  • Center beam candle power: Along with measuring LED lumens, manufacturers will also determine its candle power. Center beam candle power measures the intensity of light from the center of a beam of light. A bulb with low center beam candle power will spread over a larger space than one with high candle power, which concentrates the light in a smaller area.
  • Color temperature: A bulb’s color temperature indicates the color a bulb will produce — lower numbers emit a warm light in yellows and oranges, and higher numbers are bulbs with a cooler palate in whites and blues. The cooler colors will appear brighter while warmer colors look softer.

Check out Hands-Free Lighting Solutions Today

At Panther Vision, see a clearer and brighter world with our wide selection of revolutionary hands-free lighting products. When you wear our popular POWERCAP® lighted hats or LIGHTSPECS™ reading glasses, you’ll realize why so many of our customers have found they can’t live without our quality, ultra-bright LED solutions for all of their everyday and outdoor needs. Shop LED hands-free lighting apparel and devices today to find the perfect product for your lifestyle.

About the Author:

Chas Waters

As the VP of Sales and Marketing for Panther Vision, Chas Waters has played a pivotal part in helping Panther Vision continue to create innovative lighting products. As a true outdoorsman, Chas brings a wealth of expertise into what lighting solutions are the most useful for our customers. He has been a key member of the Panther Vision team, starting in the business when he was 16 years old, and prides himself in finding the best solutions to help our customers experience the outdoors and make their lives easier with our products.


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