Pros and Cons of LED Lighting: Should You Use Them? - Green Coast (2023)

LED lighting can produce lighting at better energy efficiency ratings, but are they truly green? Here we evaluate the pros and cons of LED lighting.

Looking for an eco-friendly way to bring some natural light into your home? Read our post on the pros and cons of solar tube lighting.

Lighting is an integral part of our day to day lives, and almost every aspect of our daily operations needs light. With the increased sensitization on preserving our environment, the lighting industry has made much progress and LED is just but one of those advances. LED lighting has been known for better energy efficiency, which has been a primary selling point for the industry.

There are multiple pros and cons of LED lighting, and it is wise to understand them before changing to using this mode of lighting.

What is LED Lighting?

The LED lighting is the form of lighting that uses lead-emitting diodes to transform electrical energy into light.

LED lamps and LED bulbs can be used anywhere from our homes, offices, industries, vehicles, and almost any other place. In this article, we are going to explore the various pros and cons of LED lights and how it affects our daily activities. LED lights can be easily used in homes using LED extrusions.

Advantages and Disadvantages of LED Lighting

Here we evaluate the various components of LED lighting including advantages, disadvantages, harmful effects and a pros and cons analysis.

Advantages of LED lighting

The various benefits that come with the use of LED lighting include:

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1. Efficiency energy consumption

LED lighting lamps and bulbs save a lot in energy consumption. LED lamp is estimated to be between 80-90% efficient on energy that the traditional fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. Energy efficiency in lighting solutions is measured using two types of statistic namely useful lumens or luminous efficacy.

LEDs lights convert around 95% of the total energy to light and the other 5% to heat. In comparison, the traditional fluorescent light converts just 5% to light, and the rest 95% turns to heat.

This means that much less energy is required to light a LED bulb as compared to fluorescent or incandescent light. Practically, a 36 watt LED would replace an 84-watt fluorescent bulb.

Using less energy means that even your monthly power bills would go down with a significant amount. This also means that there will be reduced power demand from the national power plants thus reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be experienced.

2. No toxic components

Whereas other lighting methods like mercury vapor lights and fluorescent tubes contain some toxic materials like mercury, LED contains none. When such materials are not disposed of well, they may cause serious contamination in the landfill waste.

Using LED light will reduce some cost such as disposing of your waste through a registered waste carrier significantly.

Complying with the disposal requirements may cost you time and money which can be avoided by using safe LED bulbs. It will also mean that you have preserved the environment by avoiding toxic materials.

3. Enhanced safety

The LED light is much safer to use as compared to the other modes of lighting. Most of the other means like Fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, transform the most significant percentage of total energy to heat. Heat emission is the first and major hazard when we are looking at lighting.

While fluorescent light emits around 95% of the energy as heat, LED light emits just 5% of the energy as heat. This is much lower means that LED can operate in low-voltage systems efficiently.

Low-voltage systems are significantly safer even when an incident occurs.

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4. Lifespan and durability

Mostly, when talking about the pros and cons of LED lighting, the lifespan of the LED lamps can’t be overlooked. This is the duration of time the bulb is expected to remain functional and efficient. LED lights have an exceptionally long lifespan as compared to the other forms of lighting.

While a fluorescent lamp would perform for an average of 20,000 hours, LED lights to have an average operational life of 50,000 hours and can go up to even 100,000 hours. This will generally cut down the cost of changing the lights now and then.

Also, when the LED lamp reaches its maximum lifetime, it does not burn abruptly like many incandescent lamps rather it will just lose its brightness gradually.

The truth about LED lighting is that the bulbs are very durable and do not break easily.

This means that they can be used in a wider scope of operations like transport and other industries. They are less risky to transport or install.

5. Incredible design flexibility

LEDs are very flexible regarding design. They can be used in almost any application whether big or small.

The LEDs can be used in bunches to form a large lighting bulb, looped together to form a sequence of linear lights, or individually for small devices.

Disadvantages of LED Lighting

In as much as there are so many advantages of using LED lights, there are also some disadvantages that come with it.

1. Buying price

Despite the many benefits that the LED lighting brings some people may still not be willing to purchase the bulbs due to their high purchasing price. The price of LEDs has gradually gone down over the year, but it remains high for some individuals.

For example, a standard LED lamp costs between $10 and $40. This is way much higher as compared to incandescent bulbs or the CFL lamps that would cost between $3- $5 each. Although the LED is cost-effective in the long run, the difference in the initial cost may hinder many from changing from the traditional bulbs.

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People have been sold on the long life that will save you money over time. In a microgrid scenario, you can retrofit your entire warehouse and go completely behind the meter.

2. Color limitations

LEDs have a problem when it comes to the creation of white light. They make the white light by the use of diodes of various colors. When all the diodes are illuminated together, white light is created.

Due to the use of many diodes with a different color, the intended white light often turned to be bluish. When the LEDs in a lamp start to degrade, the color quality will also deteriorate and emit poor colors.

3. Temperature

The LED lighting is generally sensitive to the temperature levels of the surrounding environment. The efficiency of the LED lamps is directly dependent on the temperature levels.

High temperatures within the environment will inhibit the proper functioning of the LED lamp. A heat sunk will be required to keep them functioning correctly to prevent the lamps from failing.

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Harmful Effects of LED Lights

Recent studies have shown that there may even be some harmful effects of LED lights. Some scientists have indicated some negative effects of LED lighting as follows:

1. Toxic materials

In a study published 2010 in a journal named Environmental Science and Technology, it indicated that LEDs contain toxic materials including lead, and arsenic among others. Although these LED bulbs do not contain mercury, the other toxics are just as harmful and should be considered when making future progress.

Even though LEDs are not always considered hazardous waste, it’s still important to recycle them properly. To learn how – check our post where we explain how to dispose of LED light bulbs responsibly.

2. Harmful blue light

Another research is done Spanish researchers shows the blue light emitted by the LEDs can cause harmful and irreparable damage to the human eye. The retina of a human eye contains sensitive light cells that can be damaged as a result of continued exposure to this light.

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With LED lights being used in almost every gadget from phones, computers, TV screens and more, much need to be done to prevent the effects.

Pros and Cons of LED Strip Lighting

We cannot talk about LEDs without mentioning LED strip lighting. LED Strip Light or LED tape is made of small individual LEDs mounted on a flexible circuit board and its widely used in clubs, homes, and any place that need to illuminate with flickering lights.

The pros and cons of LED strip lighting include.

Pros of LED Strip Lighting

  • Less electricity
  • Color-broader color selection
  • Savings-less lighting cost
  • Flexible- the strip can be bent to form any shape without any damage.
  • Lifespan- long lifespan
  • Cutting- you can cut the strip at some points without damaging it.

Cons of LED Strip Lighting

  • Replacement of a single bulb from the strip can be tricky
  • They produce low light
  • High initial cost
  • A varying voltage may cause the entire strip to burn

Conclusion on Pros and Cons of LED Lighting

From this article, I know you now have a clear guide on the various pros and cons of LED lighting. LED lighting has often been installed due to high energy efficiency and enhanced safety.

The rise of many energy efficiency and LED manufacturers have sold these products to buildings and residential homes. Imaging pairing LED lighting and solar photovoltaic panels together. You could have tremendous benefits.

Energy efficiency is very important for our future. We must make conscious decisions about how we consume energy and the impacts of disposal of this equipment to ensure we reduce our carbon footprint over time. Becoming energy efficient is just one of the many advantages of going green to save the environment.

Start taking a look at LED lighting products to see if you find a perfect match for your home or business.

What are you going to use in your home? Did we miss any of the pros and cons of LED lighting? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.I hope you understand more about the various components of LED lighting and LED strip lighting.

Related Resources:

  • Use our green living blog to live a cleaner future
  • 9 Best EV Chargers for Sale for Your Home

Green Coast is a renewable energy and clean living blog helping you live a better, cleaner life. Green living. Coast to Coast.


What are the cons of having LED lights? ›

Perhaps the biggest drawback of LED light bulbs is that they emit more blue light than incandescent bulbs, which are more on the red end of the spectrum. Blue light can cause a disruption in your circadian rhythm, negatively affect your ability to fall asleep and the quality of your sleep.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using an LED in a circuit instead of a light bulb? ›

LEDs are extremely energy efficient and consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs. Since LEDs use only a fraction of the energy of an incandescent light bulb there is a dramatic decrease in power costs. Also, money and energy is saved in maintenance and replacement costs due to the long LED lifespan.

Are LED lights actually better for the environment? ›

LED lighting provides many environmental advantages, including being energy efficient, producing zero toxic elements, requiring less light fixtures, and having a longer life span. LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than fluorescent and incandescent lights.

When should you not use LED lights? ›

Avoid LED lights above 3000K and/or labeled "bright white," "neutral white," "cool white," or "daylight white" as these lights will generally have a crisp, stark white color. LEDs with this light color contain a significant amount of blue light in their spectrum. Choose a bulb with a high CRI.

Does LED light waste more electricity? ›

Energy Savings

Residential LEDs -- especially ENERGY STAR rated products -- use at least 75% less energy, and last up to 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.

Why are LED lights eco friendly? ›

The efficiency of LED lights

Given that LED bulbs don't produce as much heat as incandescent bulbs, they burn cooler and are safer to use. Another ecologically friendly feature of LED bulbs is their composition. They are made of non-toxic materials and are 100 per cent recyclable.

Does LED lights increase electric bill? ›

Does energy savings on the electric bill support switching to LEDs? Yes! LED lights consume 80-90% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last up to 100,000 hours, versus 3,000 hours for an incandescent. Combine this with the durable construction of LEDs, and savings extend beyond electricity.

What is LED give its advantages? ›

This directional lighting capability reduces wasted light and energy. Unlike incandescent lighting, LEDs don't “burn out” or fail, they merely dim over time. Quality LEDs have an expected lifespan of 30,000–50,000 hours or even longer, depending on the quality of the lamp or fixture.

What is the advantage and disadvantages? ›

As nouns, the difference between disadvantage and advantage is that disadvantage is a weakness or undesirable characteristic; a con while the advantage is any condition, circumstance, opportunity, or means, particularly favorable to success, or any desired end.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of natural lighting? ›

Reduces electricity costs. Cons: – Glare; direct sunlight on shiny surfaces reflects bright light, making it difficult to see or work. – Though it brings life to homes and offices, sunlight will fade colors of furniture, artwork, rugs—anything it touches—over time.

How does LED lighting affect climate change? ›

Energy Efficient

LED lights also draw much less power than traditional lighting; a typical 84-watt fluorescent can be replaced by a 36 watt LED to give the same level of light. Less energy use reduces the demand from power plants and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

Do LED lights help climate change? ›

According to the US Department of Energy, lighting accounts for 15% of global electricity consumption and 5% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. A wholesale shift to LEDs could reduce CO2 emissions by 800 million metric tons per year—equivalent to shutting down 684 coal-fired power plants.

Does turning LED lights on and off use more electricity? ›

Light Emitting Diodes (LED)

Like incandescent bulbs, they are generally unaffected by the number of times you turn them on or off.

Can I leave LED lights on all day? ›

The operating life of a LED is unaffected by turning it on and off. While lifetime is reduced for fluorescent lamps the more often they are switched on and off, there is no negative effect on LED lifetime.

Are LED lights harmful to your eyes? ›

Chronic exposure to LED lights can speed up the ageing of retinal tissue, leading to a decline in visual acuity and an increased risk of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Is it cheaper to leave LED lights on? ›

The Energy Saving Trust's top tip for reducing the amount of money you spend on lighting is to replace incandescent and halogen bulbs with LED Lights. Halogens were already an improvement on the older incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are also more efficient and longer lasting. But LEDs are king.

What uses the most electricity in a home? ›

Top five energy consuming home appliances
  • Wet appliances. Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. ...
  • Cold appliances. ...
  • Consumer electronics. ...
  • Lighting. ...
  • Cooking.
14 Jan 2022

Does LED affect the environment? ›

LEDs Are Non-Toxic

They therefore need to be disposed of in a particular way, meaning that they need to be collected by specialist waste carriers. LED lights however, contain no hazardous materials (so they are obviously much safer for the environment) and they do not require specialist disposal.

How much do LED lights cost per month? ›

What is the average energy consumption and cost of different types of LEDs?
Brightness (in Lumens)WattsAvg. Cost / month*
650 – 8507 – 10W$0.26
1000 – 140012 – 13W$0.39
1450 - 1700+14 – 20W$0.53
2700+25 – 28W$0.82
1 more row

How much is the electricity bill for LED lights? ›

Comparison Between LED, CFL and Incandescent Light Bulbs:
Cost per bulb$2.50$1.25
Daily cost*$0.005$0.03
Annual cost*$1.83$10.95
Cost for 50k hours @ $0.10 kWh$50$300
4 more rows

Is LED positive or negative? ›

LED polarity

This means that LEDs (and other diodes) have positive (+) and negative (-) sides to them. For an LED to work it needs to be connected to a voltage source with the correct side. The voltage supply side of the diode is the positive (+) side, this is called the anode. The negative side is called the cathode.

What is LED short answer? ›

A Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a semiconductor device, which can emit light when an electric current passes through it. To do this, holes from p-type semiconductors recombine with electrons from n-type semiconductors to produce light.

What is LED short question answer? ›

LED Question 6 Detailed Solution

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. LED (light-emitting diode): The LED (light-emitting diode) is a PN junction device that emits light when a current pass through it in the forward direction, i.e. when LED is forward biased, it emits light.

What is an advantage example? ›

a : something (such as a good position or condition) that helps to make someone or something better or more likely to succeed than others. Higher ground gave the enemy the/an advantage. He has/enjoys an unfair advantage over us because of his wealth. His plan has the advantage of being less expensive than other options ...

What are types of advantages? ›

Five types of competitive advantage
  • Cost-based advantage. This is the most obvious way of achieving competitive advantage. ...
  • Advantage from a differentiated product or service. ...
  • First mover advantage. ...
  • Time-based advantage. ...
  • Technology-based advantage.

What word is advantage? ›

noun. any state, circumstance, opportunity, or means specially favorable to success, interest, or any desired end: the advantage of a good education.

What is the healthiest lighting? ›

But researchers' recommendations for creating a healthy lit environment are nonetheless straightforward: people should seek out bright light and blue light during the day, and minimize exposure to both at night.

What lighting is most natural? ›

On its own, an incandescent or halogen light bulb produces the purest, most natural form of artificial lighting.

Why is it better to use natural light? ›

Exposure to natural light helps our bodies produce Vitamin D, improves our circadian rhythms and sleep patterns, helps us to focus, enables us to get more done, and even makes us happier. Ensuring we get enough of this vital resource is key to our physical and psychological wellbeing.

Why do LED lights fail so often? ›

There are a number of basic reasons for LED lights to fail but the primary issue is heat. Over-heating can be a result of a number of design and assembly issues but is still the cause of the majority of LED lamp failures – both in the fitting themselves and also the drivers.

Do LED lights drain a lot of electricity? ›

LEDs consume far less electricity than incandescent bulbs, and decorative LED light strings such as Christmas tree lights are no different.

Do LED lights lower your electric bill? ›

Lighting accounts for around 15% of an average home's electricity use, and the average household saves about $225 in energy costs per year by using LED lighting. if you are still using incandescent light bulbs, switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills.

Do LED lights last longer if you leave them on? ›

The operating life of a LED is unaffected by turning it on and off. While lifetime is reduced for fluorescent lamps the more often they are switched on and off, there is no negative effect on LED lifetime.

How many years do LED lights last? ›

The average lifespan of an LED is often rated up to 50,000 hours. This is about 50 times longer than a typical incandescent, 20-25 times longer than a typical halogen and 8-10 times longer than a typical CFL. If used 12 hours a day, an LED rated at 50,000 hours will last more than 11 years.

Do LED lights attract bugs? ›

LED lights do not attract bugs the way incandescent lights do. But they do help make bug lights more efficient. The LED options are also quieter than traditional bug zappers. If bug zappers aren't an option for you, color lighting is an alternative.

Is it cheaper to leave LED lights on or turn them off? ›

As lighting accounts for around 15 per cent of home electricity usage, turning off your lights can play a part in reducing your energy use.

Do LED lights make your bill high? ›

LED strip lights do not cost a lot of electricity compared to traditional incandescent lights. Consumption is directly determined by the length of the strip light and its light density. A standard 5-meter strip will cost less than $3 a year to run, on average.

How much does it cost to leave an LED light on all day? ›

Cost per day: $0.005. Cost per week: $0.035. Cost per month: $0.152. Cost per year: $1.83.

How much does it cost to run a LED light bulb for 24 hours? ›

Leaving the bulb on the whole day will therefore cost you: 0.06 (60 watts / 1000) kilowatts x 24 hours x 12 cents = approximately 20 cents in one day.


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