LED: Advantages and disadvantages

LED: Advantages and disadvantages

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

220 guides

LEDs are economical light bulbs with a longer life expectancy than compact fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. For indoor or outdoor use, LEDs consume a miminum of power and are selected based on terms like the lux, lumens and kelvins, all of which you help choose exactly the right LED bulb. 

Important features

  • Lumen
  • Lux
  • Kelvin
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Shedding some light on LEDs


"If all the light sources passed to the LED technology, world power consumption would halve."

The statement speaks for itself and sets the tone. In the past LED bulbs had two major disadvantages: the light was described as too low or too white and the price was relatively high. Today, their technology has evolved and the bulbs are increasingly performing and are competing - or almost -  alongside traditional compact fluorescent bulbs.

LEDs are economical because they consume half as much energy, have a reduced price (more than 20%) and the absence of mercury guarantees that there is risk for your health. Their overall performance has doubled in a very short time span. Finally, for the metephorical cherry on the cake, LEDs have less of an impact on the environment!

LED: definition

LED, or light-emitting diode, is an electronic compound that converts electricity into light. Because of the small luminous flux (measured in lumens) that they are equipped with, LEDs are placed side by side to provide high-power illumination to whatever light they equip.

LED: advantages and disadvantages

Advantage of LEDs


Energetic efficiency

LED's lifetime can go up to 40,000 hours! Just to compare, a compact fluorescent bulb offers 10,000 hours of lighting, a halogen bulb 2,000 hours and incandescent bulbs will only provide 1000 hours. LED's efficiency is also significantly better: ranging from 40 lm/W to 80 lm/W. If we compare once again, a compact fluorescent bulb offers 70 lm/W and incandescent bulbs 16 lm/W in terms of efficiency.

To help you batter understand the savings, remember that a 800 - lumen LED consumes between 9 and 12 W while its equivalent in incandescent lamp will generally consume about 60 W. If they keep evolving in the same manner, we will soon be equipped with LEDs which consume 4 W but can light up like a classic 75W bulb!

Lighting quality

The lighting is instantaneous and the maximum level of brightness is reached as soon as the lighting is switched on. Since there's no need to wait, LEDs can be installed in places of passage like hallways because as soon as one presses the button, they deliver maximum luminous flux!

Lightweight and durable

LEDs operate in TBT - Ultra Low Voltage - and under low temperatures. They heat less than compact fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. They are small in size and resistant to shocks.

Disadvantages of LEDs

Their manufacturing process remains energy intensive and the achieved overall energy efficiency is relatively comparable to that of compact fluorescent bulbs, even if their final ecological impact is less. Their price is still a little expensive but we can't say it enough: you change them less often! For large lighting needs, such as street lighting, the technology remains to be improved - the buil-in LEDs still tend to heat up.

The blue light emitted by high-power LEDs (pro) can pose a danger for certain people: use with caution if you are sufferingfrom any eye condition!

Replace bulbs with LEDs

Of course, from an environmental stand point, taking into consideration the impact of the manufacturing process of a light bulb, throwing away a perfectly good bulb is inconsiderate. Instead, slowly replace your incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs once they pass and plan for their sensible replacement!

LEDs can adapt to any type of lighting, so relax! Indoor, outdoor: the most challenging aspect is to choose ... although, even choosing your indoor lighting and LEDs is pretty peachy!

Choosing LEDs


Lumens, Lux and Kelvin: the new superstars?

Watts have now been replaced by the luminous flux (expressed in number of lumens), lux (lx) for illumination and Kelvin (K) for color! You should basically figure:

  • 230 lm for a bedside lamp;
  • 470 lm for a desk lamp;
  • 750 lm for hallway and bathroom and 200 lx;
  • 1000 lm for a bedroom and 300 lx;
  • 1500 for a kitchen, a living room or an office.

The temperature is expressed in kelvins and the higher the number, the colder the lighting will be:

  • Warm white at about 3000 K;
  • Neutral white between 3300 and 5000 K;
  • Daylight at over 5000 K.

LED bulb socket

In terms of the socket, no need to get too in depth. The LED bulbs' socket is determined by the electrical installation or the light with which it is imperatively paired with. If you don't have the exact model, it should be indicated on the light's instructions. The primary socket types are:

  • B22 , the great classic, referred to as bayonet. You  simply press and turn;
  • E27, large screw socket;
  • E14, small screw socket;
  • G4, G24, G9, GU 5.3, GU10, R7, etc. are pin-based sockets.

It is possible to adjust the intensity of the brightness on dimmable bulbs.

Remember to turn off the light when going out to maintain your energy savings and choose the right light bulb!

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More Information

For anyone hoping to be more energy efficient, or simply to brighten up a certain room, follow the links below for lighting-related accessories, advice from our editors and more helpful guides:

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Guide written by:

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 220 guides

Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter

Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check.Advise Mister everybody in the DIY shop? Check.Redo the bathroom plumbing? Check.Fit together, build the walls, paint a partition, throw my hammer in a rage thinking that it will fix the problem? Check. The DIY motto ? Learning is better than delegating… well, it's also a question about your wallet! The satisfaction? The beer at the end of the job! What do the best have in common? The influence of Gyro Gearloose, Mac Gyver and Carol Smiley depending on your generation, a good dose of curiosity, a average hand-eye coordination and a taste for risks… and if it doesn't work, try again! Advise you? I'll do my best!