It doesn’t have to be Christmas time for us to enjoy colourful lights around the house, and it doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure either. With environmentally friendly LED lights we can add a splash of colour to our kitchen or charm friends with our mood lit lounge without bumping up energy costs and increasing our carbon footprint. The light emitting diode has been on the market for just over 50 years, prior to which it was a subject of experiment for scientists. Nowadays, LEDs are put to multiple uses, from bike lights to aircraft landing lights and are also becoming a popular option for environment conscious interior designers and home owners.
So what makes these multi-coloured lights so green? An LED light, in comparison to your standard bulb, will on average use half the power for the same output, making it highly efficient,and is thought to save up to 90% of the energy. LEDs also have a very long lifespan, up to an impressive 60,000 hours, meaning fewer replacements over time and thus fewer additions to your nearest landfill.They are more likely to undergo extremely slow failure by dimming over time.
Another advantage is that they provide instant illumination meaning you have a bright light at the flick of a switch, yet another boost to their efficiency. Further to this, LED down lights are actually safer than standard bulbs since they do not heat up over time, and they are not liable to shattering. This makes them a good option for family homes.
However, some disadvantages have emerged (aside from the high initial cost which could be seen simply as investing in a greener future) including the unidirectional nature of the light (not spherical like standard bulbs) and the quality of the light itself which can make objects appear different in colour. There is also some chance of LEDs failing at high temperatures, but aside from that they are highly resistant to shocks, can function at very low temperatures and can be made in water resistant fittings, further extending their use and enjoyment to the garden.
This small attempt to shine a light on LEDs has hopefully broadened your green interior decorating horizons and perhaps this year you can extend the festivities by draping those colourful fairy lights somewhere more permanent where you can enjoy them all year round. It may also have reassured you that living an eco-friendly life doesn’t mean limiting yourself to a dimly glowing energy saving bulb in every room. Why just go green when you can go technicolour? The possibilities are endless.