Thursday, June 28, 2007

LED alternative to mercury-containing compact fluorescent lights

Fortunately, consumers no longer have to bring mercury into their homes through the use of fluorescent lights. One of the most eco-friendly options is LED light bulbs which are not only mercury free, they're also 300% more energy efficient than fluorescent lights (and about 1000% more efficient than incandescent lights).

LEDs produce more light per watt than fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, and have an extremely long life span (usually about 50,000 hours). One manufacturer has calculated the ETTF (Estimated Time To Failure) for their LEDs to be between 100,000 and 1,000,000 hours, mostly depending on the operating temperature.

Fluorescent tubes, in contrast, are typically rated at about 10,000 hours, but in practical application, they only last about 2,000 - 3,000 hours. Incandescent light bulbs typically burn out every 1,000 hours. LEDs mostly fail by dimming over time, rather than with the abrupt burnout of incandescent bulbs.

LED lights contain absolutely no mercury or toxic chemicals, and conventional LEDs are made from a variety of inorganic semiconductor materials. They don't generate RF wavelengths that cause radio interference, or emit ultraviolet (UV) light -- so LEDs will not readily attract bugs and other insects.