LEDs are primarily made of electronic components like PCBs, diodes, semiconductors etc. Therefore, they must be treated in the same way that traditional electronics are treated. They collected separately from household wastes and must be treated the same as standard electronic equipment
LEDs normally use less power for a given application compared to traditional halogen and fluorescent sources. As such, the overall kW/hr consumption per year is less, this helps reduce the overall CO2 emissions.
LEDs are environmentally friendly on many fronts. First, unlike HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps LEDs contain NO mercury. In addition, some LED luminaires are RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliant and have been designed to provide more than a decade of near maintenance-free service. That means no re-lamping which means no waste.
Assuming an HID fixture is re-lamped every two years, that’s five re-lamping cycles over a 10 year period.
Just imagine the benefits of choosing LED:
- No concern over proper disposal (hopefully not simply thrown in a landfill) of old HID lamps containing harmful mercury.
- No fuel used and the accompanying pollution to service those fixtures.
- Greatly reduced potential for lane closures and other productivity and inconvenience-related costs associated with maintaining an HID system.
- No natural resources lost to produce the replacement lamps that contain mercury.
- No fuel used to move old-technology lamps from the factory (most likely overseas), to the distributor, to the contractor, to the job site.
It’s important to keep in mind all the positive and powerful ripple effects that using LED technology can have on the environment.
Super-bright white LEDs have the advantage of minimal lumen depreciation, better optical efficiency and high lumens per watt. LEDs also have a vastly longer life span than traditional lamp sources. The luminaire must be designed to leverage these inherent advantages of LEDs. A total systems approach is needed for an LED product to bring all these features together.
LEDs may have lower lumen value in many cases. However, LEDs are directional light sources, all the lumens emitted from an LED are directed towards the task area. Conversely, conventional sources emit light in all directions. The light is then modulated in a given direction with optical systems like reflectors and lenses. The amount of lumens that falls in the intended task area from an LED light source is greater than that of a conventional light source.
Typically, an LED will last four times longer than a CFL and 25 times longer than an incandescent source that puts out the same amount of light.
Unlike discharge lamps, LEDs are semiconductors and their life span is not affected by the number of times they are turned on and off.
Unlike conventional light sources that reduce in output and eventually fail, LED products do not normally suddenly fail. Instead, the light output reduces over time.
The normal convention is to measure the life from when the output has reduced by 30%, i.e. when there is 70% light output remaining. This is often quoted as the L70 life and is measured in hours.
Sometimes simply comparing the lumen output of LEDs and conventional light sources may not be adequate. The amount of light falling on a specific task area (the lux) gives a more realistic comparison. You should also consider the amount illumination visible on the walls. This helps identify applications where LEDs offer better solutions than other light sources.
50,000 hours would imply 5.7 years if the light is operated for 24 hours in a day, 7.6 years if the lights are on 18 hours per day and 11.4 years for 12 hours a day.