Energy Efficiency of LED Light Strips vs Incandescent Lighting

By LED Lighthouse

LED light strips are becoming an increasingly popular choice for a variety of lighting applications, thanks to their vibrant illumination, versatility, and most notably, their energy efficiency. Composed of a string of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) placed on a flexible or rigid strip, they are transforming the way we think about and use lighting in our homes and businesses.

Energy Efficiency of LED Light Strips

Energy efficiency, at its core, represents the principle of achieving the same output level while using less energy. It is the process of cutting down energy waste, which involves improving the way your home or business uses power for everyday tasks. As we grow increasingly aware of the environmental crises facing our planet, the notion of energy efficiency is gaining unprecedented significance. It plays a crucial role in reducing our environmental impact, thus promoting sustainability.

In the context of lighting systems, energy efficiency revolves around the idea of maximizing the quantity of light produced for each unit of power consumed. This concept, fundamentally, measures the conversion rate of electrical energy into visible light. Incandescent lighting systems tend to waste a significant amount of energy in the form of heat, thus making the concept of energy efficiency even more pertinent. A more efficient lighting system would not only cut down energy costs but also result in a reduction in harmful emissions, thereby contributing positively to the environment.

Light Emitting Diodes, more commonly known as LEDs, function based on principles that are different from those underlying traditional lighting systems. These differences contribute greatly to their superior energy efficiency. LEDs produce light through a process known as electroluminescence. In this unique process, electric current is passed through a semiconductor material. The energy from the electric current excites the particles within the semiconductor, causing it to emit photons, or in simpler terms, light.

Energy Efficiency

LED Light Strips VS I ncandescent Lighting 

Traditional lighting options, such as incandescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes, tend to waste a significant amount of energy. Incandescent bulbs produce light through heat generation, a process that wastes approximately 90% of energy as heat rather than light. On the other hand, fluorescent tubes convert a portion of electrical energy into heat, which, although lesser than incandescent bulbs, still results in energy wastage.

LEDs, however, shine a different light on this issue. They consume less energy to produce the same amount of light as traditional sources. For instance, a 12-watt LED light strip can offer similar, if not better, illumination as a 60-watt incandescent bulb.

Check out our blog on LED Bedroom Lighting Ideas for 2023



LED Light Strips VS Light Bulbs - Small

1.) Efficiency in Conversion of Electricity

The efficiency of LEDs extends to their superior conversion of electrical energy into light. Unlike incandescent light sources, LEDs produce very little heat. The majority of the electrical energy they consume is transformed directly into light, thus minimizing energy waste.

The absence of heat production also results in safer lighting solutions, reducing the risks of burns or fires, often associated with traditional incandescent bulbs.

2.) Lower Power Consumption

LED light strips require significantly lower power to function, contributing to their energy efficiency. For example, consider a scenario where you use LED strip lights to illuminate your kitchen counters for four hours a day. Switching from traditional under-cabinet lights to LED strip lights can result in substantial power savings, directly leading to a decrease in your energy bill.

3.) Long Lifespan and Reduced Maintenance

LED light strips are not just energy efficient; they also have a longer lifespan compared to traditional lighting options. They can last up to 50,000 hours or even more, while incandescent bulbs usually burn out after about 1,000 hours, and fluorescent tubes last for about 10,000 hours.

The extended lifespan of LED light strips means less frequent replacements, which translates to lower maintenance costs. Additionally, since LEDs do not burn out suddenly but rather dim over time, you have ample notice to plan for replacements, thus avoiding abrupt loss of lighting.

4.) Reduced Heat Emission

One of the most significant advantages of LED light strips is their minimal heat emission. Traditional lighting sources, such as incandescent and halogen lamps, convert a large portion of electrical energy into heat rather than light, which can lead to a noticeable increase in room temperature. In contrast, LED light strips stay cool to the touch, even after prolonged use.

The benefits of reduced heat emission are twofold. Firstly, it enhances safety by reducing the risk of burns and fire. Secondly, it can contribute to lower cooling costs, especially in warmer climates or during the summer months, as less energy will be needed to counteract the heat generated by lighting.

5.) Environmental Impact

LED light strips significantly contribute to reducing the environmental impact of lighting. Their high energy efficiency results in less electricity consumption, which leads to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy production.

By opting for LED light strips, consumers can directly contribute to reducing their carbon footprint making them the ideal choice for commercial offices, schools and around the home. Plus, since LEDs contain no toxic elements like mercury, found in fluorescent lights, their disposal imposes a lesser burden on the environment.

6.) Instant On/Off and Dimming Capabilities

LED light strips respond instantly upon being turned on, reaching full brightness without the warm-up time required by traditional fluorescent lights. This ‘instant on’ feature means no energy is wasted during start-up.

Further, many LED light strips can be dimmed easily, unlike most conventional lighting sources. This feature not only creates a customizable atmosphere and ambience but also allows for additional energy savings. When dimmed, LED light strips use less power, thereby reducing energy consumption even further.

Check out some of the Dimmers we offer here: LED Dimmers

7.) Energy Efficiency Ratings and Certifications

Energy efficiency ratings and certifications, such as ENERGY STAR or EPEAT, provide assurance of a product’s energy-saving performance. These certifications imply that the product has been independently tested and meets stringent energy efficiency standards.

When purchasing LED light strips, look for these certifications. They not only assure optimal energy efficiency but can also be indicative of overall product quality, as the certification process often involves other performance metrics as well. All LED Lighthouse LED Lights receive an A in their energy ratings.

Final Thoughts

In summary, LED light strips significantly outperform incandescent lighting solutions in terms of energy efficiency. Their superior conversion of electricity to light, minimal heat emission, immediate response time, dimming capabilities, and long lifespan make them an excellent choice for both cost savings and environmental sustainability.

In an era increasingly focused on reducing energy consumption and mitigating climate change, switching to LED light strips offers an opportunity to make a meaningful impact. By embracing this advanced lighting technology, you’ll enjoy not only vibrant and versatile lighting but also significant savings on your energy bills and a smaller environmental footprint.

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LED Driver Calculator

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More Resources

By LED Lighthouse

Below are a few useful guides to helping you choose the right LED lighting for you project. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

About LED Lighthouse

Specialist supplier of quality LED lighting

Established in 2011, we are dedicated to supplying quality LED lighting at an affordable price. We offer LED Lights and components from some of the best manufacturers including Integral, Samsung, Epistar, Meanwell and Ltech.
Due to customer demand, in recent years we've grown to specialise in LED Strip Lights and associated parts, developing many of our own products.