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Incandescent vs Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Outdoor Lighting: Which Is Best?

Tuesday November 23, 2021

Both commercial and residential properties can benefit from outdoor lighting. When the sun goes down, it will illuminate the surrounding area. There are different types of outdoor lighting, however, two of the most common being incandescent and light-emitting diode (LED). While they are both designed to illuminate the area in which they are installed, they aren't the same. What's the difference between incandescent and LED outdoor lighting exactly, and which type should you choose?

The Basics of Incandescent Outdoor Lighting

Incandescent outdoor lighting is defined by its use of a filament-based bulb. All types of lighting feature a bulb. Incandescent outdoor lighting simply has a filament-based bulb. Within the bulb is a thin piece of wire that's connected to a power source. As electricity flows through this wire filament, it will heat up. The wire filament will then produce light via incandescence.

The Basics of LED Outdoor Lighting

LED outdoor lighting, on the other hand, is defined by its use of a diode-based bulb. The bulb doesn't feature a wire filament. Instead, it features a semiconductor material known as a diode. LED outdoor lighting works in a similar way as its incandescent counterpart. It's connected to a power source, and when electricity flows through the bulb, it produces light. LED outdoor lighting, though, doesn't produce light via incandescent. Rather, it produces light via electroluminescence. As electricity flows through the diode, it will produce light by releasing photons.

Differences Between Incandescent and LED Outdoor Lighting

Of those two types of outdoor lighting, incandescent is the least expensive. Incandescent is one of the oldest types of outdoor, as well as indoor, lighting. And thanks to its simple filament-based bulb style, it's easy to produce. This makes incandescent a popular choice of outdoor lighting for budget-conscious property developers and homeowners.

LED outdoor lighting lasts longer than incandescent outdoor lighting. All bulbs will eventually need to be replaced. Those in LED outdoor lighting, however, typically last longer than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs can last for 20 to 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

LED outdoor lighting is also more energy efficient. Energy usage varies depending on a variety of factors. Nonetheless, LED outdoor lighting uses less energy than incandescent outdoor lighting. It's up to 75% more energy efficient than incandescent outdoor lighting, in fact. LED outdoor lighting still uses energy, but it's far more energy efficient than incandescent outdoor lighting, resulting in lower operating costs.


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