There are many forms of electrical lighting, but not all of them are created equally. Some are inefficient or don’t produce much light; others get dangerously hot or make buzzing sounds.
You may have heard that LED lights are the best, but are they safe for everything? Can you have them in your garage?
LED lights are a very safe, power-efficient, and low heat emitting option for lighting your garage. While some models contain a small amount of lead or arsenic in their conductor, it is typically too small to cause any harm.
With that in mind, let’s take a further look at how LEDs work, tell you if they get hot, and highlight some more of their pros and cons!
How do LED Lights Work?
To begin, let’s talk about how LEDs work. What makes them different from other lights?
For starters, they aren’t bulbs. LED stands for light-emitting diode. Where traditional bulbs use filaments, LEDs use diodes. A diode is a semiconductor.
It consists of a material (usually aluminum-gallium-arsenide in LEDs) that has been altered to make it more conductive.
The alterations change the material to create free electrons. That means there are incomplete bonds, and therefore, the material is more conductive – electricity can pass through it more easily. This diode conducts electrical current and in turn, produces light.
The light is caused by the release of photons. There are the units of energy produced when electrons change places. If the distance they move is short, the photons are not visible. The infrared of a remote control LED is an example of this. If the distance traveled is long, the photons are visible. This is what creates light!
The distance the electrons travel also determines the light’s color. This is why red light LEDs, like digital clocks, are easier on the eyes than white or blue light from TVs and computers.
The clock light is red because the electrons are not traveling as far; therefore, less powerful photons are released.
Do LED Lights Get Hot?
If you’ve ever burned your hand on an incandescent light bulb, you may be worried about the effects of LEDs. Though, like anything that conducts electricity, LEDs do produce heat, they do not get hot like incandescent lights.
This is thanks in large part to the power consumption of LEDs. Where an incandescent bulb runs at 60 or 100 watts, LEDs use about six to eight watts.
The lower power consumption is thanks to their efficiency!
An incandescent light bulb gives off about 750-900 lumens (the measure of light) and can last for about 1,200 hours, while a tiny LED can provide the same 750-900 lumens at a fraction of the power and last 25,000 hours.
It is because LEDs do not waste so much of their power on heat that they are capable of this. They are even more efficient than fluorescent lights that use about 15 watts and can only last about 10.000 hours.
To put all this in perspective, there are 8,760 hours in an entire year. That means you could leave an LED light on for 2.85 years or roughly 34 months straight before it fizzled out.
Pros and Cons to LED Lights
In the past, LEDs were expensive and difficult to produce, but with new technologies, it becomes easier and cheaper each year. While incandescent and fluorescent bulbs have obvious downsides like wasteful heat production and harmful chemicals, LEDs have very few cons.
They do not get hot like incandescent and they do not contain mercury like fluorescents. LEDs are the most effacement light on the market. While they can be expensive to make, the cost of production is easily offset by their low energy consumption and long lifespan.
All that is not to say that there aren’t downsides to LEDs. For one, they have a very low heat tolerance. If they get overheated they can easily burn out.
Additionally, depending on the LED they can contain lead or arsenic in the conductor. The amount they contain is hardly enough to harm you, but it is something to keep in mind.
With the increase in LED efficiency comes another problem as well: light pollution. As more and more people take up these extremely bright lights, so too increases the light pollution. If you’ve ever driven past an insanely bright billboard at night, you’ll know what I mean.
Though LEDs come in every color imaginable, the light they produce is often quite harsh. While incandescent lights can look like the soft glow of a candle, LEDs feel like searchlights.
However, LEDs are dimmable and some can change color. They are also the best option for helping indoor plants grow.
Are LED Garage Lights Safe?
To finally answer the original question: yes, LED garage lights are safe. LEDs are efficient, energy-friendly, long-lasting, and they do not put out heat like incandescent bulbs.
If you are looking for a bright and reliable source of light for your garage LEDs are the way to go!
If you have fluorescent bulbs in your garage, you know they are susceptible to the cold. If the temperature drops low enough, they have a hard time turning on. LEDs do not have that problem.
Unless you put them in the oven, it will probably never get hot enough to burn out an LED (but please don’t put them in the oven).
One benefit of LEDs people often forget is that they are compact. LEDs can be much smaller than traditional bulbs and do not require the same fixtures and mounts. They can save space at the same time as providing more light.
LEDs are wonderful!
They are the most efficient lights by far. LEDs do not get hot like incandescent, they don’t flicker and buzz like fluorescents, and they don’t require vast amounts of power.
LED lights can be a bit bright for some people, but they are dimmable and come in a variety of colors.
LEDs are safe to use as garage lights. They are safe to use anywhere as they produce the most light with the lowest power consumption. Light-emitting diodes are the best form of light!