Are LEDs safe to use Outdoors?
Updated: Jun 14
People are increasingly moving away from traditional incandescent light bulbs and switching to LEDs. Here is a quick look at what LEDs are and why they could be a good choice for your Garden Lights.
Early LEDs to Today
When LED lights first came onto the market in the 1960s, they did not make a great first impression. They were bright (harshly so), had an unusual bluish tint and made the objects they lit look dull and muddy in appearance. Not exactly what you would call a great start.
Since then and thanks to vast improvements in technology, LED light bulbs can do everything incandescent bulbs can do while using a fraction of the energy. This means they are more energy efficient and more cost efficient. They are also more durable as they do not have a delicate filament that incandescents do, so suffer less damage to elements such as bumping, shock heat or cold.
LEDs: the Geeky Part
LEDs (or Light Emitting Diodes), operate on semiconductor technology. They contain two types of semiconductors: n and p types. When a voltage is applied, electrons start zipping from one semiconductor to the other. When an electron fills a “hole” where another electron used to be, it releases a photon or light. This effect is called electroluminescence.
Electroluminescence, as a light source, provides a lot of benefits that incandescents don’t. Aside from lower energy consumption, LEDs emit less heat and last significantly longer. This technology also allows the lights to take practically any shape or form thereby also providing more design flexibility.
Cost and Energy
While LED light bulbs do cost more to purchase than incandescent, they cost a fraction to run (approximately 1/3 - 1/5th less) and can last 8-15 times longer. In fact high Wattage incandescent bulbs have already started to phase out as they consume too much energy. Even cities around the World are making the switch: in 2013 for example, Las Vegas installed over 40,000 LED street light lamps heads. The project cost about $18 million and would pay for itself with savings of $2 million per year for the next ten years.
Are LEDs Safe to use Outdoors?
The all important question for owners of Gardens, Patios, Yards and Balconies is: Are LEDs safe to use Outdoors? The answer is easily yes. They can be used for both indoors and outdoors but are a particularly good choice for outdoors given their sturdy nature and efficient use of energy. If you use a lot of lighting overall in your garden or yard, energy bills can hike up quickly. So if you are planning to use a lot of lights in your garden, we would suggest considering LEDs; better for your wallet and better for the environment.