Although LED technology is commonplace today, confusion still arises for the home user when it comes choosing LEDs over traditional light bulbs. When faced with the question of whether or not to switch to LEDs, consider that though more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs, LEDs have myriad advantages over traditional incandescent bulbs.
LEDs last 10-20 years in home applications and can be used in existing fixtures with typical screw-in options or, if necessary, retrofit kits. The long lifespan of LEDs makes them a cost-effective option that, in the long run, actually results in savings in excess of the initial purchase price.
Another attractive draw in using LEDs is the design flexibility in the new integrated LED fixtures. These have the LED built into the fixture itself. With integrated lighting, the LEDs are placed on a module, such as a panel, strip or disc, inside the fixture as opposed to using a standard bulb. Since the light source is compact and embedded into the fixture, it has a slim profile. Without the need to design around the larger bulbs and cables used in traditional light fixtures, manufacturers have practically unlimited design options. A disadvantage of fixtures with the LED built in is a higher upfront cost, as an entire fixture has to be purchased and installed. However, the beautiful and unusual design capability of LED integrated fixtures usually outweighs the initial price tag. If the possibility of an expired LED leading to prematurely discarding an entire fixture is a concern, don’t worry. Many lighting manufacturers offer extended warranties on integrated LED fixtures, covering the possibility of LED failure, although the chances of premature failure are minimal.