The LED (light-emitting diode) has been around for a long time. I had an LED watch in the 1970s. Sure, the display was red, but it was a novel piece of utility jewelry at the time. LEDs were used for years in various electronic devices, including computers, but recent developments have made it the technology of choice. LEDs are now used in television and computer screens, light bulbs and other places I can’t even think of at the moment. As far as the economy is concerned, LED light bulbs are probably the most important innovations in recent history.
When they first became available, LED light bulbs were just too expensive for the average person. That isn’t the case anymore. While they’re still more expensive than what they’re replacing, they last a lot longer. They can be disposed of without any environmental repercussions, unlike the CFL (compact fluorescent lamp or light) bulbs.
I’m in the process of slowly replacing all the CFL and incandescent light bulbs inside and outside my house with LED light bulbs. The first one I bought cost me 599 Philippine pesos, or about $13.46 US dollars. On my limited budget, I can’t afford to buy more than one or two at a time. I recently read that the prices for LED light bulbs are going down, but it could take some time to see those savings appear locally.
That first LED light bulb was a 10-watt bulb, equal to a 75-watt incandescent light bulb or something close to it. Light bulbs are no longer measured in watts but in lumens. It’s going to take a long time for me to get my brain geared to remember what it all means. The one thing I know is that an LED light bulb uses far less electricity than any other kind.
It’s going to take some time, but I’ll eventually replace even the small light bulbs in some of my overhead fixtures. I have yet to see an LED light bulb in those sizes, but I haven’t been looking very hard. The ones to replace bulbs in the standard sockets are easy to find and I use those sockets more anyway.
If the writers for the science fiction movies of the 1960s had even an inkling of what the future would really look like, I’m sure they would have included LED light bulbs. I was born in 1960 and even in the 1970s, when I had that LED watch, I never dreamed of home lighting with LED light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs had been around for so long, I took them for granted. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person like that.
Innovators are doing interesting things with LEDs. The long fluorescent light bulbs you see in certain places will someday be replaced by arrays consisting of LED light bulbs. They may be housed to look the same or they may be completely different.
To me, the only thing that would be better than the LED light bulbs I’m using outdoors now would be solar-powered and battery-backed LED light bulbs that come on at dusk and turn off at dawn automatically. I’m getting tired of turning switches on and off – if I sleep in, the lights are on too long.
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