3 Myths About LED Lighting

Photo via Cree’s Lighting the LED Revolution blog

With any new technology, there are bound to be a few public misconceptions.   It may surprise you that the statements below are completely false:

“LEDs do not give off heat.”

All light sources generate heat, so don’t let anyone tell you that LEDs are an exception to the rule.

It is true that LEDs do not emit as much heat as other sources of light: that’s because they are so energy efficient.  However, LED fixtures still need to be designed to dissipate heat; otherwise, they will fail prematurely.

Where did this common misconception stem from?  LED fixtures feel cool to the touch as long as they’re designed properly.  As you can see in the photo, it’s even safe for a baby to hold a lit LED!

“LEDs are available in ‘white light’.”

Technically, there’s no such thing as a ‘white LED.’  The LEDs you see that emit white light are likely actually blue LEDs with a yellow phosphorus coating, producing what appears to be white light.

Another way to produce the color is to mix red, blue, and green LEDs in close proximity.  This method is used commonly for large signs, such as jumbotrons.

“LEDs are so energy efficient that it takes years for them to burn out.”

LEDs are ridiculously energy efficient, there’s no doubt about that.

However, did you know that LEDs never burn out?  When they come to the end of their life (after about 17 years of regular use), they will simply become progressively dimmer.

For even more information, check out our article on 10 Things to Know about LED Lighting.

Emily Widle

Emily graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. She enjoys scouring the news to report on the latest in the lighting industry as well as bringing valuable remodeling tips and exemplar home projects to light.

3 thoughts to “3 Myths About LED Lighting”

  1. I find it amusing when people try and say that LEDs give off no heat, although they are coming from the right direction, LEDs give off considerably less heat than halogens or incandescents. It has been recently found that LEDs run so cool that when used in traffic lights in very cold areas, they don’t run hot enough to melt the snow that falls on them!

  2. I seem to recall someone mentioning that it’s not typically the LED that fails but rather some other part on the board. I can’t remember what it was though.

    The heat factor is a fun one. But there is no denying that an LED does not give off nearly as much heat as a halogen bulb. I’ve seen halogen bulbs that scorched the upper edges of cabinets (poor layout but what are you going to do).

    Great article though!

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