The benefits of using LED lighting fixtures are undeniable. Whether one looks into residential applications, or commercial uses, the result of switching to LED over incandescent or fluorescent lighting will be lowered energy use, longer life and ease of maintenance.
The first generation of fixtures produced light that wasn't very bright, and they were somewhat difficult to find. Now, they can be found in all sorts of places, from LED lighting residential installations like recessed can lighting to solar landscape lights.
Why the increased interest in using LED lighting installations? For one, the light is more versatile. On its own, it's directional - perfect for can lighting or spotlight fixtures. LEDs can also be clustered to increase intensity. When used with a diffuser, the light is softer and more suited for traditional light uses such as table lamps or floor lamps. Another reason for the rise in residential LED lighting use is its ability to emit any chosen color without the use of filters, making it a solid choice for dramatic and colorful lighting in home decor.
Commercial LED lighting has also come into its own, for all the reasons above. Most important to commercial clients, perhaps, is the longevity of LED lamps vs. incandescent bulbs. Light fixtures in commercial buildings are often challenging to access, so replacing an incandescent fixture with much longer-lasting LED lighting fixtures drastically reduces the labor expense and time required to replace bulbs. The average operational life of a white LED lamp is around 50,000 hours. Compare this to the average life of an incandescent bulb - approximately 1,000 to 2,000 hours - and it's easy to see why commercial LED lighting, where maintenance to replace bulbs is often the true cost of the fixture, is gaining popularity.
LED lighting fixtures are also less fragile than their incandescent or fluorescent cousins, so in areas with high vibration, heavy foot traffic on a floor above, or a chance for light impact, it's often a good option.
One of the biggest draws to LED lighting fixtures is that they use less energy. Many sustainable 'Green' buildings have made the switch in search of higher efficiency - they emit more light per watt than incandescent bulbs. Hand-in-hand with their lowered energy usage is the fact that they don't give off heat like incandescent bulbs. There are no worries about damaging expensive fabrics or wallpapers, whether used in residential LED lighting installations or commercial LED lighting.
Widely available with standard bases to fit common fixtures, LED is definitely the next generation in efficient, environmentally friendly lighting.