Traditional incandescent light bulbs are gradually being phased out of use because they are no longer the most efficient option, converting most of their energy into heat and only 5% into light. Several alternatives have emerged onto the marketplace and with regards to efficiency and energy usage LED lights and Xenon bulbs are two of the most talked about.
Xenon bulbs are often used in high-intensity discharge lamps and use xenon gas. They are known for their ability to create much brighter light than incandescent bulbs and are a popular choice for car headlights as they are often much brighter than the halogen alternatives and consume less energy to do so. However they are known for being very expensive and causing a harsh glare, which is a consideration when choosing to use them in car headlights. Some manufacturers have started to develop systems to counter this harsh glare to enable them to continue benefiting from the brightness they can generate. On top of this there is debate around the use of some of the harmful chemicals such as mercury in certain models; the environmental benefits could be counteracted by the use of harmful materials in certain types of Xenon bulbs.
LED – or light emitting diodes – lights are semiconductor diodes that, when a voltage is applied, emit light. They are fast becoming the most popular choice for those wanting a more environmentally friendly option with lower running costs but without compromising on the quality of the light emitted. Because of their small size, in their early days LED bulbs were often used in digital clocks and as indicators on electrical device and eventually developments lead to their use in television and mobile phone screens. Until recently, due to their size and the way they released light they were unsuitable for use as lamps, only spotlights, however in the past few years there have been major developments with LED lighting that has made them a viable competitor in the lighting market. The major drawback to LED lighting was, as with Xenon bulbs, the expense. However recent technological developments, by companies such as Lighting Ever, have developed systems of creating more light using fewer LEDs, thus reducing the cost dramatically, which offsets the negative cost by switching to LED lights.
So why choose LEDs over Xenon bulbs? In short, they cost less to purchase and replace and consume less energy and so will cost less to run, lowering your energy bills. They do this without losing any of the lighting benefits of incandescent or Xenon based lighting, on the contrary they produce excellent light with none of the harsh glare produced by Xenon bulbs. The environmental impact is twofold; firstly, by using less energy they need replacing less often and use fewer resources to run and secondly, the materials that go into LED lighting are much less toxic than their Xenon counterparts.