LED-based light sources have long been touted as efficient and long-lasting alternatives to incandescents. They last even longer than compact florescent lights (CFL’s), and use even less energy.
They also create an extremely harsh, blue-based light that can be irritating to the eyes, and quite simply, don’t live up to the warm light an incandescent bulb creates, and therefore have not received a whole lot of acceptance for household use. LED’s can be made to be more “warm” in their lighting, but that then decreases their efficiency significantly, making them cost ineffective.
Two small companies (Nexxus Lighting and QD Vision) have now come out with an LED light that uses “quantum dots” in a screen in front of the LED projection. Depending on the size of the dots, the light emitted can be manipulated to be warmer and more “incandescent-like.” Stilly pricey so probably only good for commercial applications, these quantum dot LED lights do show promise for the future of LED for household use.
The other advantage of LED lighting is that it is more impervious to heat and cold than CFL’s, which right now cannot be used in environments with moderate to extreme heat (like the lightbulb in your over-the-range hood in your kitchen). They also can potentially last 75% longer than a halogen bulb, which already has a longer life than a standard CFL. This means a lightbulb that can burn for 10 years or more without needing replacement, while also using 10% or less of the energy of a traditional incandescent bulb.