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What made new LEDs so much better?

Posted by Arthur Smith on 17 February 2017 at 12:05 pm

LED lighting has really come on over the last 5 years and deserves a 10/10 for improvement. So, what exactly what changed?

Developments in light-emitting diode (LED) lighting technology have been spectacular over the last five years. The efficiency of LEDs has dramatically improved, the prices have come down, issues of perceived warmth have been addressed and they are getting smart! In this blog we take a look at their recent improvement and imagine where they might go in the future.

Increased efficiency

The biggest jump in efficiency happened between 2012 and 2014, when the light output of LEDs rose from around 60 lumens per watt (lm/W) to almost 100 lm/W. Right now the lumen per watt number of an average LED is around 130 lm/W, and it is predicted that it will reach whopping 150 lm/W by 2020.

Prices decreases

Despite the increase in efficiency, the price of LEDs has gone down significantly, the biggest drop being in 2013 when the price for a domestic LED bulb dipped below the £10 pound mark. The main reason for the price drop is increased competition which has prompted manufacturers to drop prices. Soon LEDs could be as affordable as traditional light bulbs.

Improvements in color

Just a few years ago, the biggest issue with LED lamps was their inability to produce truly white light, since LEDs naturally have blue undertones. The color rendering index (CRI) tells you what level of warmth of light you should expect from a bulb. Originally, the CRI for a tungsten bulb might be 100 compared to LEDs 30. But this has been solved. Newer technologies have enabled manufacturers to create LED lighting with CRI of 100, without without compromising the light quality of the bulbs.

Smarter lighting

LED lights also became smarter is the last half decade. Nowadays LEDs can do lot more than just give out light. The new smart LED bulbs have many cool features like the ability to change their color or brightness. But the coolest thing about these smart LED lamps is that they can be controlled via smartphone or another mobile device, so you can turn down the lights from the comfort of your sofa.

The future

Even though it might seem like LEDs have reached their peak, this is actually only the beginning of the LED lighting victory tour. What this space for future developments.


Photo: A filament LED bulb in a SuperHome. These LED bulbs provide the warmth and brightness of a tungsten bulb for about 1/10th of the energy consumption!  

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About the author:

Arthur writes for and runs the blog drawing on his years of experience in the solar and lighting industries.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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1 comments - read them below or add one


EMurphy90Comment left on: 23 February 2017 at 1:09 pm

My friend recommended me switching to LED's, but I wasn't sure at first glance. The unnatural, white colour was my biggest concern regarding switching to LED light bulbs. I was also afraid of the quality of the LED lighting - will it maintain the lighting strenght over the years? Guess what - it did! And to be honest - you dont need a super yellow colour anywhere outside your sleeping room. 


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