Why dont LEDs get warm

LEDs have huge benefits when compared to their old-fashioned counterparts like incandescent bulbs and halogen downlights.

Incandescent bulbs are an extremely inefficient piece of outdated technology. The current design of these bulbs hasn’t changed much since 1850 and the basic concept of the incandescent bulb dates back to the 1750s! These are old, outdated, inefficient and not relevant for our modern times.

95% of the energy supplied to an incandescent bulb goes into heating the lighting implements and only 5% into lighting. That’s just crazy! If we compare an LED globe, 95% of the energy used is for lighting.

Halogen downlights have a more modern appearance but they generate a significant amount of heat as well and any heat generation means that the globe is demanding energy that isn’t producing light and it’s therefore wasted. Halogen downlights typically reach temperatures of +300°c – this extreme temperature is not only a huge waste of energy, but it heats up a room, can be dangerous in roofs (especially if close to insulation) and is very dangerous to touch if they haven’t had time to cool.


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LEDs provide a perfect solution – they run much cooler and most of their energy use goes into producing light and not heat. This means they need much less energy to supply the same level of light, even has much as 95% less energy use (incandescents).

Incandescent bulbs get hot because the basic technology inside (the filament) heats up and then glows, which creates the light:

Energy + heat + glowing filament = light

Halogen globes get hot because they have similar technology to incandescent bulbs; the filaments get hot and then glow with a very small area for the heat to escape from. Like incandescents, both globes and bulbs wear out quickly and dull over time.

LEDsWhy don’t LEDs get hot?

LEDs use a semi-conductor that generates light. The How Stuff Works Team have a very complex and long answer on how a diode works, with diagrams here if you want to read more about it.

“In certain semiconductors, excited electrons can relax by emitting light instead of producing heat. These semiconductors are used in the construction of light-emitting diodes and fluorescent quantum dots.” source

LEDs are the most advanced lighting technology available (currently).


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Cost of running 20 halogens per year: $379
Cost of running 20 LEDs per year: $53*
An annual saving of $326

halogens vs leds

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Get in touch with us to see if you’re eligible, enquire about costs and see how much energy you can save with a simple upgrade to LED through Energy Makeovers. You can click one of the links below or give us a call on 1300 788 776


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