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Light It Up: The Benefits of LEDs


Light It Up: The Benefits of LEDs

What are LEDs?

LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are semiconductors that produce light when an electrical current is passed through them, and are usually part of a larger component. They differ from other lighting sources such as incandescent, tungsten halogen or fluorescent lamps, as light is generated within the solid material of an LED, rather than with the use of filaments or gas discharge.

Why are LED illuminated components better than the alternatives?

1. More Energy Efficient

LEDs are very energy efficient, as they consume an extremely low amount of power (up to 90% less than other types of bulbs) and generate very little heat, whilst still being able to put out a lot of light.

2. Brighter

Compared to other types of lighting, LEDs are able to emit a brighter light whilst using the same wattage. For example, a fluorescent light puts out 110 lumens per watt, whilst an LED puts out around 170.

3. Longer Lasting

LEDs have an extremely long service life of around 30,000 to 100,000 hours. So if you are buying components with LED illumination, you can rely on them to last and don’t have to worry about buying frequent replacements.

4. Lower Cost

Whilst alternatives such as halogen lamps may be slightly cheaper to purchase, they need to be replaced far more often. The cost of powering LEDs is also far lower, meaning they will save you money in the long run.

5. More Environmentally Friendly

All of the points above contribute to LEDs being more environmentally friendly than alternative options, as it is always better to choose components that use less energy and require less replacements (which uses more materials). LEDs are also beneficial because they don’t contain any harmful chemicals that may leak into the atmosphere.

LED illuminated vs Non-illuminated

PCB switches, led illuminated switches, led switches, led indicators, push buttons, RJS Electronics Ltd

LED Illuminated Switches

  • LED illumination makes it easier to see when a switch is on or when an action is being carried out. Bi-colour illumination options also allow you to see different statuses of an operation (e.g. on/off or on/warning).

  • If you are working in darker environments or at night, LED illumination allows you to easily see the switches that you are using.

  • Compared to non-illuminated buttons, there are far more customisation and design options available with LED illumination, as you can select from a variety of LED colours and styles.

  • By providing visual feedback, LED illuminated switches are more eye-catching than non-illuminated alternatives, and greatly enhance the overall experience for the user.
Non-illuminated tact switches, tactile PCB push buttons, RJS Electronics Ltd

Non-Illuminated Switches

  • Non-illuminated switches can be more useful for outdoor applications, as it can be hard to see LED illumination in bright light, making it unnecessary.

  • If the switches are being used within a vehicle, to operate heavy machinery or in any setting where distractions should be avoided, non-illuminated buttons may be less disruptive to the user.

  • Adding LED illumination to a component does often (very marginally) increase the price of the component, so if you don’t need illumination, it can save a bit of money to choose non-illuminated buttons.

  • Some applications just don’t require switches to be illuminated.

In Summary

When you want your products or components to be illuminated, LEDs are clearly the way to go if you want to save energy, money and time, whilst getting a great product and helping the planet. Plus, choosing LED illuminated switches for your project has many benefits for your overall design and user experience.

LED illuminated components are our speciality here at RJS Electronics, and we have a wide range of switches and indicators to suit a vast spectrum of applications. However, if you don’t require LED illumination for your project, we also have many non-illuminated options to choose from. Speak to our experienced Sales Engineers today to find out how we can help you.

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