LED Advantages & disadvantages

Advantages

  • Efficiency: LEDs emit more lumens per watt than incandescent light bulbs. not affected by shape and size
  • Color: LEDs can emit light of an intended color without using any color filters as traditional lighting methods need. This is more efficient and can lower initial costs.
  • Size: LEDs can be very small (smaller than 2 mm) and are easily attached to printed circuit boards.
  • Warmup time: Quickly light up.
  • Cycling: LEDs are ideal for uses subject to frequent on-off cycling, unlike incandescent and fluorescent lamps that fail faster when cycled often, or high-intensity discharge lamps (HID lamps) that require a long time before restarting.
  • Dimming: easily be dimmed either by pulse-width modulation or lowering the forward current. 
  • Cool light: LEDs radiate very little heat in the form of IR that can cause damage to sensitive objects or fabrics. Wasted energy is dispersed as heat through the base of the LED.
  • Slow failure: LEDs mainly fail by dimming over time, rather than the abrupt failure of incandescent bulbs.
  • Lifetime: LEDs can have a relatively long useful life. One report estimates 35,000 to 50,000 hours of useful life, though time to complete failure may be shorter or longer. Fluorescent tubes typically are rated at about 10,000 to 25,000 hours, depending partly on the conditions of use, and incandescent light bulbs at 1,000 to 2,000 hours. 
  • Shock resistance: LEDs, being solid-state components, are difficult to damage with external shock, unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, which are fragile.
  • Focus: The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. Incandescent and fluorescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner. 

Disadvantages

  • Temperature dependence: LED performance largely depends on the ambient temperature of the operating environment. Overdriving an LED in high ambient temperatures may result in overheating the LED package, eventually leading to device failure. An adequate heat sink is needed to maintain long life.
  • Voltage sensitivity: LEDs must be supplied with a voltage above their threshold voltage and a current below their rating. Current and lifetime change greatly with a small change in applied voltage. They thus require a current-regulated supply.
  • Area light source: LEDs are difficult to apply to uses needing a spherical light field; however, different fields of light can be manipulated by the application of different optics or “lenses”.
  • Light pollution: white LEDs emit more short wavelength light than sources, the increased blue and green sensitivity of scotopic vision means that white LEDs used in outdoor lighting cause substantially more sky glow.
  • Efficiency droop: The efficiency of LEDs decreases as the electric current increases which compromise LED lifetime. 
  • Impact on insects: LEDs are much more attractive to insects than sodium-vapor lights
  • Thermal runaway: Parallel strings of LEDs will not share current evenly due to the manufacturing tolerance in their forward voltage. Running two or more strings from a single current source will likely result in LED failure as the devices warm up. A circuit is required to ensure even distribution of current between parallel strands.