LED Track Lighting

LED track lighting is gaining popularity in today's homes, not only because they look good, but also because they provide enormous amounts of light for very little wattage. The lifespan of LEDs is also amazing. There are some downsides to this option in lighting though.

LED lighting in track form is somewhat new because the technology in the past wasn't cost effective. Nowadays the price has come down some and it's more attractive to today's money, and energy conscious consumers. This is not say that these lights aren't at the premium of the price scale, just that the price has come down considerably since their initial release.

LED track lighting systems are low voltage, 12vdc in fact. This also requires a transformer for the track, or the individual fixtures have the transformers themselves. One advantage of having individual transformers is the rest of the track is line voltage. Hampton Bay sells a lighting kit that allows for 120v and the low voltage LEDs to operate on the same track. I'm sure there are other companies who have this option as well.

These track systems are not inexpensive by any means, a 3 foot track with 3 fixtures run from $150 to $300. The track itself doesn't contribute much to the high cost of this system, it's the fixtures themselves with the bulbs making up most of that price. The bulbs, most commonly the MR-16 style, cost from $30 to $60 each. So replacement of a burnt out or damaged bulb is not cheap.

Burning out an LED is almost impossible though. Most of these lights last 40,000 hours, or more. 40,000 hours equates to them being on continuously for 4.5 years. At 5 watts that's 200,000 watts of total energy consumption in that 4.5 years. Let's say your price per KW hour is 10 cents, that's only $20 worth of electricity per bulb.

Now lets take a regular incandescent bulb at 50 watts. The energy used is 2,000,000 watts over that same 4.5 years, plus the cost of replacing the bulb every 4,000 hours, which is the average lifespan of those bulbs. That equates to $200 of electricity used per bulb over that 4.5 years.

What I'm getting at is the cost savings over time more than makes up for the initial cost and the replacement of bulbs, should they ever need it. Now just imagine of you had 5 lights in your kitchen each using 50 watts, that's $1000 of electricity used for incandescent, compared to $100 for LEDs. See how the savings pay for the lighting kit!

Led track lights most always come in contemporary designs. This is because of the new age feel that LEDs provide. Although they are available in less contemporary designs they almost always have a contemporary feel.

One thing to note is LED track lighting is not normally used for general lighting. The reason for this is the LEDs are a focused light. These are mostly used for task lighting or pinpoint lighting of an area, such as an island or breakfast bar. For general lighting a fluorescent lighting system may be a better choice, because it doesn't focus light into one area.

Fluorescent offers almost the same energy savings but the light is whiter in nature, and does affect the colors of the room. Not too much but it does.

In closing, LEDs are a great way to get energy savings, stylish looks, and longevity. Although the price may a bit high for a lighting system the energy savings will make up for it over time. The stylish good looks are always a crowd pleaser, and the life of the bulbs is unparalleled.

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