Celebrate Great Workers: Laborers and LEDs

September 1, 2016

Though Labor Day is now celebrated as a day of rest and relaxation at summer’s end, it really is a yearly tribute to American workers and their achievements—people who work hard and work efficiently—people who don’t easily quit. Labor Day was started by either Peter McGuire, general secretary of Carpenters and Joiners, or by Matthew Maguire, a machinist. It was first celebrated as a holiday in September 5, 1882 in New York City. It became a national holiday in 1887 and was originally celebrated with parades, picnics and speeches.

America’s history is full of examples of hard workers. Here are a few to inspire:
When Herschel Walker was in junior high, he wanted to play football, but the coach told him he wasn’t big enough. He advised the young man to go out for track instead. But Herschel didn’t give up easily. He ignored the coach’s advice and began an intensive training program on his own. He built himself up and tried out for the team. Only a few years later, Herschel Walker won the Heisman trophy and went on to play NFL football. Herschel persevered and just did not give up.

Chris Zane started fixing bikes at age 12. When he was 16, he convinced his parents to let him take over the lease of a bike shop going out of business. He borrowed $23,000 from his grandfather at 15% interest. His mother worked in the shop in the mornings while he was at school. That first year he had $56,000 in sales. This year he expects to bring in 21 million. Zane was and is someone able to work hard and convert a little into a lot. Efficiency and durability are part of his work ethic.

LED lights have the same work ethic. It’s just part of their design.

LED Screen IconAn LED (“light emitting diode”) is a special type of electronic component that allows electricity to flow through in only 1 direction and outputting it as light. LEDs produce light when electrons move around in their semi-conductor structure. Basically, LEDs are made of two types of material that function like the positive and negative poles of a battery:
  • N-type material (which has extra electrons, with extra charge)
  • P-type material (which has extra “holes” wanting to be filled with electrons)

Sounds like a marriage made in heaven. But, they are separated by an electronic field (alas, yearning for completion). But, when a voltage is applied across the LED, electrons move into the area with holes. As they drop down to fill the holes, energy is released in the form of photons (and then there is light).

LED Efficiency

An incandescent bulb that produces 800 lumens draws 60 watts of energy; an LED bulb that produces the same lumens draws only 8-12 watts of energy. For 400 lumens, an incandescent draws 40 watts of energy while an LED of the same lumens (brightness) draws only 6-9 watts of energy.

The LED method of producing light is 85% more efficient at producing light with less loss of energy to heat than incandescents. LEDs also beat CFLs by 5%.

LEDs are not only energy efficient; they are also time efficient. You could go 20 years without changing an LED bulb.

LED Endurance

LEDs last “nearly forever,” some enduring up to 50,000 hours while incandescent bulbs only last about 1,000 hours. LEDs don’t exactly burn out the same way incandescent bulbs do. They’re like faithful, old workers that fade, but don’t quit working. At 25,000 to 50,000 hours they are lighting at 70% of their original capacity, but still refusing to quit.

LED Durability

LED lights are extremely durable. Quality LED Christmas lights can be hit with a hammer (or other blunt object) or run over with a car; yet they still keep working. Durability and toughness is a key feature of LED lights.

Buying cheap lights won’t pay off because they just aren’t able to be long-term workers. Low quality, incandescent light strands don’t last very long. When they burn out, it decreases the beauty of any special holiday lighting, and also increases a chance for vandalism because of the burnout. LEDs keep the lights burning and keep the home protected.

Considering whether LED Holiday Lights are better for your holiday lighting needs? Contact us to see the many options available—hard working lights that just don’t quit.

Happy Labor Day!