LED Lighting is an important design issue that we take into consideration, importantly due to being a green builder leading sustainable construction practices in Brooklyn we have to stay on top of new technology. In short to ‘build it forward’ is not just a catch phrase it is a feeling and belief in resourcefulness and efficiency. Part of this is due to the fact LED lighting is the single most readily available technology, on the green revolution market, that can make an impact to our total power consumption. As a country in whole, this technology can not be ignored. Its benefits are obvious when LED lighting is taken into consideration.
Like all technology, there are advantages and disadvantages. It is up to us to realize the big picture and not always count on our selfish intentions as a reason to be apathetic. There is a ripple effect in our actions. In other words, it might be an increased up front cost that will be useful for up to 20 years! Our inability to see the purpose of buying a $30 LED bulb when a current incandescent light bulb costs $2, may in fact turn out to cost us more in the long run. (Replacement bulbs at 2k hrs compared to 50k 0r 100k LED is already 25-50 replacement bulbs. At $2 a piece? How many trips to the store in your car is that? How many miles in shipping for replacement bulbs is saved? Then we can count the LED runs at about 10% the power of incandescent. So you are saving up to 90% of your lighting power consumption with LED over 10-20yrs depending on total lamp hours. Lighting can be up to 20% of your electricity bill in normal circumstances. How about the electricity to run the store that stocks those bulbs. There are many more things behind the scenes then we take into consideration.

Here is an excerpt from a brochure on LED technology. Full article link here.

From Desktop

LED: The next generation of lighting technology

LEDs have some significant characteristics making them excellent general lighting sources:
high source efficacy, optical control, extremely long operating lives and exceptional delivered
lumens when used in a properly designed lighting system. In addition, LEDs also have a
number of other favorable attributes. However, there are important technical limitations that
must be understood in order to properly utilize these marvelous light sources in luminaires.

LEDs – A Little History

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) have been around since the 1960s. For the first few decades,
the relatively low light output of LEDs and narrow range of colors limited their role to
specialized applications such as indicator lamps. As LED output improved, the devices
found their way into signage of all types (think LED exit signs and traffic signals) and
into smaller, more decorative luminaires. LED light output levels gradually increased
over time. The past few years have seen white LEDs more than triple their light output.
These improvements have set the stage for LEDs to become the light source for the next
generation of general lighting products.

The State of LED Technology Today

LEDs are solid-state semi-conductor devices that produce light. Because of the way they
are constructed, the light they produce is highly directional. As with any light source,
LEDs have certain characteristics and limitations which need to be understood before the
technology can be utilized to its maximum potential.

LEDs that are designated for general lighting use are expected to produce a suitable level
of light output to allow for the replacement of the existing lighting technologies in use today;
incandescent, fluorescent, mercury, metal halide and high pressure sodium. For most general
lighting applications, white light is preferred. An LED can produce white light in one of two ways:

Phosphor conversion in which the LED chip emits blue or near ultraviolet light. The
LED chip is coated with phosphor, which interacts with the emitted light to produce
white light. This is similar to the way in which light is generated by a fluorescent lamp.
Most of the discussions in this brochure pertain to high brightness or power LEDs
using blue light conversion.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue) systems mix the light output from three or four
monochromatic LEDs (amber can also be used to increase the color palette)
producing white light that is “tunable” to many different colors of light, including
white light of various color temperatures.

From Desktop

A Typical High Brightness LED in its package
The most important measurement for any LED system is the temperature at the point
within the LED package labeled as the junction. The junction temperature is the primary
determinant of the potential operating life and performance for an LED. The LED manufacturer
designs the LED package for optimal heat removal from the junction. Once the luminaire
manufacturer has the packaged LED, the junction temperature is controlled by the design
of the luminaire and the ambient temperature environment in which it operates.