That painful experience introduced me to heat dissipation, the often forgotten factor in our decision making when purchasing our home or office lighting solutions. Improper heat dissipation is not just a danger to our touch; it is also an indicator of energy being lost to the environment in the form of heat rather than providing optimal illumination.
BTUs, otherwise known as British Thermal Units, are a measurement of heat. It turns out that scientists have actually measured the number of BTU’s leaving the light bulb per hour in incandescent, compact fluorescent, and LED solutions. The results are staggering with the LED only emitting 3.4 BTU’s/hour, the compact fluorescent 30 BTU’s /hour and the incandescent 85 BTU’s / hour. No wonder the glass surrounding the bulb burned my finger instantly when I touched it.
Another key factor in heat dissipation is the form factor that’s conducive to dissipating heat safely. Now a great deal of the work done to help you experience minimal heat when you interact with your lamp will be hidden from your eyes. The casing of the small LED bulbs may be designed so that there is a maximum surface area in the individual LED bulb housings thereby dispersing the heat over a large surface area and at a lower overall temperature. Or in other cases you may see the bulb take shapes that allow air to flow around it and thereby dissipate heat safely.
The final key component is the materials used in the housing of the lamp and the lamp itself. Here, high quality, conductive metals are often a good choice. These metals will release the heat to the air quickly from the heat source and remain cool to the touch on the parts of the lamp that you will interact with the most. Aluminum alloys are often used on premium lamps, especially on the parts you use to adjust the settings on your lamp.
The bottom line is you and your fingers will be safe from burns when you choose a lamp that doesn’t waste energy by releasing too much heat as waste and when you choose a lamp of high quality design and premium materials. Hope this helps you make the right decision on your next lighting purchase and saves your fingers from the dangers of getting scorched.
You might be interested in these posts:
10 Big Mind Blowing Facts about Little LEDs
Let There Be (Good) Light – How to Choose the Right Desk Lamp
Going Eco-Friendly Is the New Trend in the 21st Century