More LED Myths Debunked

Previously, we debunked some of the most common myths regarding LED lighting. We found that LEDs save money, offer all the versatility of incandescent and fluorescent lights, including the ability to go on a dimmer switch. But like many technologies, LEDs are surrounded by more than a few misconceptions. Let’s debunk a few more:

Myth: LEDs don’t ever get hot
This is close to the truth, but not 100% accurate. LEDs do produce far less heat than incandescents. This makes sense, because incandescents heat a filament until it glows. LEDs will usually be cool to the touch and don’t produce infrared or UV light, unlike incandescents.

However, no energy transfer is perfect. When electric current encounters resistance, heat is created. The base of an LED bulb will experience minor heating as a result.

Myth: LEDs can’t handle vibration
When buying fixtures or bulbs, you’ll often encounter “rough service” incandescents. These use toughened filaments for environments where vibration is common, and may also have special coatings to make the exterior of the bulb more durable.

The idea that LEDs can’t handle vibration may have arisen partly from these incandescents being on the market. After all, buyers see an array of rough service bulbs in one technology, and none for LEDs. Adding to this is the fact some buyers who remain steadfastly loyal to traditional bulbs may be buying rough service bulbs (and paying more) because they are the only incandescents for sale in some wattages.

Fortunately, modern LEDs handle vibration extremely well, far better than a heated filament. In fact, if you replace a rough service incandescent with an ordinary LED bulb or fixture, it will not only far outlast the incandescent, it will survive all the way through to the end of its normal service life, tens of thousands of hours later.

Myth: LEDs contain hazardous substances
Possibly as a result of confusion with compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) bulbs, many consumers believe LED lights contain industrial poisons that can harm users and (after disposal) the environment.

CFL’s contain a small amount of mercury vapor, which is essential to their operation. It allows light to be generated in an area much smaller than a traditional fluorescent tube. Unfortunately, that means if a CFL bulb does break—and they are at least as fragile as a traditional incandescent bulb—the remains of the bulb will contain mercury and must be disposed of with extreme care. While the amount of mercury in each bulb is very small, mercury is extremely hazardous to humans over a long period of exposure and can cause a number of neurological problems. If contaminated debris is disposed of improperly, mercury can make its way from landfills into groundwater.

LEDs do not contain mercury and are no more problematic for users or the environment than any other electronic device. Plus, LEDs are extremely durable, and are very unlikely to break.


LEDs remain the best lighting option for most situations, combining low power use with versatility and durability. If you’re looking for a change in your workplace or residential lighting, get in touch with the experts at Thayer today and get started on savings with LED.