Five LED projects to light up your home

Learn a bit about LEDs, then take a stab at these five easy and impressive LED-based DIY projects.

This LED headboard from shelterness is a fun and impressive project that even the novice can handle. Shelterness.com

LEDs, or "light-emitting diodes," have come a long way since they were introduced as red, green, and blue computer indicator lights.

These days, LEDs are available in endless shapes and sizes, a wide variety of colors and neutrals, and offer many benefits over traditional incandescent lights.

For starters, LEDs can potentially cut energy usage by 25% in the U.S. How? Here's the science, made simple: incandescent bulbs convert most electricity to heat, whereas LED lights convert most of the energy into light. That's why LEDs don't give off heat the way traditional bulbs do.

Because LEDs stay cool, and because they allow light to be shone in a specific direction, LEDs have become popular choices for completing projects that depend on lighting.

The possibilities for using LEDs are endless, but after rummaging the Web, I found five LED projects that are easy to tackle, and quite impressive. Watch the slideshow to get started:

If you'd like to learn more about the technology, the Department of Energy has an easily digestable guide to LEDs, which explains the specific energy costs, the ins and outs of LED color quality, and how long you can expect your LED lights to last.

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