Passover and the new year

Faith and science are always in conflict. Jews gather each year for the Passover meal. It commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egyptian bondage. There’s actually a little more. It may seem like a trivial pursuit but Passover is technically and biblically considered the new year because it’s the first month of the Jewish calendar. In terms of science, calendars are unique time markers. In terms of faith, they were all different. Using the Bible as a guide, Passover occurs in the first month but the new year occurs in the seventh month. Does that make sense?

At the dawning of civilizations, faith and reason were one. People observed the sun as day and the stars as night. They would be as ancient astronomers witnessing changes of the earth and sky. Time as we know it didn’t exist. The most dependable cycle of the night was the changing of the moon from bright to invisible. As groups developed and as customs developed, the moon (lunar) cycles were labeled and calendars were created. Each calendar was group-specific. In agrarian cultures, believed to have developed 10,000 years ago, the new year was the brighter and warmer time. Many ancient artifacts presume the new year began in what we call Spring, around the equinox.

There is a sort of oddity about the holiday of Passover. Passover marks the beginning of Spring and also the first month of the Jewish year. Yet, 7 months later, the Jewish high holy days also mark the new year. The New Year can be said to begin on the 1st of Nisan (Leviticus 23:5) or on Rosh Hashanah, the 1st of Tishri (Leviticus 23:24). Nisan marks the story and redemption of the Egyptian slaves into new freedom. Rosh Hashanah marks the anniversary of the world’s creation. Both days fall around the equinox.

Calendars were fairly new concepts in ancient biblical times. The concept of months didn’t matter in those early days and nights when people lived on earth. For the most part, they were pantheists, observing day and night skies and their immediate environment. Primitive societies followed broad concepts, counting the year as starting when leaves sprout on a particular tree or describing someone as having lived through a certain number of harvests. This followed many generations and the Bible counts time by generations.

Passover marks the spring equinox and Rosh Hashanah is around the autumn equinox. Nisan is the first month of the Jewish quasi-lunar year. It’s name comes from a root word meaning miracle and honors the first miracle of freedom from bondage and subsequent miracles.

Yet, the dawn of Spring influenced many types of New Year festivals around the world. Each clan or group had different calendars. When people were conquered, they had to follow different calendars. The Gregorian calendar, the common calendar, is solar. Christian Easter is calculated on the basis of a lunar calendar. The Islamic calendar is entirely lunar, and the Jewish calendar (like the ancient Athenian) is a mix of lunar and solar (lunisolar). The calendar of the Romans, until the end of the Republic was lunar, too. The Roman calendar year began in March, with the beginning of each month (the kalends), corresponding with the new moon, and the middle of the month (ides) corresponding with the full. One of Passover’s alternate names is holiday of Spring.

Evidence of calendars were found in Egypt, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Athens, and Babylonia. Each were slightly different and codified different meanings. It was extremely difficult to use these as definitive time markers on wider scales. Christianity eventually developed a more expansive calendar that is more commonly in use today.

Moon cycles from new to full, as well as seasons, provide approximate time frames. The Bible was originally spoken, carried through generations, and (finally) written down when technology was available. According to these writings, Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the month of Tishrei (the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve), is not the first month. Rosh Hashanah is actually referred to in the Torah as the first day of the seventh month.

Essential customs of Passover are found in the book of Exodus:

And this day shall become a memorial for you, and you shall observe it as a festival for G-d, for your generations, as an eternal decree shall you observe it. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove the leaven from your homes … you shall guard the unleavened bread, because on this very day I will take you out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day for your generations as an eternal decree. – Exodus 12:14-17

In the five books of Moses, the beginning of the year was clearly set at 1 Nisan, in the context of a description of the first Passover. This new year celebrated the creation of the Jewish nation through the redemption of the Israelites from Egypt:

“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you” (Exodus 12:1-2).

This commemorates the fact that the Jews leaving Egypt were in a hurry, and did not have time to let their bread rise. It is also a symbolic way of removing the “puffiness” (arrogance, pride) from our souls. This is a simpler version of Rosh Hashanah as a return to G-d to ask for redemption for our indiscretions.

Among the customs of Passover is the Seder. Over the past thousand years, the Sanhedrin (a main rabbinic council) tweaked the Jewish calendar and the liturgy that is part of the Passover Seder and its specific order.

Considering the ambiguities and confusion as to whether Passover or Rosh Hashanah are the New Year or not, the common association is the start of Spring and the start of Autumn. Unlike many other religions, Jewish followers have two new year holidays to follow.

The miracles of the Exodus through Deuteronomy dominate Passover. Interestingly, on Rosh Hashanah – the new year of the seventh month, the last chapters of Deuteronomy are read. Added to those, is the Haftorah. These are fragments from the Bible that are selected as addendums on Sabbath. The practice seems to stem from around 200 BCE, when the Jews were under Persian rule and forbidden to read from the scroll. The Haftorah for Rosh Hashanah tells the story of Abraham and the one god of no material form. At the time, all gods had forms and idolized. Abraham’s god was as voice or thoughts. So Rosh Hashanah may be G-d’s birthday. Passover is the beginning of the year.

Rabbis have debated the time of the new year perpetually. Like discussing politics and faith, there are no finite conclusions. Based on a living calendar from 4000 years ago, Nisan and Passover are the feasts of the new year. Based on older events, Rosh Hashanah is the time to return to G-d. You can understand the intricacies.

And as the joke goes, “Put two Jews together and one will always question the other.” Perhaps G-d made Passover one new year and Rosh Hashanah as the other new year as a jovial stimulant to keep debates and questions going. Perhaps that is why the Seder begins with 4 questions. Happy Passover and happy new year. All should be well.

Happiness of Easter resurrection

Happy Easter! What does that mean to you? Is it about the coming of the Sun or is it about the coming of the Son? Ever wonder?

Ideologies, perspectives, and thoughts often are associated with rumors. These so-called facts proceed through the ages and more people accept myths as truths. Easter is a Christian holiday but the possible source may have been the celebration of Spring’s coming. How fit for the Catholic church to bind the resurrection of the sun to the resurrection of the Son. Is Easter meshed in the ancient lifestyles of life?

Christianity, particularly Catholicism, evolved in a world where old magic dominated. The magic was paganism. The name “Easter” originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God, Ostara and Eostre. These legends may have shifted over the years but the churches fleeting acceptance (and subsequent destruction of all believers) allowed the Son myth to be more valid.

Eostre was a Germanic goddess worshipped by the early Anglo-Saxon pagans. Eostre was a goddess of fertility. When it comes to fertility, consider the cuddly bunny rabbit. The sacred animal is an obvious symbol of fertility — and the egg is her symbol of fertile purity.

The pagans were grouped as those that did not shift as monotheistic gods were developed. These were the “other” groups who explained the unexplainable by ties to the earth and sky. Paganism represents a wide variety of traditions that emphasize reverence for nature and an embracement of ancient polytheistic and animistic religious practices. Animism is the concept that non-human entities (animals, plants, and inanimate objects or phenomena) possess a spiritual essence of their own. Monotheism is almost universally rejected within Paganism and likewise through the eyes of monotheism.

In the Old Testament, the wars of the Hebrews and the Amalekites were, essentially, one god religions against multiple god religions. The pagans had the audacity to venerate goddesses as they were the keepers of “new life” through birth. This dynamic existed long before Christianity and during Christianity’s development.

Some say the Eostre (or Ishtar) goddess origin is false. Eostre is the dawn of Spring, as in the Scandinavian month of Spring – Eostremonath. The month began with the celebration of Veneralia: Day of Venus. It isn’t much different than the Roman Aprilis that was also observed as a time when Venus emerged as a goddess of love.

In Rome, women bathed in the public baths wearing wreaths of myrtle on their heads. They poured a libation and drank the potion that Venus drank on her wedding night: pounded poppy with milk and honey. It was a day for women to seek divine help in their relations with men.

Like Saturnalia and Yule celebrated the longest night that the Christians adopted as Christmas, Veneralia celebrated the equinox – equal day and night – was a celebration of life’s resurrection. Binding the sun to the Sun was genius as the brotherhood of the church remembered about Emperor Constantine’s belief, leading strength to the myth of the Second Coming, the messianic miracle.

The sun is always a powerful, invincible image, whether it is the weak illumination of the pre winter solstice, or the savage primal energy of midsummer. Emperor Constantine believed in Sol Invictus (“Unconquered Sun”). It was the most accepted sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers.

Of a religion evolving earlier than the era of the possible time of Jesus, Mithras was later adopted in later Rome. Mithras was the Sun God. Most followers of Mithraism were Roman soldiers, minor government employees like customs officials, imperial freedmen or slaves. It was also adopted by the pagan aristocracy of 4th-century Rome, as part of a conservative movement in opposition to the new Christian empire based in Constantinople, a split from Rome, seat of early byzantine Christianity. Mithraic customs had Sun banquets at winter solstice and spring equinox.

The sun was so important that the Romans created Sunday. Constantine decreed (March 7, 321) dies Solis—day of the sun, “Sunday”—as the Roman day of rest. Could it be that Christians selected Sunday over Saturday as a day of rest? When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Historically, debates raged as to whether Jesus was born in December or March, pointing to accounts in the New Testament, according to Luke. Thus, the importance if the Sun celebration and son birthday celebrations became intertwined.

As Christianity spread through Europe as a greater power, the pantheistic beliefs of the sun shifted to the Son. It didn’t matter when Jesus was born as accounts established that Jesus died sometime after the Passover Seder, usually Spring.

Christianity’s growth and strength relied on bringing the sun worshippers over to the Son worshippers, a difficult task.

After nearly 1000 years of mass executions in the name of Christianity, the remnants of the sun gods remained. Easter became the popular holiday. For those that believed in neither, it was worse. Antagonism lingered to the modern day.

Science teaches to question reality unless it can be proven or not proven in a structured setting. At a time when Rom stretched as East as Africa and was the western most land mass. We can only assume that Easter has some reference to Ostara or Eostre, and Ishtar as ancient goddesses of Spring. At any rate, Easter is about resurrection of the sun and the Son. It may not be fact or fiction. They both are leaps of faith. Happy Easter!

Cholesterol management with evolocumab or alirocumab

New cholesterol management magic aims at a specific gene mutation. Two drugs are competing for FDA acceptance – evolocumab or alirocumab. They hope to be new weapons at lowering bad cholesterol blood levels. Is this a good promise for high-cholesterol patients?

So the bartender says, “Ready to pick your poison?” Cholesterol management prescription drugs have gone through many stages. When diet and exercise don’t help maintain healthy blood levels, classes of cholesterol drugs are unleashed as weapons targeting bad cholesterol levels. Each of these have certain side effects and conditions. Some of those could be more harmful for those who have chronically high cholesterol blood levels.

Cholesterol is actually good for your body. Your liver secretes cholesterol as a lipid that helps maintain cells and lubricate body parts. It is natural and organic. Cholesterol management comes to the forefront when high levels of bad cholesterol create plaque on the walls of your arteries. While good cholesterol helps reduce accumulation, increased plaque can block arteries and result in heart attacks and strokes.

You can blame diets for high cholesterol levels but even vegetarians may have heart attacks and strokes. Sometimes it’s part of your family’s history that you inherit through genes. It may not be a specific gene but one that, for several reasons, developed mutations. Cholesterol management failures may not be your fault. Researchers are exploring how to lower cholesterol when it’s on a genetic level.

It seems that medical research is finally accepting that cholesterol management with the current drugs is nearly impossible because high bad cholesterol may be genetic. It takes diet, exercise, drugs to attempt bringing those levels to the point that doctors feel reduces risks of vascular heart and stroke diseases. The culprit behind it is the PCSK9 gene and a new class of prescription drugs may be released in 2017 to target the genetic catalyst. These genes somehow underwent mutations in family lines and may have something to do with elevated cholesterol in blood results.

The PCSK9 gene provides instructions for making a protein that helps regulate the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is produced in the body and obtained from foods that come from animals. In some people, this gene doesn’t function properly.

PCSK9 works to maintain a balance of bad and good cholesterol levels. Researchers have identified several PCSK9 mutations that cause an inherited form of high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia). These mutations change a single protein building block (amino acid) in the PCSK9 protein. The new class of drugs (evolocumab or alirocumab) may help fix the problem. It is not clear, however, what side effects and what long-term efficacy this new class of drugs can do.

It sounds so very simple that PCSK9 is the menace for genetic high LDL cholesterol. How do you answer all the variants among people struggling with cholesterol management? Familial hypobetalipoproteinemia (FHBL) is a disorder that impairs the body’s ability to absorb and transport fats. This condition is characterized by low levels of a fat-like substance called cholesterol in the blood. The severity of signs and symptoms experienced by people with FHBL vary widely. Most cases of FHBL are caused by mutations in the APOB gene. FHBL may effect 1 in 1,000.

Genetics play significant roles as the incidence of hypercholesterolemia tends to show up in family members who might trace origins to certain regions and are region-specific even though generations have moved to other areas. Mutations may form over several generations and erase after another several generations.

Prescription drugs can be very good weapons against symptoms (like high bad cholesterol) but many have side effects of individual-specific magnitudes.

Statins, for example, are dangerous to people with degenerative muscular diseases. They have been the highly touted cholesterol management drugs over more than 20 years. Sadly, the best studies to demonstrate the efficiency were sponsored by Pfizer, Merck, and Astra-Zeneca, the manufacturers.

Exciting results were published in New England Journal of Medicine on 3/15/2015 that cited evidence that Evolocumab may significantly lower blood-level LDL cholesterol. The study was small and also sponsored by Amgen, the manufacturer of the new PCSK9 weapon.

The previous article is followed by an NEJM article of the Efficacy and Safety of Alirocumab in Reducing Lipids and Cardiovascular Events, with positive results. Funded by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer, has, ironically, demonstrated an equally potent PCSK9 weapon.

In a society where prescription drugs for vaginal insensitivity and erectile dysfunction air on prime-time with lists of possible nasty side effects, the power of the research lobby and media reporting seem to cover that science has become a sham with regard to new wonder pills.

You body, genetically or dietary, may produce high levels of bad cholesterol. The reasons may be covert or obvious. As your body tries to maintain balance through complex homeostasis mechanisms, are these two new drugs the ingredients that will enhance or ruin the flavor or consistency? These have yet to be answered.

A new class of weapons supporting cholesterol management, with the possibilities of reducing vascular diseases behind heart attacks and strokes, is very significant. If only it can prove the claim. With significances of about 100 million other Americans coping with cholesterol management, the manufacturers of this new class can’t wait to get a chunk of the cholesterol drug pie. After all these media stories hoisting these wonders, can fully independent studies be conducted in the United States?

Now we have the FDA or the USA Federal Drug Administration possibly observing some neurocognitive side effects of these PCSK9 cholesterol management weapons. What does the FDA do? They ask the manufacturers to investigate them further?

The dilemma is who is actually responsible for the research predicting efficacy and effects of the drug? Should it be the manufacturer or an independent study? The manufacturer seeking profit can invest in larger studies as little government funding is available for modeling representational large independent studies. Europeans are also examining PCSK9 inhibitors as possible for cholesterol management.

Drug companies have evolved into international conglomerates so that Europe’s research can be tainted by sponsorship funds.

Arterial disease do not account for all heart attacks. Age is the largest risk factor. Lifestyle choices such as smoking cigarettes or use of recreational drugs (cocaine and meth) may contribute to vascular and heart spasm issues. Other contributors may be hypertension, emotional pain, stress, and anxiety, and excessive exposure to heat or cold. Exercise, when unfit, may result in aheart attack. Some of these variables might result in a possible stroke – a common brain attack.

Cholesterol management, for some, may be as stressful as some of the most stressing things you can confront. It never ends. As a chronic condition, drugs don’t necessarily allow normal lifestyles. Diet and exercise to a religious extent are always part of the treatment plan. It can be a strain when socializing at parties or looking at the pastries in a window of the corner café. It is possible.

Choosing the aid of cholesterol lowering drugs is sometimes your responsibility over your doctor’s. You need to weigh concerns about side-effects and your blood’s cholesterol levels. No doctor can be an authority. Succeeding cholesterol management is a team dynamic with your healthcare providers. If your numbers are high, try more frequent blood tests. Sometimes cholesterol levels may change seasonally.

As you age, there are other ways of determining if there are cholesterol plaque deposits impairing your performance. A supervised stress test is one measure. A CT coronary angiogram is a non-invasive method that helps define artery blockages using a numeric score. These are ways to help determine if those elevated cholesterol numbers are causing potential problems. These may show that, perhaps, prescribed drugs may not be as beneficial as touted.

Most of all, there will always be new cholesterol lowering drugs. These are very profitable weapons but they may not be suitable for you. What excites the media may be filled with dire consequences. These genetic mutation inhibitors may lower your cholesterol but you may not remember the reasons why or recall your qualities of living.

Are cholesterol drugs for you? It’s voluntary but, if you survive an early heart attack or stroke due to arterial plaque deposits, you may find yourself more attracted to those drugs for your cholesterol management. Educate yourself on which might be better for you. It’s a gamble but you want to be on the winning side.

Cholesterol management may not have to depend on drugs. Whether you or your doctor pick the poison, results may be risky either way. Chronic and safe cholesterol management is a tough lifestyle choice and a disability amidst those that have no problem. They are very tough choices and nothing or something is a sure thing to guarantee longer life or better living.

Physiatrist not psychiatrist

Orthopedic trauma is an unforeseen life-changing event. Sometimes it goes beyond fractures to nerves and muscles. Sometimes it’s genetic or a symptom of a disease. It may not be orthopedic at all. The results and the traumatic quality of life deviations may have psychological consequences but you don’t need a psychiatrist. You may need another medical specialist. Ever hear of a physiatrist?

Sometimes personal outcomes depend on the choices you make. Often, the menus are limited. In a reality of physical aches and pains that dishearten even the heartiest. There are often overlooked options. When it comes to bones, nerves, and muscle interactions, physiatry or PM&R are often overlooked as a therapeutic means for body aches, pains, and mobility issues.

In medicine, there are many specialists. Knowing the right specialist may mean a great deal as to how a problem is diagnosed and treated. For broken bones, you might seek out an orthopedist. For nerve pain, a neurologist may be fine. For foot aches, a podiatrist might have answers. Bones ache? Try a chiropractor. These are all disciplines for ache and pain therapy. The one specialty that is ignored is that of a physiatrist.

Physiatrist? You must mean psychiatrist! A Physiatrist is a physician who has trained in an accredited program in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), which established board certification in 1947. This specialty seeks to restore a person’s functional capacity to the fullest extent possible. The major divisions of the field are musculoskeletal medicine, inpatient rehabilitation, and electrodiagnosis (EMG).

One day I chanced upon meeting a veteran while waiting at a bus stop. Ironically, he returned home fine but was in a car accident that damaged his bones, muscles, and nerves in his ankle-foot joint, making it painful to stand and walk. He saw that I wore foot braces and I told him that they support my ankle and foot muscles to help me walk. He had been seeing a podiatrist routinely with no real help. I suggested he might be helped by a physiatrist and he thought I was talking about a psychiatrist. I advised that a physiatrist pays attention to the after-effects that deal with motion disorders.

Many people don’t realize that a physiatrist is very different from a psychiatrist. Most people do not know what a physiatrist is. A physiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in movement disorders, often associated with diseases.

A physiatrist focuses and offers different perspectives on bones, nerves, and muscles than orthopedists, podiatrists, and chiropractors. Virtually unknown or not regarded by the other three, a physiatrist’s target of dealing with motion and interaction may deliver movement and freedom from pain to many of those people for whom movement can be insurmountable challenges.

Physiatrists focus on a personalized method of treatment to improve their patients’ quality of life — one that involves a comprehensive approach. The treatment is often a guided process. Using a physiatrist often points to multidisciplinary approaches in seeking to rehabilitate movement. Physiatrists are often associated with comprehensive rehabilitation team of professionals that may include physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, orthotists and prosthetists, as well as psychologists and social workers.

Why are physiatrists generally confused with psychiatrists? Some people can’t read and more people don’t know. Many medical specialists do not recommend them. They are generally affiliated with hospitals that perform complex surgeries, such as the Hospital for Special Surgery, generally performing joint replacements. Keeping physiatrists a secret route of treatment by those medical specialists may disrupt proper healing and promote greater challenges for needy patients.

Fortunately, people do discover physiatrists through other means.

Physiatrists are generally found in hospitals but many have private practices. Simonetta Sambataro, MD, operates from a small office in Chelsea on West 23rd Street in New York. She is a physiatrist that specializes in recovery, and provides rehabilitation, physical therapy and other types of therapy that help patients learn to regain normal/near-normal function. Trained in Italy, she provides physiatry care to pediatric and adult patients.

Dr. Sambataro offers very practical guidance of a European style and has a stack of business cards for reference to supportive professionals. One of those, that fitted me with my leg and foot brace is David Zwicker, a rather experienced and understanding orthotist. He helps provide supportive devices for people from head-to-toe.

Many patients may benefit by seeing a physiatrist to alleviate many frustrating physical and motion challenges that other specialty doctors simply might ignore. When you have chronic pain and movement disorders, finding a physiatrist might be challenging. but there are about 8,000 practitioners in the United States. That’s half the number of podiatrists and about an eighth of the number of practicing orthopedists. A physiatrist is part of a very small group.

Going to a physiatrist usually means a non-operative, no-drug and no quick-fix solution. The methods used are process based. The patient must be self-motivated to get better. Sadly, such motivation is often brushed aside in this society and patients may be less inclined to pursue seeking a physiatrist. The results may be poor healing or lingering pains.

Those suffering with otherwise untreatable degenerative neuromuscular diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and some stroke cases, may gain a little improvement by seeking out a physiatric approach. It may not be a miracle cure but may improve your general lifestyle.

It seems that physiatry is a much maligned, ignored medical discipline in the USA. When it comes to helping support your physical and emotional struggles with mobility challenges, a physiatrist may deliver more help than the more common medical disciplines dealing with nerves, muscles, and bones. Yet, physiatry often is perceived among the lowest levels in the treatment process and is often overlooked. Physiatry is a demanding medical specialty and a good physiatrist can be extremely helpful in the recovery process.

Mobility disorders are more than breaks, pulls, and sprains. From small to large, any shift from what you normally do can be traumatic. In those cases, your physiatrist may offer resources for a trauma services network that aids the process of healing and habilitating. Sometimes sharing helps boost your outlook.

Physiatry is physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). The patient’s physical, functional, emotional, and psychosocial well-being are all considered in treatment. It may require more effort than swallowing pills but the positive outcomes may elevate your general mood when coping with movement challenges that affect your life and lifestyle choices. Physiatrists as medical rehabilitation specialists may help optimize patient outcomes and qualities of life by participating in strategies to help you cope throughout the process of reaching a better degree of wellness.

So when your muscles chronically ache, you may want to choose the aid of a physiatrist.

Let there be LED light for energy saving

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. There are fewer neon lights and the many bulbs at theater marquis have been replaced by LED bulbs – the bulbs that will light tomorrow.

Let there be light is a very creative statement. When it comes to burning energy and saving energy, alternative lighting systems not only make cents but prove sensible. One such light source is the LED or light-emitting diode. Many new home lighting bulbs are being made with LED. They burn cooler, are brighter, and require less electrical energy. Many HDTV and virtually all smartphones use LED. LED is a smart way to light up your life. Let the be light? LED offers benefits to lower your electric bills that pay for that light.

According to the USA Department of Energy LED bulbs are the best form of lighting available. LED can be used in any home lighting bulb format. LED lamps can replace 40, 60, and even 75 Watt incandescent bulbs, offering concentrated directional lighting. Several LED can be used within a bulb for higher brightness.

The light in most homes is produced by incandescent sources. The bulb structure is produced when hot glass is blown into molds and then cooled and coated with diffusing material. Placed inside the bulb is a very thin and fragile, coiled tungsten filament. For the bulb to produce light an electric current is passed through a conductor and the tungsten is heated to the point at which it gives off light. Unfortunately, these bulbs, like many of their relatives, are not very energy efficient. Only about 10% of the energy is used to make visible light, the other 90% goes to heating the element. LED light bulbs are poised to replace traditional incandescent light bulbs and are available at more housewares supplier stores and websites as possible lighting alternatives.LED

LEDs create light by electroluminescence in a semiconductor material. Electroluminescence is the phenomenon of a material emitting light when electric current or an electric field is passed through it – this happens when electrons are sent through the material and fill electron holes. An electron hole exists where an atom lacks electrons (negatively charged) and therefore has a positive charge. Fed through a semiconductor, LED is electronic technology over mere electric. LED lights deliver high-levels of brightness and intensity, low-voltage and current requirements, high reliability (resistant to shock and vibration), and long source life.

With all the inner technologies that go into creating an LED bulb, LED bulbs are becoming available through a growing number of stores and outlets, and fit into common fixtures. Admittedly, you may not find them on many supermarket shelves. Home Depot, Lowes, and Amazon carry LED bulbs at wide price ranges. Philips and Cree are among the most popular manufacturers.

The big difference is you monthly utilities electric bill. LEDs are extremely energy efficient and consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs. LED’s produce 3.4 btu’s/hour, compared to 85 for incandescent bulbs. In comparison, incandescent lighting expels 90% of the energy it consumes via heat, making the bulbs hot to the touch. LEDs are cooler to the touch.

Incandescent light bulbs typically have an up to 3000 hour life span. LEDs are often quoted of having a lifetime of up to 100,000 hours – more than 11 years. However, this figure is somewhat misleading; The performance of LED degrades over time and, since LED bulbs are relatively new, the time is based on lab tests instead of practical home use. On average, LED bulbs last 10 times as long as compact fluorescent bulbs, and 133 times longer than typical incandescent bulbs.

LED bulbs offer bright lighting with extremely low power consumption and longer life-spans. Yet, there are science reports that an LED is made of possible carcinogens but virtually no conclusive evidence that that LED lighting will be a likely cancer cause. This research does not apply to LED screens in televisions or smartphones.

California has imposed laws regarding LED bulb disposal due to possible toxicity. Of course, with longer effective hours for use, LED bulbs last significantly longer than incandescent bulbs so disposal is less frequent.

Unlike other light sources, LEDs do not contain mercury progress holds promise to replace lead-containing solders (used mainly to fix LEDs to circuit boards) with lead-free material, in line with European environmental standards.

Use of LED bulbs in flashlights, display screens (i.e. TV and PC monitors), tablets, and smartphones allow brighter images with lower power consumption for saving energy. In home lighting, LED may be one of those secrets that only qualified electricians know about. More specialized stores carry LED light bulbs and, with further support by USA and European government agencies, the 21st-century will be LED illuminated.