With today’s increased awareness of the impact our lifestyles have on the environment, many homeowners are considering ways they can make their homes more energy efficient. Light Emitting Diode, or LED, lighting is a great way to reduce your energy usage, help the environment, and save money.
LED Lights in the Home
LED lights have been serving commercial uses for many years, but they have recently become popular for the home. They come in a variety of sizes such as bulbs and globes for use in standard light fixtures, flood lights for outdoor use, spot lights for indoor use, and candle bulbs for chandeliers.
LED lights have many advantages over incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs. Most notably, they use significantly less energy. A LED bulb that puts out the same amount of light as a 60 watt bulb uses only 6 watts. You could save up to 86% of your lighting bill by replacing all your incandescent lights with LED. They also last longer: 30k-50k hours compared to 600-1k hours for the standard incandescent bulb. LED lights are durable, UV free so they don’t attract bugs, and do not get hot to the touch like other bulbs.
The primary drawback to LED lighting is its expense. At the extreme, LED lights can be up to 60 times more expensive than incandescent bulbs and 12 times the cost of compact fluorescent. However, you can recuperate these costs through energy and replacement savings in around ten years.
How do I Convert my Home to LED Lighting?
How you integrate LED lights into your home depends on your goals. If your primary goal is energy savings above anything else, replacing all your lights with LED bulbs is a great way to green. If you are constrained by your budget, you might want to start by replacing outdoor lights that are often left on for long periods or lights that are hard to reach and change first. You can them replace your other lights as they blow out.
What Bulb do I Choose?
Picking the right bulb that meets your needs can be difficult at first since LED bulbs are different than what you may be used to. The brightness of incandescent bulbs is expressed in watts. However, watts are actually a measure of how much electricity a bulb use. Since LED lights draw so much less electricity, the wattage of an incandescent bulb and an LED bulb cannot be compared. Instead, they can be compared using lumens which is an actual measure of brightness. For example, the average 60 W incandescent bulb puts out 800 lumens which is equivalent to an 8 to 12W LED bulb.
LED lights also come in a variety of colors from reds to whites to yellows. The most popular colors for the home are “warm white” or “soft white” and “bright white”. “Warm” and “soft” will produce a yellowish hue similar to an incandescent bulb while “bright white” will be whiter and more similar to daylight. The light color, or color temperature, of an LED bulb is measured in Kelvin. The lower the number, the warmer, or more yellow, the light. To give you some perspective, the average incandescent bulb is between 2700 and 3500K.
You may need to try out a variety of bulbs before you find the perfect one. Consider buying a few choices and trying them out in different parts of your home.
LED lights are an energy efficient choice for your home lighting needs. While they are more expensive, they last much longer, reduce electricity bills, and are better for the environment. Converting your home to LED lighting is as simple as changing a light bulb!