As environmental awareness and responsibility have increased in recent years, so too has the desire to reduce energy consumption in new ways. A leading fixture in this movement is LED (light emitting diode) lighting, which is an alternative to traditional lighting that provides long-term economical savings and environmental benefits. To determine if LED lighting is right for you, consider the following information:
Energy-efficient. Most LED bulbs use 1/3 to 1/30 the energy used by traditional bulbs, which means most homeowners recoup the initial costs and save more over the life of the bulbs. It’s estimated that the average home saves $14,000 in energy costs by switching 25 incandescent lights with 25 LED lights (based on more than 50,000 hours of use).
Less heat. More than 90 percent of the energy burned by incandescent bulbs is wasted on unwanted heat. In comparison, LED bulbs burn cool and only use 10 percent of their energy as heat.
Long-lasting. Most LED lights are rated for 50,000 hours of use, so even if they were left on 24 hours a day, they would still last an average of 10 years. In normal usage situations, most LED bulbs last 17 years or more. “They’re so efficient that they can literally work for 25 to 30 years without needing to be replaced,” adds Michael Chasov, owner of Chasov Electrical, Voice & Data in San Francisco.
Environmentally-friendly. LED light bulbs don’t contain mercury or lead like traditional bulbs, and they don’t use mercury in the manufacturing process, which makes them safer for home use and better for the environment. Instead of treating them as hazardous waste, you can dispose of them easily.
No radiation or UV light. Compact fluorescent bulbs have been criticized because they release radiation, which some say can be harmful to humans when used in close proximity. Also, lights that emit UV rays can fade and damage furniture and materials over time. Because LED lighting doesn’t produce ultraviolet light, this isn’t a concern.
Stable during power fluctuations. Traditional bulbs can burn out during power surges or when the power source fluctuates, including when the bulb is turned on and off. LED lights offer instant light, so they aren’t sensitive to small or large power fluctuations and don’t unexpectedly burn out.
No filaments. Filaments in incandescent bulbs can be easily damaged by bumping and jarring. LED lights don’t have filaments, so they’re generally sturdier.
Durable. Most light bulbs are made of breakable glass and metal, which can be hazardous during temperature fluctuations and when they’re dropped or hit. LED lights are made of shatterproof plastics and durable aluminum, which makes them much less likely to break when introduced to extreme temperatures or dropped/struck.
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