One of the biggest impacts you can have on your electric bill is to replace the lightbulbs throughout your home with energy efficient LEDs.
LEDs are a new type of lightbulb that uses 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. That means they save you money while providing the same type of light. In fact, if you replaced the five most used lights in your home with their Energy Star rated LED equivalents, you could save up to $75 a year. And, because they last between 10,000-50,000 hours, you’ll also save money by not having to replace them as frequently.
LEDs come in the same varieties as traditional bulbs and have the same shape and base to fit whatever type of lighting you may have. They are more expensive than traditional bulbs, but their longevity and energy savings more than makes up for it.
What Are LEDs And How Do They Work?
LED is an acronym that stands for “light emitting diode”. It works by passing an electric current through a tiny semiconductor that agitates the electrons it contains to produce photons in the form of light. This differs from compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), which pass electricity through a tube filled with argon and mercury gas, or a traditional incandescent bulb that passes electricity through a metal filament until it glows.
Although not new technology, its use for day-to-day household lighting is. Until recently, LEDs were expensive to produce and were cost prohibitive for most uses. However, over the past 10 years, LED technology has improved to the point that they are now very affordable and can be produced with the features consumers expect.
What Types Of LEDs Are Available?
When choosing LED lights for your home, there are a few things you need to know to make the right choice.
LEDs come in many different varieties and colors. Most have a traditional lightbulb shape, but the way LEDs are measured is different from what many of us might be used to. LEDs are measure brightness in lumens, not watts. However, most packaging shows the equivalent wattage with the most popular types being 40-, 60-, 75- and 100-watt varieties. To get an idea of just how efficient LEDs are, a 60-watt equivalent uses only nine watts of power to produce the same amount of light.
Also, be sure to know what type of light you need. LEDs come in many different varieties of warm and cool. Warm temperatures put out a soft white light while cooler temperatures produce a harsher, brighter white light. If you need an LED that is dimmable, be sure check the packaging to be sure it has this capability. You can also purchase LEDs in any shape or size, depending on your need. Finally, be sure the LEDs you purchase have the Energy Star label.
For more information about LEDs and making your home more energy efficient, we recommend downloading Shine Solar’s Energy Guide. Written for homeowners, this free resource provides you with all the information you need about how to become more energy efficient and save money, both in and out of your home.
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