Because you are reading our blog, we are going to make an assumption: You are the type of person who loves saving money while being able to treat the Earth in a friendly way. You are the person who is always looking for ways to make your home or office eco-friendly. You are the person who enjoys finding any way to save a few dollars. Are we close? If so, read on.
Chances are that you have seen LED light bulbs in your local home improvement or big box store. As these lights gain popularity, stores are turning them into large, bright displays in order to draw consumers in. You thought that the lights looked amazing, and then… you saw the price. It can be hard to stomach going from spending under a dollar on an incandescent bulb to $5 or more for a single LED. Before you let the cost of an LED bulb turn you off completely, take a moment to consider whether or not the cost is worth it. We are here to tell you that it is.
Consider Your Options
One of the first things to do is to decide where you can save the most money with LEDs. It may be in your kitchen, your bedroom, or even your desk. There are several really well thought out calculators online that will run the numbers for you, including our own thorough Snapshot. The next thing to do is to visit the Energy Star website for more information about LEDs, or stay here on greencents for a while and take in all the information you can. Either site is a great resource, especially for those new to LEDs.
To truly understand the effectiveness of LED bulbs, the best thing to do is to compare them to CFL bulbs. Think of how many times you have had to replace your incandescent bulbs. If you were really lucky, you only had to replace them once a year or so. With regular use, you may have been replacing them more often.
Massive Opportunity for Savings
LED lights made properly will provide about 25,000 hours of life. Some bulbs and fixture combinations will get you about 100,000 hours of life. When you consider that the average household uses their lights for fewer than 2,000 hours each year, it’s easy to see the money savings start to add up. Let’s say you spend $5 on an LED light bulb for your reading lamp. Chances are high that the bulb will last you for 13 years with average use. You just spent less than $.50 a year for your bulb.
So what about the environmental benefit? The first obvious benefit is less waste being tossed into the landfill. Quite simply, you are using fewer bulbs and throwing fewer away. LEDs also generate less heat than incandescents, meaning less energy is wasted and the strain on your home’s cooling system is reduced. Unlike CFL bulbs, LEDs contain no mercury. LEDs will not cause an issue with landfills or our water supply.
Finally, when it comes to the environment, is the fact that it takes less energy to create an LED bulb. It takes less energy to make a single bulb than the amount of energy they save. That means a net gain of energy savings across the board.
Justifying the Upfront Cost
But why the high cost? For now, it takes more money to make an LED bulb than an incandescent. While an incandescent bulb uses a filament, an LED uses a semiconductor chip. These are more expensive to create than a filament. When you are looking at the cost of LED bulbs, try to keep that in mind. You aren’t paying more because they are a fad or the “newest” thing; you are paying more because they cost more to make.
Once you decide to make the switch, it is important to keep in mind that not all LED bulbs are the same. You can find different colors and different wattages. You may prefer a soft white color for one room, and you may prefer a bright daylight color for another room. Those displays you see at the store are actually beneficial to you; take a look at them. Find a color bulb that you like and try it out. If you absolutely cannot live with it, return it for a different color.
Adjusting to LED Lighting
One thing to keep in mind when replacing bulbs. If you are replacing an incandescent bulb with an LED, you will notice a dramatic color difference, no matter what the box says. This is because incandescent bulbs dim and yellow with age. By the time they burn out, they are not the same color as the bulb you bought. The change takes place so slowly that you won’t notice until you replace the bulb. Give yourself a few days to get used to your new LED before you decide that you don’t enjoy its light.
A final question that we are often asked is where to start when making the jump to LEDs. You want to be environmentally friendly but you don’t want to go broke doing it. Fair enough. What we suggest is replacing the bulbs in the rooms that you use the most. You will realize a cost savings with regards to your utility bills sooner when you follow this method. If you have an unending supply of funds, replace all of the bulbs in your home. Otherwise, wait until one of your incandescents burns out and then replace it with an LED.
If you would like more information about LED bulbs and fixtures, we are happy to provide it. Reach out to us through our website or browse greencents at your leisure. We are sure that you will find information here that is helpful to you, no matter what stage of LED replacement you are in. If you want even more great information, tips and tricks, sign up for our newsletter. You will get the latest info delivered right to your inbox with no effort on your part.