LED Lighting – Save Money & Save The Planet!

Most of you have heard the name LED and seen the light bulbs in your local hardware stores. You may already be an expert (or married to one!) and using these lights and other fixtures with this technology in your home or office. In that case, you are well on your way to be a good steward of plant earth! Imagine if every single household in America took the same step and replaced all their incandescent, neon and compact fluorescent lighting. I guess that is true for any good deed, yet we fail to realize the power of collective “will” and “call to action”.

Let’s get a bit of education for those of us who may still need some clarification and take home value to better understand the full impact of switching to LED.

 

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) are the latest and most exciting technological advancement in the lighting industry since the invention of the incandescent bulb by Thomas Edison in 1877.  LEDs are small, semiconductor chips similar to what is found in computers, however rather than optimizing the chips for speed and data, the Led chip has  been optimized to produce light.  LED light bulbs are extremely energy efficient and long lasting because they have NO FILAMANET like an ordinary bulb they are made of silicon and are extremely robust. LED technology also offers many additional advantages over incandescent, neon and compact fluorescent lighting devices such as; exceptionally longer life span (60,000 hours), enormously lower energy usage ( up to 90% more efficient), reduced maintenance costs and higher safety. LEDs are currently being used for a wide variety of applications such as: residential lighting, architectural lighting, automotive, aviation, traffic and safety & transportation, etc. We are on the verge of exponential growth and adoption of LED lights in residential and business applications.  Europe and Asia are already several years ahead of the USA in LED adoption.

 

LEDs ARE EFFICIENT

LEDs are extremely energy efficient and consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs. Since LEDs use only a fraction of the energy of an incandescent light bulb there is a dramatic decrease in power costs. Additionally, money and energy are saved in maintenance and replacement costs due to the long LED lifespan. LEDs have a lifespan of approximately to 50,000+ hours compared to 2000 hours for incandescent bulbs. An example of LED life in and typical table lamp is- 17.5 years!  (Assumes operated 8 hours a day x 365 days x 17.5 years = 49840

 

LEDs ARE ROBUST

LEDs are solid state lighting devices that utilize semiconductor material instead of a filament or neon gas. An LED light is a small semiconductor chip coated with a strong epoxy, which makes LEDs substantially stronger than traditional light bulbs. LEDs are able to withstand extreme temperature and more harsh treatment.

 

LEDs Generate virtually no heat, safer for homes with Children (save $$ on Air-conditioning cost)

LED lights generate very little heat, therefore they are only warm to the touch and can be left on for hours without and will not burn your hand if touched which is also wonderful if small children are present.  An example of how much heat and energy can be saved is as follows: Assume your home has fifteen 100 watt old style light bulbs.  This would generate approx. 1500 watts which is equivalent to a full sized hair dryer.  Imagine running that hair dryer for 8 hours, it would heat up you entire apartment or small house and require you to turn on the air-conditioning to overcome the heat load.  The Leds covert 90% of their energy to light and the heat generated is insignificant; in warm climates or during the summer in most locations this becomes a significant electricity savings

Leds are better for the Environment

LEDs are made from non-toxic materials, unlike fluorescent lighting that uses mercury which has been proved to be hazardous to the environment. Since LED’s last up to 15 years, you would only be disposing of your LED light bulb once every fifteen years rather than every 2 years with you normal light bulb, which means that seven incandescent bulbs wind up in the dump for every 1 LED.

Cost analysis of LEDS

Here is a simple example of replacing a single 50 watt bulb with an equivalent LED that consumes 10 Watts.  This assumes electricity cost of 20 cents per kilowatt hour.  In many regions of the country like California, most customers fall into the surcharge category and much of their electric bill is 25 to 30 cents per Kilowatt hour. Also take into account the other benefits for environment and don’t be too discouraged by the high prices of the LED bulbs…..just think about how often you had to change the old ones, in hard to reach places, at your moms’ place, in-laws and etc…..There is  “value” attached to that price as well!!!!!

 

  Normal  Bulb LED Lighting
Watts per bulb (W) 50 10
Number of Fixtures or Bulbs 1 1
Daily Operating Hours (hours) 10 10
Watt-hours per day (Wh) 500 100
Kilo-watt-hours per day (kWh) 0.5 0.10
Working Days Per Month 30 30
Total kWh per Month (kWh) 15 3
kWh Cost 0.2 0.2
Monthly kWh Cost 3 0.6
Total annual cost to operate  $ 36.00 7.2
Annual Savings      $28.80
Cost of new LED BULB      $20.00
Savings in the first year      $ 8.80
Savings over the  next 7 years      $ 172.80

 

What you can do today:

Replace a single 50 or 60 watt incandescent bulb with a Led bulb.  Leds are now readily available in many hardware stores such as Home Depot or on Amazon. I do not propose that you convert your entire house today, by but just convert a single incandescent lamp and replace it with an LED. If you like the result and see savings then start converting the rest of your house then tell your friends.  For the first replacement try to pick a location were the light bulb is on most of the day, this is where you will see the greatest savings.  If everyone converted to Led lighting we could reduce our dependency on foreign oil by over 30%, saving billions of tons of carbon emissions and save the environment. Start today!