According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (PDF), the average American household spends approximately $114 every month on electricity. And if you aren’t using energy-efficient lighting, you could be spending even more than that. This is where light-emitting diodes can help.
Light-emitting diodes, commonly known as LED’s, are one of the most efficient lighting technologies currently available to consumers. There are a number of reasons why you should consider using this type of lighting in your home. Below, we will highlight eleven benefits you should expect from using LED lighting.
1. Available for a Number of Products
LED lighting has a wide range of uses, from your basic household lamp, to large industrial buildings and even for infrastructure lighting. LED technology is becoming increasingly more common in parking garages, parks and even in streetlights.
Around the home, you can use LED bulbs for better lighting in your kitchen, making it easier to read recipes and measure ingredients while you cook, or you can place them in hallways, bathrooms and other places where traditional incandescent bulbs don’t provide enough light. LED bulbs can easily replace the 40-, 60- and 75-watt bulbs in your home, and save you plenty of money as a result.
To figure out which type of LED bulb is best for different areas of your home, read the label on the box to help you determine which type is right for your intended location.
2. LED Lights Are Safer
If you have babies, toddlers or even a rambunctious pet or two, you probably spend more than a few minutes a day worrying about their safety. There are many ways to childproof your home, one of which is to replace traditional lightbulbs with LED bulbs.
Traditional bulbs can get very hot, very quickly. This leaves those little hands susceptible to being burned the moment they touch the lightbulb. This may not be much of a concern for lights attached to ceiling fans or other light fixtures, but there are many ways that curious children can get their hands on lightbulbs while in use, including night lights, table lamps and even Christmas lights. LED lighting emits very little heat, so while you should still warn your children against touching them, they will not cause severe pain if an accident does happen.
Traditional bulbs are also made of glass, making them vulnerable to breaking rather easily. The last thing you want is hot glass to break around your children. LED bulbs, on the other hand, are made of durable epoxy lenses, so it takes much more strength to break one. On a side note, it’s also wise to know how to clean up a broken CFL bulb, as this can bring a whole other host of health concerns.
3. LED Lighting is Eco-Friendly
LED lighting is popular among the environmentally conscious for several reasons. First, the technology uses no toxic chemicals, unlike CFL bulbs that use mercury and other potentially hazardous materials. Not only does this eliminate your risk of exposure, it also makes it easier for you to get rid of the bulb when you’re done with it.
LED bulbs are also 100 percent recyclable, whereas incandescent bulbs aren’t and CFL bulbs need to be taken to a special drop-off point to be recycled.
But the main reason that LED bulbs are eco-friendly, is because they use a fraction of the energy that other lightbulbs use, and they also last significantly longer. Not only does this help you reduce your overall carbon footprint, but you end up spending less money on both electricity and replacement bulbs.
4. Does Not Cause UV Emissions
Another great benefit of LED lighting is that it does not emit any ultraviolet (UV) light and very little infrared light. You can use LED for items that are sensitive to heat or UV rays, such as priceless art or your wine collection. This is precisely why this type of lighting is becoming commonplace in art galleries and at archaeological dig sites across the globe.
5. Flexible Design
Light-emitting diodes can be combined into any shape to allow you to create just the right illumination for the space you’re trying to light. Additionally, you can dim diodes individually, allowing for total control over the amount of light, its color and where you distribute it. Airplanes and classrooms have been using the technology for years thanks to its design capabilities.
6. Can Operate in Extreme Temperatures
LED bulbs are designed to withstand extreme temperatures. These bulbs are an ideal choice in hot weather because they won’t become so overheated that they burst, nor will they create extra unwanted heat. On the flip side, they are also popular in cold weather because they can withstand frigid outdoor temperatures, making them a great choice if you want to put out holiday decorations in a cold climate. We’ve also found that restaurants are starting to use them for walk-in freezers that lack good lighting.
7. Brightens Instantly
Both incandescent and CFL lightbulbs can take a few moments to reach their full brightness, but LED bulbs reach 100 percent brightness instantly. They are also great for rooms where the lights go on and off frequently. Switching other types of lightbulbs on and off many times throughout a day can greatly reduce its overall life span, but doing so with an LED bulb does not have a negative affect its performance or durability. It will light up to its full brightness and continue to last for many years, no matter how frequently you turn them on and off.
8. Don’t Need High Voltage
LED lighting is popular for walkways and other outdoor areas because it doesn’t need a high-voltage power source. This is an essential benefit for outdoor use. Since LED lights only need a low amount of power, outdoor lights can charge via a solar energy source and remain bright throughout the night.
9. Can Last For Years
Once you screw in and start using an incandescent bulb, it has approximately 2,000 hours of use before it burns out. An LED bulb can last approximately 50,000 hours, some may even last up to 100,000 hours before needing to be replaced.
For the sake of perspective, let’s imagine that you never turn these bulbs off. The incandescent bulb will only last you 83 days before it needs to be replaced. In contrast, an LED bulb will last at least anywhere between 2,083 to 4,166 days before you need to replace it. That’s over eleven years of nonstop use!
Now that you know the potential life span of this technology, imagine how you currently use the lights in your home, and how long an LED bulb will last with that amount of use.
10. LED Lights Are Energy Efficient
Another main benefit of LED lighting is how little energy they use. According to Energy.gov, residential LED bulbs use 75 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb, and it lasts 25 times longer than a traditional bulb. Traditional lightbulbs only operate at 20 percent efficiency. That means 80 percent of the energy they use is simply generating heat, not light. LED bulbs are much more efficient at 80 percent to 90 percent.
11. Saves You Money
The above ten benefits of LED lighting all lead up to what might be the most important benefit of all — LED lighting will save you a bunch of money!
Many people are initially turned off by the upfront cost of these bulbs because they cost more. This is understandable, but once you do the math and consider the amount of savings you will receive over the years, it just makes sense. Here’s some numbers to consider:
- An incandescent bulb that costs $1 will still equal out to more than $50 over the course of 20 years due to how often you’ll have to replace it.
- An LED bulb that costs $5 will still only be $5 after 20 years since it’s not likely to need replacing.
And these numbers above don’t even factor in the amount of money you will save from using less energy. Once you consider the amount of money you save on your monthly energy bill, there’s simply no denying that LED lighting is the obvious choice for homeowners.
It’s easy to see that LED lighting benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. By switching all the bulbs in your home to LED, you are guaranteed to save a bunch of money and energy, while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint.