You’ve probably heard about LED lights being the best choice for the environment, but you might still be on the fence about whether they are the right choice for you. First, remember you don’t have to replace your existing fixtures, you can just replace the bulbs. It is still an investment to switch every bulb in your home to LED lighting. Here we look at why LED lighting is worth it, and how to choose the right bulbs.
What are LED Lights?
LED uses diodes to produce light. They operate cooler, so unlike traditional incandescent bulbs, which use just 5% of the energy to create light, they are far more efficient. They are available in low-brightness LEDs and high-brightness LEDs. High brightness is used for your general lighting needs. You can either replace the light fixtures in your home or replace your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs. You will see more energy savings and improved lighting distribution by using both LED fixtures and bulbs, you can still make a difference with bulb replacement alone.
More Up Front, For More Savings Long-Term
If you feel it costs too much to replace your fixtures, as mentioned, bulb replacement can still help. This is still an investment when compared to incandescent bulb prices, but you have to think of it in the long term. Yes, it will cost more for LED bulbs upfront, but you’ll see savings over time. LED light bulbs are not just more energy-efficient, but they also last longer.
High-quality LED lasts 25,000 lifetime hours, while incandescent bulbs only last 1,000. Over time, you will see payback that more than makes up for that initial investment. If you are wondering how much longer we’re talking here, LED bulbs have been known to last as long as 20 years or more. It’s all thanks to the LED technology which uses diodes in hand with heat sinking to outlast traditional bulbs. On a budget? Just replace a few bulbs each month. You can spread the costs out over time, and continue to see more and more energy savings as you complete the job.
Choose the Right Bulbs
Warm white LED lighting produces 27–54 lumens per watt (lm/W) while cool white LED lighting produces 60–92 lm/W, compared to just 10–18 lm/W for incandescent bulbs and 35–60 lm/W for CFLs. You have to avoid low-quality lights which won’t save you energy at all. To be safe, make sure the bulbs you buy are Energy Star labeled or speak to your DFW lighting expert at TopTech Electric for advice.
Improved Directional Light
If you want to improve the way light falls in your home, LEDs are the answer. Even with bulb replacement, you can see improved light focus. The issue with incandescent bulbs is that they cast light all over the room. If you need task lighting, you get less focused light, and also contend with more shadows. LED lighting on the other hand is directional, so you have more control of where the light is cast. They are ideal for rooms such as the kitchen where you have to do a lot of chopping, mixing and measuring, for example.
We aren’t talking about holiday lights here, but instead the range of color temperatures offered by LEDs. So what does this mean? LED bulbs use a Correlated Color Temperature (CCT), and Kelvin (K) temperature scale that dictates the tone of the light. For lower Kelvins, you get a yellower, warmer light and for higher Kelvins, the light is blue and cool. You can choose the type of light color based on where the light is used. For example, warm light is good for ambient lighting, while the bluer light is best for reading and task work.
Downside to LEDs
There are a few downsides to LEDs to consider as well:
- They do cost more, so plan wisely when investing in updates
- They might not be compatible with existing dimmer switches in your home
- Speak to the team at TopTech Electric in DFW for advice to make sure the applications you have in mind for LED lighting are suitable, as they don’t work in all situations
- There are a lot of poor quality, less efficient LED bulbs out there so always check for the Energy Star label
Because you can replace your bulbs and see energy savings at a fraction of the cost of traditional bulbs and fixtures, it’s worth looking into the right applications for your LED plan and reap the benefits of LED technology.