As winter darkness approaches, LEDs are a “bright” idea

The humble light bulb is evolving

The evolution in light bulbs has accelerated in the last couple of decades. It used to be that our only choice at home was the good ‘ole incandescent bulb. We did have some experience with the buzzing and flickering fluorescent lighting at work or in commercial spaces. Those negative experiences with fluorescents made it harder to transition to compact fluorescents (CFLs) when those started to hit the market in the 1990s. Also the price was much higher than incandescent, which became a bit of a barrier to switching over. Even thought CFLs are 90% more efficient and proven to save electricity and money, the switch was not easy.

Fast forward to today, and we have seen the adoption of CFLs become more and more widespread. The technology has improved, and manufacturers took feedback about the quality of the light to heart, making improvements in warmth of the light and reductions in flickering and warm up times. The price has come down considerably as consumer demand has picked up and manufacturers have achieved higher production scale. They can now easily be found at pretty much any store that sells light bulbs and the public has verifiable proof that they do save money and time. But the downside of fluorescents is that they contain toxic chemicals that pollute our environment when not disposed of properly, and if they break in the home can expose us to small amounts of toxins.

Now along comes the next technology improvement, LED lighting. This new lighting is more expensive than what we have had, but again much more efficient. And it does not have the downside of toxic elements. Comparatively, LEDs have a brighter light (higher lumens) than CFLs, they have a power factor of .9 meaning most of the power is converted into light (CFLs convert more of that power into heat) and they consume 30% less power than CFLs.

Check out this handy chart to see the savings and benefits of LEDs over CFLs and over incandescent. Then head to your local hardware store and begin the process of replacing your most commonly used lighting with LEDs and then sit back and enjoy the money saving, super efficient and longer lasting light in your own home!

Thanks to National Builder Supply for the graphic.

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