If you're looking for a way to make your home more environmentally friendly, it's a good idea to start by installing LED light bulbs in your lighting fixtures. LED lights can be used in standard fixtures, giving you more options for stylish fixtures than fluorescent bulbs and making LED bulbs one of the most attractive options for green lights and fixtures when it comes to savings, energy use, and appearance.
Places to Buy LED Lights
LED lights are now sold widely and can be found wherever light fixtures are sold. For online resources, try these retailers:
- Super Bright LEDs: No matter what type of LED light you are looking for, from RV bulbs to standard replacements, find them at Super Bright LEDs.
- Elemental LED: Find strip lights, fixtures, color changing lights and accessories at Elemental LED.
- Cree: If you need specialty lighting for commercial, residential or other settings visit Cree for LED components of all kinds.
LED Light Bulbs Save Energy
Swapping out your standard incandescent bulbs for newer, energy saving models like LED bulbs can help reduce your household's energy consumption, resulting in a significant savings on your power bill. If you're hesitant to try these types of bulbs, consider the fact that LED bulbs last for up to 60,000 hours of use. This means they need replacing much less frequently than other bulbs, so the expense of switching in the long run is minimal, and is more than offset by the energy consumption savings.
Modern LED bulbs are designed to be used in standard lighting fixture bases, including spot lights, recessed lights and chandeliers, making it easy to switch from the types of bulbs you are currently using to this energy efficient and long lasting home lighting solution. If you've never tried LED lighting in your home before, you're sure to be pleasantly surprised with the results.
In addition to knowing that you've made an eco-friendly choice that helps you save money on the utility bills, you'll quickly realize that you've improved the overall quality of lighting in your living space.
One of the first things people notice after installing LED light bulbs is the fact that the light given tends to stay very focused in the direction in which the bulb is aimed.
Colors of LED Lights
LED bulbs tend to be very bright, giving off pure white light that more accurately represents natural light than fluorescent, incandescent, or halogen bulbs. LED illumination is more gentle on the eyes than other types of lighting, and many people say that it is relaxing. Those who suffer with seasonal affective disorder often report that using LED bulbs lifts their moods.
If this brighter white light doesn't appeal to you, however, LED bulbs also come in a variety of other shades including:
- Warm white, which can be found at Light In a Box
- Ambient, like those made by Phillips
- Soft white, like those made by C. Crane
LED Light Options
In addition to the various colors that LED lights come in, they also come in different sizes to fit your various lighting needs, as well as different bases. Shapes and sizes include:
- Flood lights for recessed lighting and landscape lights
- Spotlights for track lighting or overhead recessed lights that only need to illuminate a small area
- Candle bulbs for chandeliers and decorative fixtures
- A-line bulbs that fit standard light fixtures and disperse light around the room
Different types of bases available include:
- Standard screw-in type bases
- Bi-pin bases
- Bayonet bases
LED bulbs are also available in dimmable options, as well as three-way lights that get brighter as you click.
LED Versus Incandescent Bulbs
Unlike incandescent light bulbs, LEDs do not generate a lot of wasted heat. When an LED bulb is on, most of the energy generated is converted to light. Conversely, a great deal of the power that is generated when incandescent bulbs are on is wasted as heat, rather than utilized in light production.
This is why lower wattage LED bulbs put out light equivalent to much higher wattage incandescent bulbs. LEDs typically range from less than one watt to just over seven watts, whereas most incandescent bulbs fall between the 40 - 100 watt range. The fact that LEDs create more light with less power is one of the important reasons that using these types of bulbs are more energy efficient than using those that generate a significant amount of heat.
In fact, LED lights use only 25 percent of the amount of energy that a traditional bulb does. It also lasts 25 times longer, which means that you'll change them less often. It is estimated that by changing out 15 of the incandescent bulbs in your home for LED bulbs, you will save roughly 50 dollars a year on average.
LED Versus Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Watt for watt, LED and compact fluorescent bulbs are very similar. Both types of lighting produce roughly the same quantity of light for every watt of power. A primary difference between these two types of bulbs is related to how the light is emitted.
LED bulbs produce focused, directional light. If you point an LED bulb in the direction of an area that you would like to have illuminated, that is exactly what you will get. With a compact fluorescent light, however, the light will shine in a number of different directions. This is also true of incandescent bulbs.
The fact that all of the lighting power of an LED bulb is pinpointed in the right direction also contributes to the superior energy efficiency of these types of bulbs. You don't have to waste energy lighting areas that don't need illumination. This fact makes LED bulbs ideal choices for flashlights and other types of task lights.
Fixtures that carry fluorescent bulbs frequently don't have as many style options as fixtures that can take LED bulbs. This means that for homes being renovated or remodeled in states that have begun the phase-out of incandescent lighting, choosing to use LED lighting will give you more choices for your fixtures.
Making the Change
If you're not sure that making the switch to LED lighting is right for your home, it's a good idea to start out by changing just a few light bulbs at first. Make sure to choose lighting fixtures that are frequently used by all the members of your household, so you'll have an opportunity to really get a sense of how the new type of lighting functions in your home. When your LED light finally does burn out, make sure to recycle it with an LED light bulb recycling center or the hardware store you purchased it from. LED lights contain no mercury, so recycling is a widely available option for disposal.