What’s All the Excitement About LED Light Bulbs?
With the continuing trend towards increased sustainability and improving energy efficiency in many aspects of our lives, many homeowners are considering LED light bulbs for their homes. What you may not be aware of is that LED lighting offers more benefits than just being energy efficient. When thinking about upgrading the lighting in your home, there is plenty to take into consideration, from investment and effectiveness to lifespan and other factors. In some cases it may come down to achieving a certain look or effect, or simply which type of lighting has the lowest operating cost.
Understanding the LED Difference
LED stands for “light-emitting diode,” and unlike standard incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs, which utilize gas-filled glass enclosures (bulbs) to produce light, LED lights employ an electronic semiconductor device that emits light when electricity flows through it. Very different ‘animals.’ The light produced by LEDs is different than we are used to experiencing from traditional incandescent bulbs, and this factor should be considered before making a significant investment.
According to Xcel Energy, for equivalent levels of lumens (unit of light output measurement) produced, LEDs typically use 70 to 90% less electricity and last approximately 15 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs, or lamps, that they replace. This is the benefit of LED lighting that homeowners often find most attractive. If you find yourself comfortable with the type of light that LEDs produce, you’ll be pleased to find yourself changing out bulbs less often, and buying replacement bulbs will become a much less frequent task.
Changing over to LED lighting doesn’t have to be a complete renovation, either. Although this may not be the best long-term plan, LED bulbs are available that can operate in standard screw-in incandescent fixtures already serving your home. An option steadily growing in popularity, however, are ‘integrated LED’ light fixtures. With an integrated LED fixture – built specifically to accommodate LED lamps – you’ll enjoy the longest bulb life, enhanced light output and light quality control, more precise dimming, and a broader range of options.
Primary Benefits of LED Lighting
- More environmentally friendly
- LED fixtures run cool
- Broad variety of color options
- Longer lasting bulbs
- Lower operating costs
Weighing the Benefits
So, we know that LED lighting is longer-lasting and energy-efficient, but what else is there to consider when thinking about making the switch? As alluded to above, most LED bulbs don’t contain any hazardous chemicals such as mercury that’s found in incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Go green!
LED lighting provides more focused illumination, eliminating potentially wasted light as with other types of bulbs, which emit light in all directions. This means you’ll need less light to achieve the same illumination for a defined area, if that’s your goal. Conversely, if you desire to uniformly light a larger area, be careful of your choice of LED fixtures and learn more about what you can expect in terms of square footage coverage before you make your purchase.
Have you ever scorched a finger when changing out a light bulb? When used in integrated LED fixtures, LED bulbs run much cooler than incandescents, and this can also assist in reducing the load on your AC system during the summer – every little bit helps! Plus, with a smaller, more compact bulb size, LEDs don’t require bulky fixtures and housings – potentially more convenient for both permanent and portable fixture placements. LEDS are also a great option for outdoor lighting. Some additional benefits include greater shock-resistance (but still don’t drop them!); and lastly, LED bulbs can handle frequent turning on and off better than traditional bulbs, less likely to fail as a result of frequent cycling.
Independent Electrical Contractors Rocky Mountain
Save Home Heat Company is a member of Independent Electrical Contractors Rocky Mountain, the leading electrical and renewable energy contractor association in Colorado for over 30 years.
While LED lighting has many advantages, there are a few tradeoffs to consider before making an investment. LED lighting certainly has a higher up-front cost, which is easily recouped over the life of the bulb, and then some. Still, it’s the initial cost that may shy some homeowners away from taking the leap. Fortunately, prices continue to come down.
As mentioned above, generally speaking, LED bulbs are not as good at illuminating large areas as incandescent bulbs, so that must be factored into your choice of LED products or light bulb upgrades.
Preliminary research also indicates that the light spectrum produced by ‘cool white’ model LED bulbs may pose potential long-term eye health risks. Concerns for your eyes’ health aren’t exclusive to LED lighting, however. All types of light, natural and otherwise, should be approached with informed, safe practices when it comes to your vision. We recommend that you speak with your trusted eye care professional to determine the best care and products for your eyes under all sorts of lighting conditions, LEDs and otherwise.
Denver-Boulder Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical Services
If you’re interested in LED lighting for your home, Save Home Heat Company can help you by providing low-pressure advice and information, always with your best interests in mind. For LED light bulbs for incandescent fixtures and for portable LED fixtures, we suggest you look to local hardware and specialty lighting stores. For permanent fixtures and upgrades, indoors and out, in the Boulder-Denver metro area, please give us a call.
In the Denver-Boulder area, we’re the trusted electrical service provider that you can rely on. All of our electrical work is performed by our team of highly-skilled, experienced electricians and is closely overseen by our Master Electrician. For assistance with any of your home electrical, plumbing, heating or cooling needs, please reach out to us today.