Expert Advice

Lighting Efficiency Tips

A “Bright” Way to Save Money

Switching your light bulbs to Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs as they are commonly known, is likely the easiest way to save energy and money in your home. Now that LEDs have been on the market for a few years, the prices have come down and these bulbs will definitely save you money in the long run. Even if you pay 5 times more at the time of purchase when compared to older bulb styles, like incandescent or CFLs (usually a helix or spiral shape), you will save money in the long run and there are other advantages too.

LED bulbs work in a unique way. Instead of emitting light and heat in all directions, LED lights move electrons through a semiconductor material, creating light that shines in a specific direction. In LED bulbs used to replace standard bulbs, multiple diodes are used to create bright light while generating very little heat. This makes them more than twice as efficient as CFLs and almost 10 times more efficient then incandescent bulbs and they can last as long as 20 years! Think about that the next time you have to replace that impossible to reach light above your stairway.

Incandescent bulbs are the least efficient by far and are being phased out of most large retailers. CFL bulbs contain mercury which you probably know is extremely harmful to your health. They can overheat and break easily if bumped or dropped which can release the mercury. They require a short “warm-up” period when switched on and they may not function properly in cold or humid environments. LEDs on the other hand, contain no harmful substances, emit virtually no heat (9 times less heat than CFLs and 25 times less than incandescent) and are much more resistant to breaking. They also light up instantly when switched on and are not effected by humidity or cold temperatures.

LEDs are now made to fit virtually all standard light fixtures, dimmable fixtures, recessed lighting fixtures, candelabra bases, and even most landscape lighting. LED floodlights and spotlights are becoming more popular, particularly because they need replacement so infrequently.

Homeowners should look for Energy Star rated LED bulbs, which have been tested for standards of color quality and consistency, energy efficiency, and stable performance. By replacing the bulbs in the most-used and hard-to-reach fixtures, homeowners can start saving energy – and money – right now.

Blog Post Submitted by

Kyle and Rena Martiniuk

Owners/Certified Home Inspector

Pillar to Post Home Inspectors