Everyone wants to save money on their monthly electric bill. Other than reducing heating and cooling costs, the other major way of reducing energy usage is through lighting alternatives like CFLs (compact fluorescent light), which first appeared on the marketplace in the 1980s, or LEDs (light-emitting diodes or solid-state lighting). While costs for these lightbulb replacements can sometimes be high, the benefits far outweigh the negatives in more ways than one might think.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t realize how the use of light sources in the home doesn’t only increase energy usage but affect the environment. In fact, a recent study points out that using LEDs (even over CFLs) reduces CO2 emissions, lowers utility bills, and creates less waste. Plus, LEDs don’t contain mercury or other toxic chemicals and are fully recyclable. Additionally, materials and packaging are reduced in their production.
Regular light bulbs use 60 watts of electricity and last about 1,000 hours before they start to flicker or burnout. On the other hand, CFLs, which use just 15 watts, and LEDs, which use as little as 12.5 watts, have an average run-time of 40,000 hours or more.
LEDs have an energy rating of 80% to 90%. That means 80% percent of that energy is used by light and 20% by heat and other sources. A regular lightbulb only uses 20% energy with 80% lost to heat. Even the EPA sees the benefits of green lighting. It says this type of lighting if used throughout the United States, could save 88 tera-watt hours from now until 2030.
Natural daylight has many positive attributes, the major one being that it is how we get our recommended daily allowance of vitamin D. Other positive effects are improved mood, better concentration, and increased energy and motivation (both for employees and students), etc.
These reasons alone support for the installation of green lighting in your home or business because it closely mirrors the type of light produced by natural daylight. Additionally, since research points to green lighting’s ability to heighten melatonin levels and alleviate mental health issues like anxiety and depression, it has been labeled as “Human Centric Lighting.”
EFFICIENCY OF GREEN LIGHTING
Although the use of sensors and timers with lighting is nothing new, when used with LEDs or CFLs, lighting costs can be reduced by 70% to 90%. These savings would be especially important for commercial property owners or small business owners when lighting office buildings, parking garages, restrooms, or storage areas where lighting is required to remain on for long periods of time.
And since LEDs and CFLs have long run-times, maintenance costs are also reduced in addition to possible worker-safety issues. LED light sources (fixtures) are also easier to maintain because they have quick-connect wiring plugs and are built with sealed housings. These features keep dirt and corrosion away, especially in places where humidity may be a factor.
LEDS WILL LIGHT THE FUTURE
If the United States relied fully on LEDs, by 2027 the energy generated would be equal to 44 power plants with a savings of $30 billion. Because LEDs last longer than both incandescent and CFL bulbs, in time as their usage and popularity grow, they will replace older light sources and the costs to produce and obtain them will become as affordable as standard lightbulbs.
The chances of this happening are high since LEDs are very small yet they produce a spectrum of red, green, and blue light, which are used to make white light. LEDs will also eventually eliminate the need for reflectors or diffusers that keep light from being sharp and directional, which is why they are used in recessed downlights and for task lighting.
HEDGEHOG ELECTRIC IS A HUGE FAN OF GREEN LIGHTING
LEDs or CFLs can assist in improving how we see and the way we see objects in daily life. Are you thinking about upgrading the lighting in your home or business, but you’re not sure what you need to do or you’re feeling confused? If you have questions about green-lighting compatibility with your current lighting system, or you want to upgrade to green lighting in your home or business, speak with a professional electrician who might be able to answer them for you. Contact Hedgehog Electric today and we’d be happy to help you address any concerns you might have.