Why you should switch to LEDs this summer
The Best Lights for Your Summer and Beyond
As the summer heat sets in, air conditioners turn on and electricity bills suffer. One way to offset soaring costs of electricity is by maximizing the efficiency of lighting. In a typical home, lighting accounts for 15-25% of electricity use, but switching to LEDs can help lower those numbers and your electricity bill. LEDs are also a great choice for summer because they provide the best outdoor lighting.
LEDs are significantly more efficient than other types of bulbs. In order to understand a bulb's efficiency, it is helpful to know what exactly 'watts' and 'lumens' are. Watts are simply the amount of energy required to power a bulb. Lumens refers to the level of brightness. A 40 watt incandescent bulb typically emits 400 lumens of brightness. A CFL uses 9-13 watts to provide 400 lumens and an LED uses only 6-7 watts to emit 400 lumens. In other words, many LED lights need only 15% of the energy required to light an incandescent bulb of the same brightness. So what accounts for the huge disparity in energy use? Heat waste. Unlike LEDs, incandescents have filaments which need to reach a very high temperate to emit light. As an added bonus, the reduction in heat waste means your air conditioner can catch a break too.
Different types of lights have a wide range of lifetimes. Incandescents last roughly 1,200 hours, CFLs 8,000, and LEDs a whopping 50,000. 50,000 hours translates into 25 years of normal residential use. This cuts down maintenance, as you may have to change the bulbs only twice in your lifetime. The longevity of LEDs makes them a great investment.
Lighting an outdoor space is tricky because you have to consider factors such as weather and bugs. Luckily, there are numerous waterproof LEDs available so a summer thunderstorm is no threat. Additionally, LEDs come in a variety of color temperatures which can help you avoid a nasty cluster of bugs hanging around the lights. Opt for a “warm white” LED to prevent bugs from hanging around the bulb. No one likes the smell of burning bugs!
If you feel the pinch of your electricity bills in the summer, replace your old bulbs with LEDs as a way of saving energy. It's a worthwhile investment and you're sure to notice immediate benefits.