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11 Ways to Save Energy and Money by Switching to LED Lighting

Sep 16, 2008
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are becoming far more common for indoor lighting solutions due to their human and environmental safety, cost, and longevity. An LED is a solid-state semiconductor diode that emits light when an electrical current is applied in the forward direction of the device, as in the simple LED circuit. The effect is a form of electro-luminescence where incoherent and narrow-spectrum light is emitted.

LEDs are widely used as indicator lights on electronic devices and increasingly in higher power applications such as flashlights and area lighting. An LED is usually a small area light source, often with optics added to the chip to shape its radiation pattern and assist in reflection. The color of the emitted light depends on the composition and condition of the semi-conducting material used, and can be infrared, visible, or ultraviolet.

Why Choose LED Lighting?

1. The LED advantage: LED (light emitting diodes) are solid state technology and offers the most efficient (energy savings) form of lighting available. In comparison to conventional incandescent light bulbs, LEDs can be equated at approximately 7 to 8 time equivalence. For example, a 3 watt LED can produce as much illumination as a 20 watt incandescent light bulb.

2. On average, LEDs last 3 to 5 times longer than fluorescents and 20 to 30 times longer than incandescent.

3. LED lamps allow less maintenance costs, lower heating and utility costs and reduces the need for higher rated cable, transformers and electrical components.

4. LED lamps are very resilient, shock and vibration proof and virtually waterproof.

5. LEDs are smaller and more compact and provide more light output per square inch than any other light source.

6. LED lamps produce very little heat and no UV rays, making them safer to handle and safer to use. Ideal for sensitive fabrics/paintings.

7. LEDs are not sensitive to extreme temperatures (unlike fluorescent).

8. Solid state LEDs can be controlled with a processor to achieve unique lighting effects.

9. LEDs are available in cool white, warm white and multiple colors.

10. LEDs draw (on average) about 1/10th the power of today's conventional lighting, providing new alternative solutions to conventional energy saving lamps. LEDs are the most environmentally friendly lamp technology.

11. Along with Fluorescent bulbs, LED technology is the future of lighting. It can reduce many types of pollution and meet the need for the continued world wide energy demand

Compare LED to Standard Fluorescent and Incandescent and Light Bulbs*

Category LED Fluorescent Incandescent/Halogen
Avg. Utility Cost per Month (20w) .02 cents .35 cents .86 cents
Lumens per Watt (avg.) 50 to 60 32 to 40 14 to 18
Wattage Equivalent (20w) 3 watt 9 watt 20 watt
Average Longetivity 75,000 hrs 15,000 hrs 2500 hrs
Maintenance Zero Ballast issues Replacement
Average Cost Compared to Incandescent 3x 2x variable
Operation Instant On / No Flickering Delay and Flickering Instant On / No Flickering
Added Cost Minimal Service Ballast/ Service High Service
Safety No Gas or Glass Gas and Glass Glass and Heat
Damage due to Shock and Vibration Zero Problem Problematic Problematic
Size per Unit Smallest Medium Largest
Heat Issue Least Ballast Gets Hot Lamp Gets Hot
UV Stable (ultra violet) Stabilized Not UV Stable Stabilized
Light Control Most Control Variable Control Variable Control
Weather/Temperature Changes Not Sensitive Sensitive Some Sensitivity
Ecology/Environment Minimal Issues Some Issues Damaging

Note: These comparisons are based on national averages.

Summary on Savings: Energy bills, Heating Bills, Fixture Longevity, Maintenance and Replacement Labor. These savings may far outweigh the higher cost of solid state (LED) lighting products.
About the Author
The Energy Superstore was developed with a singular purpose: to enable residential, business and industrial customers to save energy in the most efficient and cost effective ways possible. With over 40 years of experience, we provide many tools including energy audits, products, and recommendations.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting, LED Light Bulbs, Dimmable CFLs, Energy Audits, and much more from your Energy Saving Superstore.
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