If you haven’t yet replaced your incandescent and CFL lighting with LED’s you are wasting money every single day that you postpone it. While the initial conversion investment is high, the energy savings are noticeable in your electric bills.
I converted a couple of years back, and there’s no way I will allow incandescent lights in my house anymore.
“The rapid adoption of LEDs in lighting marks one of the fastest technology shifts in human history,” Goldman Sachs stated in a new report.
I recommend that you shop carefully because these bulbs are more expensive and because it’s likely that they will last 3-10 years. Getting halfway through your conversion and then deciding you want cool white instead of soft white is a big, and costly mistake. The four main factors you want to consider when shopping:
- Lumens – this is a measure of how bright the light is, however if you are more comfortable with wattage equivalence most packaging will tell you what incandescent wattage that the bulb is equivalent too. If you are converting from incandescent then wattage equivalence is probably your best method for selecting the appropriate brightness. ( e.g. equivalent to 60w, 75w, 100 w, etc.)
Kelvin – this is a measure of where this bulb fits on the color scale – whether you select Soft white ( ~2700 Kelvin) for it’s warm, incandescent look, Cool white ( ~4100 Kelvin) for it’s whiter, brighter look or if you go fully modern with daylight (~ 5000 – 6500 Kelvin) and it’s bright blue-white look you want to get it right. While it’s possible to mix and match, it’s a notable difference when you have light pools from different kelvin range bulbs overlapping. So if you do use different Kelvin bulbs, it’s best to keep them in separate rooms – e.g. daylight bulbs everywhere except in bedrooms, where you use soft white instead.
Wattage used – try to get the light brightness and Kelvin range you want with the lowest watt usage. Reducing watts used to save money over time is exactly what this conversion is about.
Manufacturer – there are lots of people making these bulbs now, but from my experience the no-name and off brands struggle with quality and consistency. Get a good brand, like GE, Sylvania, FEIT.
Let’s talk a second about conversion strategies and other considerations. Some LED’s are flaky when you put them on dimmer switches, so make sure you get the dimmable LED bulb if that’s where they are going. Don’t expect a smooth dimming scale either, you only get two levels of brightness when you use a dimmer with LED’s.
If you are on a budget and can only afford to replace a couple of bulbs per paycheck, then start with your highest wattage lighting applications first balanced against the lights that are on the longest every day. The high wattage offenders tend to be yard lights, garage/shop lights, basement lights, and kitchen lights – however those usually aren’t the lights that you use the most. Replace the lights you use most first, then replace the rest from highest wattage to lowest in order.
Lastly, pay attention to socket or mount type – this is the type of fixture or socket size that the bulb fits into. Good luck on your replacement project!
Below is an article about the LED revolution and a link to 5 Charts at Think Progress to help you figure out why this is a good decision:
The accelerated deployment of light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs is on track to save U.S. consumers and businesses $20 billion a year in electricity costs within a decade, which would lower U.S. CO2 emissions by some 100 million metric tons a year! The growing global effort to speed up LED adoption could ultimately cut global energy costs and carbon pollution 5 times as much.
Currently the best LED bulbs cut electricity use by 85 percent compared to incandescent light bulbs and by 40 percent compared to fluorescent lights. By 2020, Goldman expects those savings to increase to over 90 percent and 50 percent respectively.
Let’s look at some key charts and facts that illustrate the LED lighting “miracle,” which is every bit as remarkable — and every bit as unheralded by the major media — as the solar miracle, the battery miracle, and the electric vehicle miracle.
More: 5 Charts That Illustrate The Remarkable LED Lighting Revolution