How Much Money Do LED Light Bulbs Really Save?
If you've been searching the market for new light bulbs, you've probably been confronted with what appears to be a limitless number of alternatives. Recent technological advancements have provided us with a plethora of new lighting options. But how can you know you're selecting the appropriate choice when you need new bulbs for your home? Which light bulbs are designed to be more environmentally friendly and help us save money on our electricity bills? Our guide will help you feel confident in choosing LED light bulbs to not only make your home more energy-efficient but also help lower your electricity bills.
What Are My Options When Choosing Light Bulbs?
In a nutshell, there are a lot! However, here are three of the most well-known:
- Incandescent bulbs are the "traditional" bulbs that many of us remember from childhood. They are inefficient in terms of energy use and have a short lifespan.
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) - We often think of "spiral" bulbs when we think about energy-efficient bulbs.
- LED light bulbs - LED bulbs are extremely energy-efficient while retaining the appearance and feel of incandescent lighting.
Incandescent, CFL, and LED bulbs require different quantities of energy. However, LED lights are what you should be paying attention to.
<h2>What are LED Bulbs?
LED bulbs aren't technically bulbs; LED stands for "light-emitting diode." They're small semiconductors (diodes) that are covered in plastic to protect them from the environment while also focusing light. A diode is a semiconductor device with two terminals that normally allows current to flow in only one way. The current passes from an anode (+) to a cathode (-). A lightbulb's wire filaments aren't even present in LEDs.
What Distinguishes LED from Incandescent Lighting?
When we say "ordinary light bulb," we're referring to an incandescent bulb, which has been in use since Thomas Edison patented his design in 1879. When electricity passes through these bulbs, the filaments glow, creating heat and light. LEDs use electrons to make photons of visible light. As a result, photons produce very little heat. LEDs also use less energy and last longer than incandescent lights to give off the same amount of brightness.
Is it True That LEDs Save Energy?
LEDs utilize significantly less energy than incandescent bulbs because diode light is far more efficient than filament light in terms of electricity. LED bulbs consume more than 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. The disparity is significantly more pronounced at low power levels. For example, bright LED flood lamps consume only 11 to 12 watts while producing the same light as a 50-watt incandescent bulb.
Are LEDs Bulbs More Expensive?
An LED bulb used to cost around twice as much as an incandescent bulb. However, prices have dropped, and it's now challenging to locate bulbs that aren't LEDs. Because they are so much more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs, they save money over time. As a result, they've become the lighting industry's go-to product. Around 40 light bulbs are used in the average American home. Assuming all of those lights are replaced with LEDs, you may save $300 per year on energy bills; this more than compensates for LEDs' slightly higher initial cost. If you're currently using incandescent bulbs or CFLs, wait until they burn out before replacing them with LEDs.
Is it Possible to Save Money By Using LEDs?
Although most people are aware that LEDs save energy, they may still be hesitant to pay the increased cost of LEDs. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile. Let's make a quick calculation to see how efficient and cost-effective different bulbs are. To make things simple, we'll say we have a 100-watt incandescent light and that a unit of electricity costs 15 cents.
Incandescent bulb: A 100-watt incandescent bulb used 876 kWh of energy over a year, costing $131.40 in electricity. Keep in mind that you'll need to replace the bulb regularly, maybe once a month.
CFL bulb: A 25-watt CFL bulb emits the same amount of light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb while using just 216 kWh of energy over the course of a year. That works out to $32.40 in energy costs, with the bulb likely only needing to be replaced twice.
LED bulb: A 16-watt bulb may produce the same amount of light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb while using only 140 kWh of energy per year. The cost of electricity would be only $21, and a single LED would last an entire year.
What should you do with old bulbs after replacing them with LEDs?
Don't toss them out! CFL bulbs contain mercury vapor, which could be discharged into the atmosphere and stormwater runoff if the bulb breaks at a landfill. It would be best to always recycle bulbs, partially for safety and partly for efficiency. The bulb's parts can be reused. Gather your bulbs with care and take them to a hazardous waste facility near you. LEDs do not contain mercury and may be legally thrown away; however, it is still preferable to recycle them. Keep an eye on their good environmental influence to the very end!
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