Yes, I Want You to Switch to LEDs
by Keith Buchhalter, Public Affairs Specialist at Overton Power District No. 5
Five years ago I bought my first LED light bulb, and as much as I like to have the latest and the greatest when possible, I was not going to replace every light bulb in my house at $35 each. My first light bulb was for research; at the time I was the Customer Service Supervisor at Overton Power District No. 5 (OPD), and I received questions on a weekly basis about the benefits of LED lighting.
For those of you who are not familiar with LED’s, an LED or light-emitting diode, is a type of solid-state lighting that uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. Today’s LED bulbs can be six to seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent.
Before you make the switch, let me share with you some of the benefits of LED lighting:
Lifespan: The average incandescent light lasts 1,000 hours, the average CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) 10,000 hours, a good quality LED bulb can have a useful life of 25,000 hours or more, that’s 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs. On average, you can expect to replace an LED bulb every 10 to 20 years; some last a lifetime.
Keeping it cool: Unlike incandescent bulbs, which release 90% of their energy as heat, LEDs use energy far more efficiently with little wasted heat.
Environmentally friendly: LEDs contain no mercury, and a recent Energy Department study determined that LEDs have a much smaller environmental impact than incandescent bulbs.
Dimming ability: You can use dimmers on most LED bulbs, but you need to get the dimmers made for LEDs. If you want one dimmer switch to control more than one light, all the bulbs on that switch must be LEDs.
Light quality: LED lights come in a spectrum of color temperatures, from warm white (up to 2,900k) to cool white (from 3,000k to 4,900k). I went with 2,700k throughout my house, a light temperature closest to the standard incandescent bulb’s color and warmth.
Energy efficiency: LEDs use much less electricity than either incandescent or CFL bulbs to produce the same amount of light, measured in lumens. For instance, to reach 1,100 lumens, an incandescent bulb requires 75 watts, a CFL bulb 23 watts and an LED 17 watts.
Price: LED lights have been around awhile. Prices have decreased considerably since I bought my first $35 LED light bulb four years ago – you can buy a four-pack of that same lightbulb for $7 at your local hardware store.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to change every lightbulb in your house at the same time, but as your incandescent light bulbs burn out, consider replacing them with LEDs.
For more energy savings tips, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. From all of us at Overton Power District No. 5 we hope you and your family will take advantage of the amazing weather in our area this time of the year, enjoy together outdoor activities, and why not, maybe a few rounds of golf.