LED Lighting Will Save Money

by SEA Energy Engineer, Ed Saleem

The difference between today’s LED lamps and incandescent lights is like when the black and white TVs were replaced by color TV’s.

Now most TV’s have high definition LED screens and lighting is on the verge of becoming that sophisticated as well.

LED lighting, which stands for “Light Emitting Diode” or “Solid State” lighting is here to stay, at least to the next lighting technology comes along.

This is not the same as the compact fluorescent “CFL” lights that are out there which contain a small amount of mercury and came on slowly. LED’s have no mercury, and are instantly bright when you flip the switch.

LED light sources are cool, so there is little burn or fire concern. The lamps last much longer so they will rarely need changing. Most can be dimmed, the light can be so natural it cannot be easily recognized from our old familiar light bulb, and soon color adjustable bulbs will be readily available.

All are incredibly efficient, and use a fraction of the energy of the old incandescent lights.

One of biggest costs of energy in our homes is lighting. That 50 cent 60 watt light bulb if left on all the time can consume $33.00 in energy at the nation’s average electrical cost of 6.5 cents per kilowatt, and some co-ops around here charge much more. We pay 11 cents per kilowatt where we live which almost doubles the cost and the savings.

If you replace that incandescent with a $10  equivalent LED, the new light would sip up only $5.00 in energy. So even after paying $10  for an equivalent LED, you would still save a net of $23  a year. OK, rarely do we leave lights on all year long, but we do often burn lights for hours a day. But you can easily see that if lighting makes up approximately 40 percent of your electric bill, you would be saving a lot of money.

We also have to think of lighting terms differently. While we have always used the term “Watt” to describe how much light we get from a lightbulb, it really represents how much electricity is consumed, not how much light is produced.

Did you know that the incandescent light has to use electricity to heat up an element to 350 degrees F, about the same as your barbeque grill, before light is emitted?

Most of the energy goes into heating the element to where it emits light, very little is used to actually make light. LEDs just have a chip that emits light when electricity passes through it, so almost all the electricity creates light, not heat.

With the newer LED lights, we measure light output in a different term “Lumens”. For instance to match our old 60 watt incandescent light, you need an output of around 800 lumens. 1600 lumens equates to a 100 watt bulb. Packaging on the LED lights will refer to a wattage equivalent.

The color of lighting in “Kelvin” A “warm” light would be a lower number Kelvin- to match the light of an incandescent. We would look for a kelvin of around 2800K.

For a cooler light you want a higher Kelvin, say around 4000K.

The higher the number, the closer to the color of sunlight. Funny how when the Kelvin goes up the light color is considered to be getting “cooler”.

So try these new lights out. At least replace the most commonly used lights and see your electric bill drop. You won’t regret it.

Article originally posted on: themountaineer.villagesoup.com