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LED Light Bulbs: A Bright Idea

File photo of an L.E.D. lightbulb.
Shawn Harquail [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

When the “light emitting diode,” or “LED” light was first developed, it was primarily used as an indicator light in lab equipment. But as the low energy consumption of LEDs was observed, and costs for manufacturing LEDs went down, the new lighting technology found its way into the hands of consumers. Users of the more modern light bulbs not only began to see lower power bills, but also noticed how rarely they needed to replace their LED bulbs.

Alan Hancock, Energy and Climate Advocacy Director for the Coastal Conservation League, is on a mission to encourage both consumers and businesses to make the switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs. According to Hancock, the average household will save around $500 per year on their electric bill by doing so. That’s a savings that could go toward covering other family expenses, like groceries, clothing, or school supplies.

But the savings aren’t just great for families, they benefit businesses as well. Hancock has seen great strides by business owners who have incorporated energy-efficient lighting in their offices, retail stores, and even in their parking lots.

Hancock says he’s also encouraged by the number of manufacturers who not only produce energy-efficient light bulbs, but electronics and appliances as well. Hancock says many of those companies are domestic, with several in the southeast, including right here in South Carolina.

Many LEDs bulbs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours. That’s around 50 times longer than the average incandescent bulb, 20 to 25 times longer than the average halogen bulb, and 8 to10 times longer than the average CFL bulb. If used 12 hours a day, an LED light bulb will last more than 11 years. If used 8 hours a day, it will last 17 years*

As temperatures rise in the warmer months here in the south, keeping your home and office cool can be challenging. This is another way the LED bulb really shines, because, unlike its incandescent predecessor, LED bulbs keep their cool, which helps keep your ceiling fans and AC units from running as long and hard. Once again, the proof is in the power bill.

There are many excellent reasons to make the switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED light bulbs, and to choose electronics that use LED technology. So, the next time you’re walking down the household goods aisle at your favorite retail store, consider making the small investment in LED bulbs. It will lead to big savings in the long run.