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The ABCs of LEDs – an FAQ

No longer do you need to be

the type inclined to hug a tree…

Light your home with LEDs

and lower your electric fees!

Replacing your old incandescent light bulbs with LED lights might be the easiest and most effective way to save money and help the planet. Here are a few Questions and Answers:

Q. What’s an LED?

A. LED means “Light Emitting Diode.” An LED converts electricity directly into light – with almost 100% efficiency. An incandescent (typical old-school) light bulb releases 90% of its energy as heat and only 10% as light – very inefficient. The LED equivalent to a 60W old-school bulb draws only 6W to 8W!

Q. Aren’t LEDs really expensive?

A. Even though the price of an LED is much higher than an old bulb, they will save you money. Not only will you save over 80% on your electricity usage, but they typically last 25 to 100 times as long! An LED installed when your child is born will likely still be working when she’s off to college. Another plus: LEDs are very hard to break!

Q. But I need to get all-new fixtures too, right?

A. From standard bulbs to appliance bulbs to flood lights to fluorescent tubes, there is probably an LED that fits right into your existing lamp or fixture.

Q. Can I use a LED in a fixture that’s brighter than the wattage-equivalent rating?

A. Yes! As long as the LED bulb uses less wattage than your fixture rating. The other reason fixtures have wattage ratings is because of the heat produced by old bulbs, and LEDs create very little heat.

Q. Don’t those new bulbs contain dangerous elements and can’t be recycled?

A. No…not LEDs. LEDs contain no hazardous materials and can be safely disposed of in the trash. Fluorescent tubes and Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs contain mercury, are considered hazardous waste, and, if broken, require careful cleanup. LEDs have mostly recyclable components – but it might be a while before you find any local recyclers since LEDs almost never wear out!

Q. They don't have the warm glow of old bulbs, do they?

A. LEDs have come a long way. They come in bright white, soft light, cool light, and a palette of other colors and warmths.

Q. But it’ll cost me a fortune to replace all the bulbs in my house…right?

A. Start with the lights you use every day. Even if you use a light for only a few minutes a day, an LED replacement will pay for itself in no time. Replace the ones you rarely use when you run out of old bulbs.

Q. So…what’s the catch?

A. Not only is there no “catch,” there are a number of other benefits to LED bulbs:

  • An LED bulb in your porch light will greatly decrease your porch bug population since it creates very little ultraviolet and infrared radiation

  • In fresh food displays, blue LEDs have been proven to breed significantly less bacteria than its halogen or fluorescent counterparts

  • And for you environmentalists…570 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions were reduced due to the use of LED bulbs in 2017, according to a study published by IHS Markit, a London-based analysis company. This is an amount similar to shutting down 162 coal-fired power plants!

So, replace your lights with LEDs – it’s a win-win-win!

(Statistics from the U.S. Dept. of Energy and other trusted sources)


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