Why switching to LED light bulbs is a bright idea
31 Days, 31 Ways to an eco-friendly New Year
Day 18 - Switch to LED Light Bulbs
Back when I was a Psychology student, there was a joke that went: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but the light bulb really has to want to change.
Sorry. But, on the subject of change, switching your normal fluorescent or incandescent light bulbs for LED ones is a quick and easy swap you can make on your journey to being more eco-friendly. LED bulbs are better for the environment, cheaper in the long term, last longer, are more energy efficient and can even be beneficial for your mood. And here's why...
They are more environmentally-friendly.
LED lighting is more energy efficient and lasts significantly longer than incandescent and fluorescent lights, producing less waste overall. They also don’t contain any toxic chemicals and can be easily recycled.
Fluorescent bulbs have been touted as an eco-friendly alternative to incandescent bulbs simply because they use less energy. However, they contain mercury, considered the most toxic heavy metal in the environment. This is why fluorescent light bulbs should never be thrown away in the bin and only be disposed of by specialists. Despite this, they often end up in landfill where the mercury can seep into the environment and into our ecosystem.
They are more energy efficient.
Most LED light bulbs use only a fraction as much energy as a similar fluorescent or incandescent light bulb, meaning you should see a significant decrease in your household energy consumption and in your bills. If you already have a solar energy system, the reduced electrical consumption of LED lighting can make living off grid far more achievable.
They’ll save you money.
Okay, so I know that LED light bulbs are significantly more expensive than their incandescent and fluorescent counterparts. But, I promise you in the long term, it will save you money both in terms of the number of bulbs you have to buy and in your energy bills.
That’s because LED bulbs are built to last - between 25,000 to 50,000 hours of continuous use! By comparison, an incandescent bulb will only last 1,000 hours and a fluorescent one between 6,000 to 15,0000 hours. LED lights also don’t “burn out” as other light bulbs do. They just becomes less effective as they near the end of their life.
On average, you’ll save £240 per year by replacing incandescent lighting with LED lighting. And even if you are switching from energy efficient light bulbs, you can save £27 per year.
They are safer.
Because LED lights use proven technology and have a simple design, they’re highly durable and rarely fail (unlike incandescent and fluorescent bulbs) and most will come with a confident manufacturer warranty.
LED lights also produce a fraction as much heat as incandescent bulbs which means they are much less of a fire risk and you’re less likely to get a nasty burn - especially when you’re changing one and we’ve all done that!
They can increase your productivity.
Yes, really! Especially for reading, learning and working. Research has shown that because LED lighting emits white light, which is similar to natural daylight, it has none of the negative effects on productivity that have been observed in places lit using fluorescent light bulbs.
LED lighting has also been linked to improved mood. People who work in a place that is lit with LEDs, are less likely to experience “burn out” during the day and typically report a better-than-average mood.
They’re perfect for getting creative.
Because LEDs are so small, they’re amazingly versatile. They are easy to install as strips beneath cabinets, tablets and other furniture or for lighting staircases, hallways and other potentially dangerous areas. They create directional light so are perfect for drawing attention to your favourite features in a room and are compatible with dimmers so you can control how bright it is.
Plus, there are so many designs available, from your bog standard bulb to all-singing, all-dancing rainbow lights that boogy to the beat of your favourite tune. My boys have these under their raised beds, though my favourite are the retro, industrial-style Edison LED bulbs.
Be a bright spark...
...and the next time you need to replace a bulb or lighting on your home, take a look at the LED ones available. Happy you, happy home, happy bank balance, happy planet.