There’s a popular old adage that says, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” When it comes to your lighting product selection, it can be easy to stick with what has always worked.
Since the traditional incandescent light bulb will be completely phased out by 2020, many of us have moved onto other lighting options. However, light bulbs such as halogens, fluorescents and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) could be draining your wallet, guzzling electricity or endangering your safety, all without you realizing it.
There is a better way to light up your home: light emitting diodes (LEDs). Let’s take a look at the many reasons why making the switch to LED lighting is a bright idea.
You’ll buy fewer light bulbs. The LED light bulb can’t be beat when it comes to longevity. LEDs have a rated service life of 25,000-50,000 hours and can last a staggering one to two decades. The runner-up in longevity—the spiral-shaped CFL light bulb—only clocks in at 6,000-15,000 hours. The incandescent light bulb offers a measly 750-1,000 hours. By choosing LEDs, you’ll reduce the amount of replacement light bulbs you’ll need to purchase over a lifetime.
You’ll use less energy. LEDs are not only the leader in longevity, they’re also energy efficient powerhouses. When compared to the traditional incandescent light bulb, the LED is 80-90% more efficient. CFLs are a close second. They’re 70% more efficient than the traditional light bulb, but their lifetime is much shorter than an LED bulb’s.
You’ll remove a neurotoxin from your home. If you’re using CFLs to save energy, you should be aware that they contain trace amounts of mercury. When considering that mercury is a neurotoxin, no amount is really “safe.” Also, when broken or disposed of improperly, CFLs add to the collective amount of mercury released into our environment. LEDs do not contain mercury. When turning the light off on your CFLs for good, be sure to dispose of them properly. Contact your local hardware store or recycling program for locations that accept CFLs.
You’ll brighten your landscape for less. Outdoor LEDs are durable, weather-resistant, and have a long life, which helps slash your energy costs. The more you use outdoor lighting, the sooner you’ll see a return on your investment. Before switching your outdoor lights, you do need to consider the age and condition of your existing fixtures and if your home has the right back-end in place to safely drive your new LED lighting. Contact M.R. Electricians to have one of our customer-focused electricians help you determine next steps.
You won’t be left in the dark. If you’re turning the light on and having to wait for your light bulb to warm up, it doesn’t have to be this way. LEDs light up instantly. Their brightness will fade gradually over time, however, you’ll have reliable light for much longer given their lifespan. This makes them ideal for outdoor lighting as well, particularly in the darker winter months.
You’ll spend less than you might think. When they were first introduced, switching your lighting to LEDs was cost-prohibitive. However, due to popularity, mass production and advances in technology, energy efficient LED lighting is more affordable than ever. However, cheaper is not always better. To be safe, always purchase a household brand name so you can benefit from their superior manufacturing capabilities, lower prices and solid warranties.
You’ll have more choices than “cold” light. If you think of harsh blue or green light when you hear “LED,” you may be thinking of the initial versions. However, LEDs have come a long way in terms of replicating the warmth and evenness of incandescent bulbs. Look for the ENERGY STAR seal given to brands that excel at reproducing light that feels similar to the traditional light bulb.
You won’t get burned. Turning the light on should not result in burns or increasing your risk of fire. CFLs emit around 80% of their energy as heat, and halogens release up to 90% of their energy as heat. Hot light bulbs can result in burns and fire or warp the connectors in your light fixtures. LEDs emit very little heat and don’t get hot to the touch, so your safety and light fixtures stay intact. LED lamps are safe and smart way to go.
You’ll maintain control of your lighting. We’ve all failed at turning the light off when we leave a room. Does it happen too often? Perhaps an LED light bulb and compatible motion-sensor light switch might help. Need to change the mood? Certain LED light bulbs are dimmable. Plus, you can even purchase LED light bulbs that work with your smartphone or tablet so you can schedule your lighting remotely. For these upgrades, you may need to replace your current lighting receptacles, so be sure to contact an experienced electrician.
Lighting upgrades are among the easiest and most cost-effective upgrades to implement, but be sure to plan your lighting with care:
- Use the correct wattage for your light fixture.
- Work with a qualified electrician to reduce risk your of personal injury.
- The wrong power connection can make your LEDs less effective. Seek the guidance of a professional electrician to get the most out of your lighting upgrade.
Are you ready to save energy and money by switching to LEDs?
The benefits of turning the light sources in your home to LEDs is clear and the experienced team at M.R. Electricians can help. We’ll partner with you to retrofit your existing light fixtures, install LED-compatible dimmer switches, help you to develop your whole house lighting plan, and more. Please contact us today.
About M.R. Electricians: Since 1996, M.R. Electricians has been serving the electrical needs of homeowners and businesses throughout Montgomery County, Washington, DC, Baltimore, and surrounding areas. The company also specializes in commercial fire protection, contract needs from small tenant fit outs to whole building installations, and motor controls for industrial spaces. From major renovations to the smallest of electrical jobs, the family-owned company is committed to providing high quality products, superior results, and unmatched customer service. Regarded as a leader in the electrical industry, M.R. Electricians has set the standard for excellence in the region. For more information, please visit the website at https://www.mrelectricians.us or call 301.871.0477.