It seems that everybody is looking for ways to cut costs these days. When every penny counts, using the most efficient tools available can lead to significant long-term savings. One easy way to save money on energy bills is to switch out your incandescent lights for more energy efficient LED or fluorescent bulbs. While the upfront cost is higher, what you save on power in the long run may very well be worth it. Here are a few quick facts about LED and fluorescent lights.
LED lights are Light Emitting Diodes. These are found as single diodes like in a small flashlight or light on a keychain, or several diodes can be bunched together in a light bulb. Fluorescent lighting comes in two types; fluorescent tubes and CFLs or compact fluorescent lights, which are a more traditional light-bulb shape that fit in fixtures that have traditionally used incandescent bulbs.
LED lights can last upwards of 60,000 hours. In an office setting, with a light on for 9 hours a day, that is a whopping 22 years of life. When the bulb is used at home for an average of 3-5 hours of light every day, it would be more than 35 years before the lifespan is met. CFL lights last closer to 10,000 hours, which equates to about 3-4 years in the office or around 6 years at home.
The wattage of LED lights is significantly less than fluorescent bulbs. For the same lumens of light, LEDs use about half the electricity of fluorescent bulbs and about one tenth of the incandescent bulb. Choosing either of these options over traditional incandescent bulbs can lead to significant savings on your light bill.
LED lights work better for directional lighting and fluorescent lights are better for all around lighting. Recently the LEDs are beginning to gain ground in all around lighting by putting reflectors inside the bulbs. Because LED lights are dimmer than CFLs, you’ll need more of them to achieve the same level of lighting in your room.
Compact fluorescent lights contain a small amount of mercury. If these ever break, extra care and caution needs to be taken in cleaning and disposing of the light. LED lights contain no mercury, which may make them safer in areas where the lights are likely to be broken.
In recent years, municipalities and power companies have offered different types of rebates to those looking to save energy by retrofitting the lights in their home or office, which reduces the upfront cost of making the switch.
Even without rebates, fluorescent and LED are still a good investment for the long term. The overall savings resulting from your investment will be ultimately determined by how many hours per day the lights are on. The longer your lights stay on at your facilities, the more it makes sense to retrofit them, especially if you’re using older, inefficient lighting that burns through a lot of electricity.