LED Lights at Home

LED Lights at Home Justifiable?

 

LED Lights at HomeLight-Emitting Diodes or LED lights at home are increasingly popular, even though they’re relatively new as light fixtures.

But in fact we see LEDs  all over the place – mobile phones, traffic lights, emergency vehicle lights, street lights, LCD TVs and laptops.  They’re also used extensively in aircraft cockpits, submarine and ship bridges, astronomical observatories and the military.

“But Clare, LEDs are SO expensive!”

Yes, you’re right.  They ARE expensive.

That’s why currently, there aren’t many LED lights at home.

But, as with any new technology, once it becomes more widely used, the price comes down, and I can see that when I look at online stores.

First of all, let’s look at what an LED actually is, and then at its pros and cons.

LED lights at home

LEDs (also known as SSLs or Solid State Lighting) use the same technology as the little indicator light on your mobile phone.

LED is one of the most energy-efficient and rapidly developing technologies today.

LED Lights at Home – Advantages

The main advantages of LEDs are their long life and their energy savings, as well as being safer because they don’t easily break and contain no mercury.  A long life means they save on landfill accumulation (and are more convenient for us), and their energy savings mean reduced pollution from electricity generation.

Why a long life is useful

LEDs now last 25 times or more the average lifespan of an incandescent bulb.  This means you don’t have to go looking for a light bulb when one fails (always at a most inconvenient moment!), and you don’t have to keep buying new bulbs and carrying them home.

I recently bought some German CFLs which will apparently last for 15,000 hours – that’s amazing.  I use these spotlights for about 4 hours per night in my lounge, which equals 1,460 hours per year (4 hours per night x 365 nights per year).  That’s over 10 years before I need to replace them!

That’s so great for me because those spotlights are really high up and need a ladder to be able to change the bulb, so to have to change them only once every 10 years is super.

And if you think that’s good (I do) then consider this – LED lights at home can last even longer – wow!

(And businesses take note: some LEDs are rated for 100,000 hours if they’re used continuously).

And because they are so long lived, they generate less waste on landfills.

Energy Savings

LED lights at home save you money on electricity because they are so much more efficient than incandescents and even CFLs (LED lights use about 5% of the electricity needed by incandescents).  Use this online calculator to see the savings you can make with LED lights at home, even with the relatively high upfront cost.

And of course, with less energy use, you create less pollution, especially if your electricity comes from coal-powered plants.

Other advantages:

LED lights at home coloursDimming It’s very easy to dim LEDs.

Safety LEDs are safer because they can survive most knocks and drops, unlike fragile incandescents and even CFLs.  Also they don’t contain mercury.  There is no infrared lighting or  UV radiation from LED lights., which is better for you and the environment.

Light Colour: LEDs, like CFLs, come in colours ranging from cool white to warm and yellow tones.  This is important in LED lights at home, where you want a nice light.  Warm white colours are also better for eye health.

On / Off Time  LEDs light up immediately; there is no waiting time for them to achieve full brilliance.  Their use in car brake lights has saved accidents – they switch on so quickly that drivers behind have more time to react.

Spotlights: LEDs are excellent in spotlights, desk lamps and other focussed needs, as their light is very directional.

LED Disadvantages

Of course, nothing is perfect.  LEDs have issues with cost, temperature, light type and light pollution.

Cost This is what puts most people off buying LED lights at home.  The savings are there, but it takes time before you start saving money due to the relatively high initial cost.

Temperature: LEDs need a cool temperature in which to operate successfully.  If the bulb is situated in recessed ceiling or sealed fixtures, LED light is not ideal as it may get too hot and not operate correctly.  Thus in those circumstances LED lights in the home may need additional equipment to keep them cool.

Sockets: Some LED types cannot be used in “regular” screw-in sockets, they need a GU10 adapter (which is easy to fit).

Directional Light: Because LED light is directional, it is not ideal for general, broad lighting requirements.

Choice: Although it is improving, there is currently a smaller range of choices of different bulb types and shapes, compared to other lighting types.

Availability: LED lights may be hard to find in smaller towns where demand may be less.  (But they are available online).

Do LED Lights at Home Justify their Expense?

LED lights for the home for small applicationsIt depends upon your individual circumstances.  I think that to convert your entire home to LED lights right now would be quite difficult to justify from a capital cost point of view.

I believe that once the technology becomes more widespread and the costs come down, LED lights at home will become much more commonplace, with the benefits of longer life and reduced energy needs benefitting us and the planet.

But, particularly because of the safety aspects, I do think that using certain LED lights at home can be beneficial now – for example, in spotlights and desk lamps.

Next:  Bedroom Lighting Ideas

I do hope this discussion of the new lighting standards in the USA has been helpful in determining what your choices are, and the pros and cons of each type (incandescent, CFL, LED).

Please leave a comment, and like, share or tweet the article if you enjoyed it!

And if you want to look at available LED lights for the home, I recommend Amazon:

 

Other Lighting Articles – you might find these interesting

New Light Bulb Standards in the US

Light Bulbs Types

CFL Pros and Cons

Bedroom Lighting Ideas

Bedroom Reading Lights

Harley LED Lights – Harley Davidson go Green (Video)

LED Kitchen Lights – Ideas

LED Home Lighting – 4 things you need to know when buying LEDs

Example of LEDs (Video)


 

Photo Credits:  Toshiba, Wikipedia

19 comments… add one

Your thoughts and opinions are important to me! Do tell me in the comments below!

  • Bryan 4th May 2012, 5:28 AM

    It seems like it wold be worth the money.

    Reply
  • Have You Tried The Paleo Diet Yet 3rd May 2012, 8:50 AM

    We have a lot of state offices where I live and they keep the lights on 24/7. Long life LED sounds like the state could save money in the long run. I like the fact they are stronger and don’t have mercury.

    Yours In Health!

    Dr. Wendy

    Reply
    • Clare Delaney 3rd May 2012, 9:28 AM

      Gosh, do they work and/or have cleaners 24/7? It’s such a different world where I live now. The islanders are extremely thrifty, and lights do not stay on unnecessarily. In fact, they go to the opposite extreme, and some shops are so badly lit that you can hardly see the goods! Electricity is relatively expensive here and people have to be careful. I agree, state offices could save huge amounts of money longer term – but I suppose it’s difficult to think longer term than the next election – that’s the same all over the world/ Thanks!

      Reply
  • Will 3rd May 2012, 7:28 AM

    LED lamps are now being used extensively in the construction industry – shopping centre’s, display lighting, landscape lighting etc – and in some parts of the world finance houses and Governments will give grants or interest rate reductions on borrowing when you demonstrate that as a developer you are prepared to spend the extra capital.

    Reply
    • Clare Delaney 3rd May 2012, 8:24 AM

      It’s good to know that businesses can get incentives to purchase eco friendly LED lights – thanks Will!

      Reply
  • Lyle R. Johnson: The Sales Wizard & Mentor 3rd May 2012, 5:09 AM

    Thanks for the good info; LEDs have been used in Industrial applications – as you point out – for decades. I believe the consumer market has not been developed due to embedded capital in the convention lighting. False cost excuse … I was bringing LEDs in from HK at 17 cents (US price at time was $1.54 because they did not wish to make the production runs).

    Reply
    • Clare Delaney 3rd May 2012, 7:24 AM

      Good grief Lyle, that is an astonishing price difference! Yes, I suppose it’s difficult to decided to invest in re-tooling for an uncertain market (consumers being so used to the supposedly ‘cheap’ incandescents), but still…. it’s an interesting comment on the differing attitudes to business growth. Thanks for that information!

      Reply
  • ShaneAric 3rd May 2012, 12:30 AM

    Sounds like LED is the ticket!

    Also Nice Amazon Widget…

    Reply
  • Sonya Lenzo 2nd May 2012, 9:55 PM

    Thanks for such a thorough over view of the light bulb situation. I am using some LEDs, some CFLS, some plain old light bulbs and some candles.
    Sonya Lenzo

    Reply
  • Vim Vigor and Vitality 2nd May 2012, 7:23 PM

    A lightbulb that lasts 10 years is definitely more cost effective in the long run.

    Yours In Health!

    G.E. Moon II

    Reply
  • Margarita @ Body Language Decoding 2nd May 2012, 6:43 PM

    Clare,
    I still have to think about using LED lights at home. The benefits are great, but a good chunk of initial investment is invilved.

    Reply
    • Clare Delaney 2nd May 2012, 7:19 PM

      For sure! You said you’re already using CFLs, so you’re already doing your bit for the environment!

      Reply
  • […] LED lights at home and how best to use them […]

  • […] LED Lights at Home […]

  • […] LED lights at home – they’re eco friendly, they’re expensive, are they worth it? […]

  • […] LED lights at home – they’re eco friendly, they’re expensive, are they worth it? […]

  • […] LEDs – worth the price premium? […]

  • […] LEDs – can they possibly be worth the price? […]

  • Bryan says:

    It seems like it wold be worth the money.

  • Have You Tried The Paleo Diet Yet says:

    We have a lot of state offices where I live and they keep the lights on 24/7. Long life LED sounds like the state could save money in the long run. I like the fact they are stronger and don’t have mercury.

    Yours In Health!

    Dr. Wendy

    • Clare Delaney says:

      Gosh, do they work and/or have cleaners 24/7? It’s such a different world where I live now. The islanders are extremely thrifty, and lights do not stay on unnecessarily. In fact, they go to the opposite extreme, and some shops are so badly lit that you can hardly see the goods! Electricity is relatively expensive here and people have to be careful. I agree, state offices could save huge amounts of money longer term – but I suppose it’s difficult to think longer term than the next election – that’s the same all over the world/ Thanks!

  • Will says:

    LED lamps are now being used extensively in the construction industry – shopping centre’s, display lighting, landscape lighting etc – and in some parts of the world finance houses and Governments will give grants or interest rate reductions on borrowing when you demonstrate that as a developer you are prepared to spend the extra capital.

    • Clare Delaney says:

      It’s good to know that businesses can get incentives to purchase eco friendly LED lights – thanks Will!

  • Lyle R. Johnson: The Sales Wizard & Mentor says:

    Thanks for the good info; LEDs have been used in Industrial applications – as you point out – for decades. I believe the consumer market has not been developed due to embedded capital in the convention lighting. False cost excuse … I was bringing LEDs in from HK at 17 cents (US price at time was $1.54 because they did not wish to make the production runs).

    • Clare Delaney says:

      Good grief Lyle, that is an astonishing price difference! Yes, I suppose it’s difficult to decided to invest in re-tooling for an uncertain market (consumers being so used to the supposedly ‘cheap’ incandescents), but still…. it’s an interesting comment on the differing attitudes to business growth. Thanks for that information!

  • ShaneAric says:

    Sounds like LED is the ticket!

    Also Nice Amazon Widget…

  • Sonya Lenzo says:

    Thanks for such a thorough over view of the light bulb situation. I am using some LEDs, some CFLS, some plain old light bulbs and some candles.
    Sonya Lenzo

  • Vim Vigor and Vitality says:

    A lightbulb that lasts 10 years is definitely more cost effective in the long run.

    Yours In Health!

    G.E. Moon II

  • Margarita @ Body Language Decoding says:

    Clare,
    I still have to think about using LED lights at home. The benefits are great, but a good chunk of initial investment is invilved.

    • Clare Delaney says:

      For sure! You said you’re already using CFLs, so you’re already doing your bit for the environment!