By Clarissa Allison | November 6th, 2015
Energy experts know that the incandescent bulb has gone the way of the dinosaur. In fact, in 2007, Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act, which requires that all light bulbs sold on the market have a 30 percent increase in efficiency over today’s standard incandescent bulbs by 2014. Though this law won’t prevent you from using incandescent or halogen bulbs you already own, it does mean that stores will only carry bulbs that meet efficiency standards from now on.
It’s easier than you may realize to begin replacing your incandescent, halogen and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) with light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs). Lighting can account for up to 20 or 25 percent of a home’s energy costs, so switching can result in huge savings on your monthly energy bill.
Now, you can purchase a Retro fit LED bulb – this concept is the same as when everyone converted from incandescent to Spiral CFLs years ago. The bulb base and voltage must match for the LED version to work. (Keep in mind however that with some small G4 type bi pin bulbs, the LEDs are larger and may not fit into sockets due to size.)
When you choose a retrofit LED bulb you can change the bulb to different wattages, color temperatures and beam spreads (if applicable) compared to an LED module that is apart of the fixture and cannot be
replaced or modified. Once you insert an LED bulb, the fixture will then very little electricity to operate.
LEDs actually first came onto the scene in 1962. They function by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material. Initially, LEDs emitted only red light and their uses were limited to things like indicator lights or lab equipment. Now they are available in the visible, ultra-violet, and infrared spectrums, and have a broad variety of uses, including inside the home.
Longevity—An LED bulb lasts 4 times longer than a CFL, and can be 40 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. Unlike incandescent bulbs which last only about 1,200 hours on average, an LED bulb’s projected lifespan can be up to 50,000 hours!
Efficiency—While incandescent bulbs and CFLs generate most of their energy in heat, LEDs are cool to the touch—which translates into less wasted energy and a safer product. It also means your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool your home in hot weather.
Note that most LEDs do require air flow and the ability to release heat (this is why they are cool to the touch as they expel the heat they produce). It is not recommended to use an LED bulb in an enclosed fixture.
Otherwise you run the risk of heat build-up which will cause the bulb to start flickering and eventually, stop working.
A 16.5-watt LED bulb is equivalent to a 20-watt CFL and a 75-watt incandescent. According to the US Department of Energy, adoption of LED lighting over standard incandescents over the next 20 years will prevent 40 new power plants from being constructed, generate more than $265 billion in energy savings, and reduce lighting electricity demand by 33 percent in 2027.
Green and Reliable —LEDs have other advantages over incandescent lights, including a smaller size, along with greater durability and reliability. Unlike CFLs, LEDs can also withstand extreme temperatures, and they do not contain toxic mercury!
Many different models and stylesof LED bulbs are emerging in today’s marketplace. When choosing a bulb, keep in mind the following:
• Estimate desired wattage – read the package to choose desired illumination level. For example, a 3W LED is equivalent in output to a 45 W incandescent.
• Choose between cool and warm light – new LED bulbs are available in ‘cool’ light, ideal for task lighting, and ‘warm’ light commonly used for accent lighting.
• Standard base or pin base – LEDs are available in several types of ‘pin’ sockets or the standard base for recessed or track lighting.
• Choose between standard and dimmable bulbs
The common styles of LED bulbs available for household use include the following:
In this style of LED bulb, clusters of LEDs are covered by a dimpled lens which spreads light over a wider area. Available in standard Edison bases, these bulbs have many uses, such as area lighting for rooms, reading lamps,hallways and low-light applications where lights remain on for extended periods.
Dimmable Globe LED bulbs
Typically seen in bathrooms, these bulbs produce light equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent bulb, yet only consume 10 watts of power. Dimmable from 100% to 10%, these bulbs have a 200 degree beam angle to cast light in a wide area.
There are many LEDs that are dimmable, however they generally do require specific LED compatible dimmers. In most cases the bulb’s instructions will relay what type of dimmer can be used with it. Note
that even though the bulb says it is dimmable, it may not be 100% dimmable and dim to 15%, 10% max.
LEDs are ideal for track lighting and are available in pin base or standard base. They do not get hot to the touch. Because of their efficiency and longevity, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.
LEDs for Recessed Cans and Track lights,
LEDs are now available for standard recessed lighting housings. They range from 7.5 to 17watts, with beam widths from PAR20 to PAR38. Several models are dimmable.
Flame Tip, Candelabra Base LEDs
Designed to replace incandescent candelabra bulbs, these LEDs deliver the equivalent light of 25 – 35 watt incandescents while only drawing 3.5 watts of electricity!
If you have questions about the items featured on today’s blog or how to choose the right LED bulb for you, call us at 1-877-385-2104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org