The ROI of LED: How to Compound Your Home Energy Savings with New Lighting
The rise of LED technology has revolutionized the lighting industry. With a source that is no longer constrained to the shape of a bulb, LEDs have opened the door to a whole new world of design possibilities. And with more LED options available today, you have a higher level of control over the color temperature, rendering, and light output of the lighting in your home.
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How do LEDs work?
LED products use light emitting diodes to produce light very efficiently. An electrical current passed through semiconductor material illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs. The heat produced is absorbed into a heat sink.
Saving Energy with LED Lighting
Aside from the design, customization, and aesthetic benefits of LEDs, perhaps one of its most obvious advantages is that it decreases energy consumption—and thus, energy costs. Here’s how:
- LEDs last 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent sources and approximately 2 to 5 times longer than fluorescent lighting—resulting in less bulb maintenance.
- LEDs do not use power when they are turned off.
- LEDs can decrease the amount of general lighting energy use by almost 50% by the year 2030.
- LEDs pay for themselves in a three-year time span due to the significant energy savings. They’re up to 90% more efficient than incandescent, and can result in an annual lighting bill as low as $26.
Incorporating LEDs into Your Home Design
What are some key areas of the home that can be easily updated with LED lighting? Here’s how you can start making the switch to LED:
- Recessed lighting: Replacing recessed fixtures with LED sources is an easy way to use LEDs for beautiful, ambient lighting.
- Accent lighting: LED sources can add visual interest to any room of the home through accent illumination. Try using an LED step light along a walkway, staircase, or on the side of a kitchen island.
- Task lighting: Add under-cabinet lighting to enhance task or work areas. Under-cabinet fixtures can be used to brighten kitchen counter spaces and improve functionality.
- Decorative lighting: With energy efficiency on the rise, more decorative fixtures have begun to incorporate LED sources.
The energy saving benefits are even more applicable to exterior settings since outdoor lights are often left on for hours at a time. Plus, outdoor lights can be difficult (and time consuming) to replace, especially for lights on a roof. An LED lamp can last up to 20 years, which makes LEDs an extremely low-maintenance solution.
- Down lights: Shine LED down lights on areas ideal for outdoor entertaining. Recessed LED fixtures create a comfortable environment and add to your home’s safety and security.
- Path lights: Guide guests along exterior pathways and steps using LED path lights.
- Spotlights: LED spotlights can be used to highlight architecture, gardens, and key focal points of your landscape design. Spotlights also add visual intrigue to exterior areas, boosting your curb appeal.
- Wall lanterns: Like down lights, LED wall lanterns contribute to the mood of outdoor living areas. Make guests feel at ease in your outdoor space by positioning wall lanterns around popular gathering spaces.
Considering Color Temperature
It is a common misconception that LED lights emit a cool, blue light. In fact, the options for color temperature are much more controlled for LED options than for CFL or incandescent sources. The key is to look at the source’s correlated color temperature (CCT). Color appearance is communicated using CCT which is measured on the Kelvin (K) scale. For most interior lighting applications, warm-white (2700K to 3000K) is preferred (traditional incandescent falls at around 2800 on the Kelvin scale). The higher the Kelvins, the bluer the light color.
Is LED Here to Stay?
Even though commercial spaces first adopted the LED trend more quickly than homeowners, the popularity of LED is now rising rapidly among both. And with such a widely available range of these versatile, energy-efficient, and stylish lighting features, LED just may become our primary lighting source.
This guest post was written by Progress Lighting.