by Mike Hensley, Green River Project Director
A few years ago, my wife and I looked into alternatives to old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs. At that point you could get the fluorescent-style replacement bulbs (called CFL’s) and you could also get LED bulbs. We liked the LED bulbs, but they were too pricey for us to replace all the bulbs in our house, so we settled on the CFL’s. The CFL’s were OK, but there were a few things we didn’t like about them. The light color wasn’t very warm or inviting and the bulbs could be dim when they first started up, especially when it was cold.
This past weekend, we visited our local “big box” home improvement store. Wow, what a change since just a few years ago! Today, for only $12.98 you can purchase a six-pack of LED bulbs that provide the light equivalent to a 60 watt standard bulb, while only using 9 watts of electricity! We purchased four packs, or 24 bulbs, for just a shade over $50.
The bulbs are fantastic. The light looks exactly like the warm and inviting incandescent bulb lighting that we all grew up with. There is virtually no heat produced by the bulbs, either.
The average American home (with incandescent bulbs) may use an average of 25% of annual household electricity consumption on lighting. Switching to these LED bulbs can save you a ton of money and help conserve our natural resources at the same time! I visited the Department of Energy website, and they wrote that “widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States.” By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save the equivalent annual electric output of 44 large electric power plants, with a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s energy prices.
On top of the energy savings, LED bulbs last an extremely long time, which is great if you are not overly fond of the bulb-changing chore, especially for hard-to-reach fixtures.
Do yourself (and the planet) a favor and pick up a few of these LED bulbs, and try them in your own home or office. We love them, and we think you will, too.
For more energy-saving tips, refer to our 10 Tips for Conserving Energy.