Green Ideas For Your Home: LED Lighting

Are you interested in making some green improvements in your home? One simple but significant change you can make right away is to switch from traditional incandescent light bulbs to energy efficient LED lights. Long gone are the days when LEDs or “light-emitting diodes” used to be tiny bright colored lights that could only be used in a very limited number of applications. LED light technology has made a huge leap forward, and now you can enjoy an energy efficient light bulb that gives off the kind of bright light we are used to in our homes.


Today, LEDs are available in many shapes and sizes, a wide range of colors and neutrals that will meet a variety of lighting needs and aesthetic tastes. While LED’s are a little more expensive than incandescent lights, they offer a number of great perks that you would not be able to get with any other light bulb. Also, if you are into DIY projects and interior design, there are a number of creative and fun ways you can light up your home with LEDs.

LED Lights

How Do LED lights Work?

LEDs have revolutionized energy-efficient lighting by transforming the way light is produced. A LED is a “solid-state lighting” technology. This means that instead of emitting light from a vacuum (as in an incandescent bulb) or a gas (as in a CFL bulb), a LED emits light from a piece of solid matter – a semiconductor. A LED produces light when electrons move around within its semiconductor structure. As the electrons stream across the semiconductor, they create electromagnetic radiation, which in part takes the form of visible light that we see. The light that is created by a LED bulb can be of any color and can even be ultraviolet or infrared.

Advantages of LED Lights

Energy Efficient

What makes LEDs a green lighting choice is their superb energy efficiency. LED light bulbs use only 2-17 watts of electricity (1/3rd to 1/30th of Incandescent or CFL). This significant reduction is possible because unlike incandescent bulbs that convert most electricity to heat, LED lights convert most of the energy into light.



Cool

While common incandescent bulbs get hot and contribute to heat build-up in a room, LEDs do not cause heat build-up. Consider this staggering difference: LEDs produce 3.4 btu’s/hour, compared to 85 for incandescent bulbs! As a result, by preventing heat build up LEDs help reduce air conditioning cost for your home.

Durable and Long-lasting

Because LEDs do not have a filament, they will not get damaged under circumstances when a regular incandescent bulb would be broken. Being solid enables LED bulbs to hold up well to jarring and bumping. Moreover, LED lights last up to 10 times as long as compact fluorescents, and far longer than typical incandescents, saving you the hassle of frequent replacements.

Cost-Effective

LEDs vary greatly in price, and can range from $5-50 for a bulb depending on its specifications. Although LEDs are initially expensive, you will recoup this cost over time in energy savings and long service life. In fact, LED bulbs were first used in commercial applications to reduce the expensive maintenance and replacement costs. With technological advancement, the cost went down, making LEDs available for consumers. The good news that as technology continues to improve, the price for LED lights will continue to decrease, and soon will not be a significant deterrent to purchase.

Free of Mercury

There is no mercury used in the manufacturing of LEDs, making it a much safer choice than CFL lights, which do contain this toxic health hazardous element.

3 EASY AND CREATIVE HOME IMPROVEMENT IDEAS WITH LEDs

LED Shower Light

LED-lit shower headAdd some fun to your morning routine with an LED shower light!

It installs to a standard shower pipe in mere minutes. When you turn the shower on, the water powers a turbine and the LED shower light lights up. Blue tells you the water is cold. When the water warms up to 89° F (32° C) the light changes to red. You can purchase this awesome LED light from ThinkGeek

Imagine taking a shower in complete darkness with a lit shower head – that would be pretty cool! Just be careful not to slip in the darkness.

Average Cost:$15-30

Under Cabinet LED Light

Undercabinet kitchen lights

Add a touch of sophistication and extra light to your kitchen by installing a LED light under the cabinet space. Also, if you already have fluorescent lighting under your cabinets, which tends to give off an unpleasant light, you can replace it yourself with LEDs. You can also go all out and install a micro-controller and add a fade-up effect when the lights switch on, as well as have a half-bright mode for those special occasions where dimmer lighting is appropriate.

Average Cost:$20-100

LED lights For an Outdoor Space

Lantern LED lights

If you are looking to add a touch of special ambiance to your outdoor parties, you can use LEDs to make neat looking lanterns. All you need is a small LED light and a battery that you can insert into jars. You can either hang them up, put them on the table or on the ground. Moreover, if you have a pool, you can put tiny waterproof floating LEDs to light up the water and wow your guests.

Average Cost:$15-30



Published/updated on: April 21, 2014

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