Sprucing up your home often requires tossing the old and welcoming the new. You’ve switched out the rugs, throw pillows and decor, but maybe you feel that your home still needs something more. You may decide it’s time to change your lighting or even implement dimming light bulbs — what’s better at making a house feel cozy?
You’ve heard a lot about LEDs — or light-emitting diodes — but what are they exactly, and why do so many people praise their abilities over incandescent bulbs? These bulbs are energy-saving boons for the homeowners who use them. LED lighting offers a range of benefits that other kinds don’t, and you’ll discover what they are below. Light your home with sustainable and attractive solutions, and you’ll be glad to see a lower energy bill.
Traditional incandescent bulbs emit more heat than light, which is why they’re hot to the touch when you try to change them. This issue wastes a lot of energy — after all, you buy light bulbs to illuminate your space, not warm it up.
LED lighting, however, does the opposite by directing warmth into a heat sink, which is usually a pair of metal components at the base of the bulb. Absorbing this heat allows LED lights to output 90% more energy than other types of lights, giving you more electricity for your money’s worth. This useful feature also prevents them from burning out too soon, saving you money on buying new bulbs.
Many manufacturers measure the efficiency of modern bulbs by analyzing their lumens, which dictates how much brightness they output. LEDs require less wattage than the typical incandescent but deliver a higher concentration of lumens. Don’t be alarmed if the wattage on the packaging is lower than you expect — this is a testament to the statement “less is more.”
They Offer Flexible Design
Incandescent bulbs offer 360-degree illumination, which isn’t always convenient if you’re looking for spotlight-type lighting. LED lighting typically comes with 180-degree directionality, allowing you to display a concentrated beam instead of diffused rays. This point comes in handy if you need to illuminate artwork or want focused lighting for specific rooms, like the kitchen.
However, not every homeowner is interested in focused lighting. That’s no problem — many manufacturers are making LEDs with 360-degree capabilities to allow for full illumination. Spread the glow through your entire living room for a lower cost and longer lifespan.
LEDs come in various forms, and they’re not just your average light bulb. The lights themselves are tiny, and combining a group of them creates a standard bulb. Before they entered modern homes, they appeared in circuit boards, billboard signs, car headlights and more. Their flexibility will enable you to use them for numerous purposes around the house.
The Cost Pays Itself Off
Some people hesitate over switching to LED lighting because it’s pricier than incandescent options. Fortunately, these expenses will pay themselves off in the energy savings you’ll gain. Buying a group of LED bulbs for every lamp in the house can be pricey depending on which brand you buy and what capabilities they have. These bulbs will quickly give you a great return on your investment, however, by decreasing your light bill.
LED bulb lifespans ensure that you won’t have to replace them for years as the typical lifespan is 14-25 years if well-maintained. Paying more upfront can get you an ultimately more affordable lighting solution that will last as long as you need it to. And if that isn’t enough to incentivize you, many home department brands have begun selling LEDs for lower prices. Gone are the days of shelling out loads of cash on the fanciest sustainable home lighting solutions — buy them cheap and keep them forever.
They’re Safer Alternatives to Other Lighting Solutions
Mercury vapor lights and fluorescents include mercury in their filaments, which makes them dangerous to handle after they burn out. Many people shudder at the thought of mercury in their food or water, so why do they allow it in their home lighting solutions? Luckily, LED lighting forgoes this metal, which makes it easier to dispose of than other bulbs and safer to have inside the home.
Mercury vapor lights can produce harmful UV emissions if their outer bulbs break, causing skin burns and eye damage. LED lights, on the other hand, generate no UV radiation, making them safe to have in any room of the home.
Brighten Your Home Sustainably
LEDs offer the best sustainable home lighting solution compared to many other options. Like any wise investment, these bulbs will provide you with substantial returns long after your purchase. Consider making them a part of your next DIY upgrade to win big on aesthetic and monetary value.
Emily is a sustainability writer who is the creator of Conservation Folks.