The light-emitting diode (LED) is now one of the most efficient forms of lighting following a long evolution. LED lights are popular primarily because they save significant energy in residential properties. But do LED lights save energy? Quick answer: YES. Here, we explain how led lights save energy, explore other advantages of LED, and present the reasons why every home should opt for them over other lighting alternatives.
LED Technology and Why It’s Efficient
Standard LED lights provide better light quality, are more durable, and last longer than other lighting forms. Take, for example, residential LEDs such as Energy Star-rated products. These last up to 25 times longer and consume at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting.
Here is a table showing the differences between LED and other types of lighting:
|Lighting Technology||Efficacy(lumens per watt)||CRI (Colour Rendering Index)**||Life time(Hours)||Easy or hard to dim?||Available Dimming Level(%)||Startup time|
|MV (Mercury Vapour)||25-40||70||10-20k||Hard||50||5-10 minutes|
|HPS (High Pressure Sodium)||70 – 120||40||15-30k||Hard||50||5-10 minutes|
|MH (Metal Halide)||50 -100||60-90||10-15k||Hard||50||5-10 minutes|
|FL (Fluorescent)||30-90||80||5-20k||Moderate||30 – 60||1-5 seconds, but several minutes for full brightness|
* Efficacy of LED lights is gradually increasing
** The colour rending index compares how colours are rendered in comparison with the rendering provided by daylight. For example, HPS lights have a poor CRI due to the fact that most of the light is orange in colour.
One might ask: “Why do LEDs consume less electricity than incandescent lighting or other types?” The answer lies in the mode of producing light. LEDs use electroluminescence, which relies on a property of semiconductors. Over several decades researchers have gradually improved the efficiency of this process, with the result that now white LED lighting is the most efficient form of lighting available. And as LED lighting has no need of a filament, and doesn’t need to excite an inert gas – with corresponding mechanical stresses – it lasts longer than all other forms of lighting.
In comparison, incandescent lights require the use of a filament through which electricity passes. The filament needs to become extremely hot for its atom’s electrons to produce light for this to happen. This process leads to wastage of at least 95% of the electricity used as heat.
Parts of Your House That Should Use LED Bulbs
You can maximize the benefits of LED bulbs when you install them in appropriate parts of your home. Here are some recommendations:
It’s best to use LEDs for task-oriented rooms like kitchens, where you need lots of light for several hours a day, and reasonably good colour rendition. Typically, for a mid-sized kitchen, you need around 5,000 lumens of lighting. Sure, you can use other lightning forms, but to save on energy costs while maximizing efficiency, consider LED bulbs.
You don’t need to replace LED lights in your kitchen often since a good quality LED light should operate for at least 30 000 hours. That’s an advantage and avoids the inconvenience of having to change bulbs halfway through the preparation of the evening meal!
The living room is one of the most trafficked parts of a house since it is the place where families and guests gather to relax. You want an ambient mood or diffuse accent lighting. LED bulbs are a good choice for either. Standard bulbs come in a range of colours and can provide a modern and sleek ambience.
There has been concern about some LED lights being overly “blue” in colour. However, it is possible to get “warm white” LEDs that don’t have this problem. You can also get colour changing smart bulbs that gradually change their colour during the day, mimicking how daylight changes colour during the day!
Like natural lightning, such LEDs may provide health benefits (compared with say fluorescent lighting) and help you cope with stress and depression.
So with LED lights in your living room, you get to work or interact more while possibly reaping some health benefits.
LED bulbs have an advantage over compact fluorescent lights, in that that come on to full brightness instantly. So with LED lights in the bathroom you can quickly pop in and out, with no delay waiting for the light to get bright enough.
LED bulbs may improve relaxation while in the bathroom, where you take long showers and baths. How? With colour-changing LEDs, you can change the light colour. You may be able to dim the lights for a relaxing environment.
Is There an Instance Where LED is Inferior in a Residential Setting?
LED lights are far superior to other forms of lighting in a residential setting. Having used LEDs at home for several years, its hard for me to identify areas where they are markedly inferior.
In some fixtures the large size of an LED bulb may mean it’s hard to fit into an existing fitting designed for a small bulb.
Additionally, when it comes to replacing low voltage halogen lights with LED, if you don’t change the power supply LED lifetime will be short. Its better to upgrade to a dedicated LED power supply.
Another disadvantage would be that in fixtures where the LED is inbuilt into the fixture, you have to replace the whole fixture when the LED lights fail.
Finally, and for me this is not insignificant, LED lights, particularly integral LED lamps supplied by mains voltage, have a lot of electronics inside them, which makes recycling harder, than say an incandescent bulb. This disadvantage is offset by their energy savings. But its still a disadvantage. So if an LED light fails, don’t just throw it in the rubbish, adding to mountains of e-waste, make every effort to get it recycled.
Overall, LEDs can be considered to be better than the alternatives. They use less energy. Last longer. Have good colour rendition. Turn on instantly. And can even come in colour changing bulbs!
Manufacturers are continuing to innovate with LED lighting, making them ever cheaper and/or more efficient.
Why Choose LEDs
Apart from the fact that LED lights save energy, they do not have lead or mercury, unlike fluorescent lighting – the most common form of lighting before LEDs become as economic and efficient as they are now. So, if you are advocating for the environment, it’s time to transition to LED lighting.
Due to their high efficiency, less greenhouse gases are produced in electricity generation to create light when using LEDs. This helps mitigate climate change. Less energy wastage means less consumption of finite fossil fuels in energy generation.
Be an Environmentally-Friendly Homeowner
Using LED bulbs is one of the most practical ways to cut energy costs and contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Simple actions will go a long way in ensuring a sustainable and healthy life for present and future generations.
If you want to help the environment, switch to LED. In this way, you save more money and enjoy the efficiency and other benefits it gives. Yes, LED lights save energy!
Just make sure that when your LED lights eventually fail, that they are recycled, and don’t end up in landfill. If you’re interested in learning more about LED lights and their application in an industrial or commercial setting, please check our Energy Efficient Lighting course.