As Libby Langdon said in a recent spot on The Early Show, LEDs are the next big thing in energy efficient lighting. They’ve got so much going for them (as we here already know), but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate the benefits:
- They last up to 60,000 hours on average, which is six times longer than compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs and 40 times longer than traditional incandescents. This makes them really great for hard-to-reach areas in your home, including those lights in your backyard.
- They shine brighter than other bulb options, providing very focused, well-directed lighting compared to incandescents and CFLs which push light out in all directions.
- They are far more energy efficient than all other consumer choices—using only 50 percent of the energy of a CFL, and 1/10th of the energy of an incandescent.
- Because they are so efficient and don’t require replacement very often, they will save you money over the long run, even though they cost more money up-front. In fact, Libby suggests you’ll save more than $700 over the lifetime of the bulb!
- LEDs contain no mercury, making them even more eco-friendly than CFLs. (We like CFLs because they’re better than incandescents, but they do have a small amount of mercury. If properly recycled at stations throughout the country, they pose little environmental threat).
Solar outdoor lighting is another great option highlighted by Libby. She pointed out the solar light’s many benefits, too:
- They require no wiring and run without electricity, so they’re easy-to-install and maintenance-free. And, they’ll be on even during a power outage.
- They’re inexpensive to run, since they’re powered by the sun.
- They can be used even in low-sun areas. Some come with solar cells that are detachable, allowing you to place the panel where you’ll receive the most light.
I’m really pleased that mainstream media is starting to draw attention to these great lighting options. They’re cleaner, more efficient, and will save us money, too.