Thursday, May 19, 2011

LED Lighting Facts

LED lighting now can be purchased for homes and not just commercial uses.  See the excellent piece by Jeff Gelles in today's Philadelphia Inquirer at

Should you buy LED ? 

Environmentally the answer is yes.  Reducing energy consumption is a powerful way to avoid using fossil fuels, clean our air, protect our water.  The typical home causes twice as much pollution as the family car.  Lighting is a significant portion of home energy use.

Economically the answer is perhaps.

Consider these numbers.  LED lighting reduces electricity consumption compared to an incandescent light bulb by about 80%.  Deployment of LED lighting across the economy would reduce appreciably increases in electricity consumption.

They last 50 times longer than an incandescent light bulb or the rest of your life even if you are quite young.

But, and there is still a but, they cost $37. 

Bottom line is that if you have a fixture that is on a great many hours every day, then LED lighting will pay back its up front cost in a reasonable period.


  1. I'm convinced on the environmental arguments about why LED's are the right choice. And I would gladly shell out $37 for a "bulb"....IF I could be confident that the lighting from that bulb would meet the needs of the space where I would install it.

    I just don't have a sense of how these bulbs would work in particular lighting applications around my home. And I'm reluctant to spend $37 on a bulb that won't do the job from aesthetic or ergonomic perspectives. (I don't need the light to look like incandescent light, since I'm fine with most CFL lighting, except that bluish shade that makes me feel a little nauseous. But I digress.)

    I just need the new LED bulb to cast the right amount of light, and I don't know how to figure that out without buying a bulb and perhaps wasting $37. Any suggestions on how to approach this problem?

  2. Joy:

    The best I can suggest is go to a good lighting store and see what they can demonstrate.

    Perhaps some groups could get some of the LED bulbs and loan them out to people like you who want to see how they work in their home before they invest.