Green Lighting: Why You Need to Invest in LEDs and CFLs Now

Recycled crates hanging from wall as shelving - Green lighting

The lighting industry is constantly evolving. Home and business owners are always looking for new ways to improve their efficiency and reduce their environmental impact, and lighting plays a major role in that. These days, there are plenty of fantastic lighting options that look stunning while also significantly reducing your energy consumption.

A Brief History of LEDs

When lighting-emitting diodes (or LEDs) first entered the scene, they were very small, and they were commonly used in electronics, holiday lights and other niche applications.

As LED technology became more advanced, manufacturers started clustering the diodes in order to be able to deliver more light output. These clusters were first featured in flashlights, headlamps and other similar tools, but today, they’re powerful enough to be used as primary lighting sources.

When coupled with diffuser lenses that increase the spread of the beams, LEDs have no problem standing right alongside other, less efficient bulbs. Whether you’re looking for colorful, futuristic accent lighting, replications of antique bulbs or bulbs that look just like traditional incandescent ones, there are now LED products for virtually any application.

3 Major Benefits of LEDs

As of 2019, you simply can’t beat LEDs when it comes to green lighting. They’re far and away the most efficient option, and they deliver an unparalleled lifespan and level of reliability, not to mention the positive impact they have on the planet.

Here are the three main reasons why so many green-minded people are transitioning to LEDs:

They Seldom Need to Be Replaced

The main reason why so many home and business owners are so excited about LEDs is because of the incredible money-saving potential. In the past, LEDs were quite expensive, but as with most new technologies, their price has become much more affordable over time. These days, using LEDs just makes sense when you crunch the numbers.

For starters, LEDs generally last around 40 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, and 10 times longer than compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

While the upfront cost of LEDs may still be slightly higher than other options on the market, you’re going to be replacing your bulbs significantly less often, saving you money in the long run (especially on a large scale).

That’s one major reason why LED lighting is better for business. Imagine not having to replace your bulbs for 10 years! That’s a huge step in reducing business maintenance expenses and naturally boosting your bottom line. Even on a smaller scale, homeowners can save a lot by investing in LEDs now.

They Use Less Electricity

LEDs are the obvious choice if you’re looking for ways to decrease energy use. On average, LEDs run on just 2 to 17 watts of electricity.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs typically use about 25 to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Quite simply, that means more money in your pocket. Beyond the financial savings, you’ll also be drastically reducing the carbon footprint of your home or business by using LEDs.

They Enhance Safety

If you’re on the hunt for the best green lighting trends, you may be concerned about the toxic elements in some types of lamps, such as fluorescents and mercury vapor lights. LEDs don’t contain any mercury or other toxic elements, so with these, you won’t have to worry about any special handling or disposal techniques.

Bed, night table and bedside lamp - Green lighting

Additionally, LEDs emit virtually none of their energy in the ultraviolet spectrum. That means you can use them in areas where UV light may cause damage. For example, you can illuminate a piece of artwork without worrying that the light’s energy will cause fading.

LEDs also don’t get hot like other types of lamps. Incandescent bulbs typically produce around 85 BTUs per hour, compared to LEDs that produce 3.4. That means you won’t have to worry about accidentally touching a hot lamp or even starting an accidental fire. As an added bonus, because LEDs don’t produce heat, they’ll save you money on your air conditioning bill, too.

Choosing From Endless LED Options

The beauty of LEDs is that you can find virtually any type of bulb you can imagine, from classic desk lamps to ornate chandeliers. There are cool-colored LEDs that are great for task lighting, and warm-colored LEDs that are ideal for accent lighting.

You can find LEDs for nearly any base type, and there are plenty of brightness and dimming options, so you can easily select the perfect ambient lighting for any room.

LED string lights are an especially popular trend these days. String lights take up minimal space, and you can tuck them under countertops or into soffits for a modern aesthetic. String lights work well behind television sets to add a futuristic glow to entertainment rooms. Many LED string lights give you the option of color-changing or automatic fading along the full spectrum.

CFLs: Another Green Alternative

While they’re not quite as efficient as LEDs, compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs are another greener alternative to traditional incandescent lighting. Compared to incandescent bulbs, CFLs typically last 10 times longer and they’re four times more efficient, on average.

CFLs are a bit less expensive than LEDs, so if you’re on a tight budget, they could be a good option, falling between incandescents and LEDs in regard to how green they are. They’re extremely versatile, and they produce attractive, high-quality warm light with excellent color rendering.

CFLs are a fantastic green choice because they also help reduce water and air pollution. Over the entire lifespan of a particular lamp, replacing just one incandescent bulb with a CFL will prevent a half-ton of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

Investing in Sustainable Fixtures

Beyond just using more efficient bulbs, you may also want to think about replacing your old lighting fixtures with more sustainable options. Lamps made from natural, recycled or reclaimed materials are a huge trend right now, and this is the type of trend that’s not going anywhere.

You can also have a lot of fun creating DIY (do-it-yourself) lighting fixtures from materials you may already have lying around the house. For example, an empty wine or liquor bottle can make a gorgeous lamp if you simply attach a socket and drill a hole in the bottom for the power cord. Just be sure to follow professional instructions to ensure that your project is safe.

Using Dimmers

Dimmers—as the name implies—allow you to control how bright your lights are at any given moment. After all, you don’t always need all your lights on at full blast. In fact, you may find that dimmed lights provide a relaxing, romantic atmosphere, especially during the evenings. Dimmers will give you a broad spectrum of lighting options between on and off.

Installing Motion Sensors

Are you or your family members constantly forgetting to turn off lights when they’re not in use? This is a common problem with an easy fix. Motion sensors automatically turn a light on when you enter a room, and then shut it off automatically after a certain amount of time has gone by with no activity detected.

Why Not Give Smart Lighting a Try?

Smart lighting is a recent trend that has become very popular. You can connect smart bulbs to smartphone apps or devices such as the Amazon Echo, which will allow you to control your lights with an app or even with your voice. While adjusting your lights is fun, you’ll be much more likely to remember to turn them off or dim them if you go this route.

Don’t Forget About the Sun

Bathroom illuminated with sunlight - Green lighting

Daylight is the most natural source of light there is. As you hunt down the best green lighting solutions, don’t forget that sometimes just opening your curtains is all it takes to fill a room with gorgeous, full-spectrum sunlight.

If you really want to enjoy long-term savings, you could renovate your home with skylights so you can light your home in style while doing your part to save the Earth. Another option is to trim any bushes or trees that may be blocking the sun from hitting your windows.

Re-Evaluating Your Entire Lifestyle

Replacing your existing incandescent bulbs with LEDs or CFLs is a huge leap forward, but there are plenty of other ways to further “green-ify” your lighting, and your home or business in general. Just the fact that you’re seeking greener lighting options means that you’re on the right track. However, making a big impact on the environment often means rethinking other aspects of your building besides lighting fixtures.

For example, installing a solar energy system is an outstanding way to dramatically reduce your impact on the Earth. While you may assume that a solar energy system is too expensive, the reality is that there are government incentives in place that can drastically offset the cost.

You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to go green, either. For example, installing green living apps on your phone is free, and this type of app can help you find more environmentally friendly ways to life your life, from your transportation choices to the shampoo you buy.

In other words, green lighting is a wonderful starting point, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Be sure to also go the extra mile and re-evaluate your basic lifestyle choices, such as how long you shower or how much you recycle. Eventually, these little changes will turn into lifelong habits that’ll make a big difference in the grand scheme of things.

Get started today, and set the stage for a brighter tomorrow!

For more on LED lights, read a review of the High Power 80W Led Corn Light Waterproof Ip65 here»

Katie Tejada is a writer, editor and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about sustainability, decorating trends and innovations for the home for several sites, including Atlanta Light Bulbs. In addition, she also covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting and CRM solutions.

image 1: Pexels; image 2: Pixabay; image 3: Pixabay

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