Shelley Kaup’s Hot Tip for February 2015
LED bulbs: Bright, long-lasting
LED lighting is sweeping the country as bulb prices plummet and variety of bulb designs increase. Energy Coach Shelley Kaup said switching to LEDs delivers instant energy savings and crisp, bright lighting.
“It’s as easy as changing a light bulb,” said Kaup, who recently installed a three-way LED bulb in her own home. “This 21st century LED technology is super efficient and very cool.”
LEDs use 85 percent less energy than the incandescents on today’s market, and last 25 times longer. And prices for bulbs have dropped significantly, from $12 to $15 per bulb of a few years ago to around $7 today.
“In a fixture used for three hours a day, one LED bulb will last for 20 years. Buying the bulb and the electricity to run it will cost about $40. In that same 20-year period, you’d use 22 incandescent bulbs, and you would spend a total of $270 on replacement bulbs and the energy to run them,” Kaup said.
“LED bulbs have a higher purchase cost, but they will pay for themselves in about two years, and the savings is all yours after then,” she said.
LED bulbs emit very little heat, so they work well in recessed or enclosed fixtures. They perform well in cold temperatures outdoors, and turn on instantly with no warm-up period.
The bulbs come in a variety of colors. For a warm and cozy feeling, look for bulbs with a “warm” light appearance, with a 2700 K rating. For lighting that is closer to daylight, in workshops, sewing rooms, offices or the garage, look for “cool” light appearance in the 4000 K to 5000 K range.
Many LED bulbs are dimmable, and they contain no mercury.
Many electric utilities offer rebates or in-store discounts for LED bulbs. Visit GarfieldCleanEnergy.org to learn more.
Download the 2-page Right Light Guide published by Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams to learn how to buy the light that fits your needs.