Understanding Electronics Inside and Out

Ramp Up Energy Savings Using LED Lights

by Christina Porter

It is no secret that lighting within homes constitutes a big portion of your energy bills. For many people who use solar energy as an alternative source of energy, lighting the home at night may not fully benefit from such energy saving schemes. This is because incandescent lights and other types of bulbs draw huge amounts of electricity just to keep your home lit. Fortunately, LED lights are breaking out fast into the market for home use as well.

Previously, LED lights were considered expensive because of the initial cost of bulbs and associated devices. Today, however, LED lighting can comfortably be incorporated into a home setting without incurring outrageous costs thanks to technological advancements and price reductions in LED bulbs. These bulbs draw less power while providing the same or higher lighting capabilities. They also last way longer than your average bulb (think several years). Before converting to LED lights at home, here are a couple of things you should know.

Lumen rating

With conventional incandescent bulbs, you are used to rating bulb brightness using the indicated wattage. In the LED world, however, brightness does not always depend on the wattage of the bulbs. Instead, the lumen rating of the bulb is what determines how bright or dull the bulb is. You may, therefore, find an LED bulb that has the same brightness as a sixty watt incandescent bulb, but only draws eight to ten watts.  As a home owner, the math is probably the least of your concerns when shopping for these bulbs. Simply check the lumen rating and pick how much brightness you want from the bulb depending on area of use.

Color choice

An advantage with LED lights is the impressively wide range of available colors to choose from. Advertisers and businesses hugely benefit from this aspect as they sought to make their businesses stand out. For home use, on the other hand, you are probably better off with the warm, homely colors that you and your family have become acquainted with over the decades courtesy of prolonged use of  incandescent or sodium bulbs.  Ideally, the warm-white, bright-white, and soft-whites are mostly chosen for homes. 

Fixtures and devices

You will probably have to change your fixtures around the home to accommodate LED bulbs. Fortunately, LED compatible fixtures are now easy to find in the market. Many people of the creative type also find it easier to use LED lights when installing such features as recessed bulbs. For homes with dimmer switches, LED incorporation may be a bit tricky. Not all LED bulbs can be dimmed at will after being lit. You will need to buy specific, dimmer-capable bulbs for this.

In the end, while transitioning your home to full LED lighting may initially be expensive, the future savings you will make from this lighting will definitely prove a wise economic investment in your home.