LED: The best way to light up your home and fatten your wallet!

As the world strives to become more energy efficient, many are switching the type of bulbs used in the home from traditional incandescent (or slightly more efficient halogen incandescent) to light emitting diodes (LEDs) and saving at least a thousand dollars over ten years, according to research from the Consumer Federation of America. It is not only good for your wallet, but also helps the planet. By using more energy-efficient lighting and cutting back on energy consumption, emissions from power plants are also reduced—a win for consumers, a win for the environment.

Based on CFA's price survey, the average electricity cost of a single 60-watt equivalent incandescent bulb is around $5 per year, while the energy costs of a comparable LED are $1 dollar per year. Couple this with the fact that incandescent bulbs will need to be replaced every one or two years and LEDs last at least an astonishing ten years, and the savings benefits of using LEDs are massive.
 
The survey of 17 different LED bulbs found the most expensive total cost for a single bulb is about $15.40 over ten years. And the cheapest incandescent bulb? A whopping $61 over ten years. The extra few dollars spent up front on LEDs pays for itself after just one year. And with over 20 bulbs in an average home, you can see how the savings add up.
 
Luckily, LEDs aren't hard to find because they are now the primary light bulbs displayed in most stores. Ready to make the switch? Here are five important things to keep in mind when buying brand new LEDs:
  1. Don't buy the first LED bulb you see. Check out wattage or brightness (now indicated in lumens), light color (measured in kelvins), and dimmablilty to see what LED fits your needs the best. These are on the packaging. Consider buying a few different bulbs to test before installing them all over your home. 
  2. Look at in-house brands because they tend to be slightly cheaper, and stores are more likely to quickly resolve any potential problems with their own brands. 
  3. Look for the ENERGY STAR logo. It indicates that the LED you are purchasing meets minimum federal standards for light output, color quality, and warranty.
  4. If your bulb does not work properly, return it to the store for a replacement. The store you purchased it from is also more likely to contact the manufacturer and complain, helping to improve quality control. 
  5. Keep in mind that the $1-$2 extra you are paying today for the LED only represents a few cents in costs each year over the life of the bulb, but the energy savings will be much higher.

By switching to LEDs, you can save at least $1000 over ten years and help save the Earth!


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