Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter

Lighting Your Home for Less

LED bulbHave you tried the latest in energy-efficient lighting technology? Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) may look a little different than traditional incandescent bulbs, but they offer lower energy use, long life and good color quality while providing the same warm, quality light you've come to expect. Since lighting accounts for 20 percent of electrical costs in a typical home, LEDs can save you money, as well.

What makes LEDs different?

LEDs differ in a number of ways compared to conventional bulbs:

  • Incandescent and CFL bulbs are encased in glass while LEDs are made from a solid semiconductor material (like a computer chip) that is coated with special chemicals. The material emits light when connected to an electrical current.
  • LEDs emit light in one direction, unlike conventional bulbs, which emit light in all directions. This directional nature makes LEDs very useful for recessed downlights and task lighting.
  • LEDs emit very little heat. By comparison, CFLs release 80 percent of their energy as heat and incandescent bulbs waste 90 percent of their energy as heat.

The benefits of LEDs

LEDs offer the following advantages for home lighting:

  • Energy efficient. LED products are up to 80 percent more energy efficient than conventional incandescent products.
  • Long lasting. Quality LED bulbs last up to 25,000 hours, or more. At an average of five hours a day, 365 days a year, an LED bulb can light your home for 14 years.
  • Durable. Made from solid materials, LEDs do not break easily. This makes them a good choice for workrooms, outdoors and other rough environments.
  • No mercury. Unlike CFLs, LED bulbs do not contain mercury (a hazardous material), which makes disposal simpler.

Although they are more expensive to purchase, LEDs pay for themselves through their long life and low energy use.

Using LEDs in your home

Originally used in small electronic devices, LED products can now be used to light your entire home.


Source: www.energy.gov
Kitchen downlights
Under cabinet lighting. Because LEDs are small and directional, they are ideal for lighting kitchen countertops. It is important to compare products, however, to find the right one for your space; the color of some LED products may appear more cool or blue than you like and some fixtures may create shadows.


Recessed downlights. Recessed downlights are used in kitchens, hallways and bathrooms. LED downlights are available in a range of sizes and offer a viable alternative to CFL and incandescent products.

LED replacement bulbs. With performance improvements and falling prices, LEDs can replace conventional 40-, 60- and 75-watt bulbs. As a new technology, LED replacement products can vary in quality. Be sure to read the LED Lighting Facts Label to ensure that the product you are buying will provide the brightness and color you need.

Outdoor lighting. Long-lasting and durable, LEDs are a perfect choice for holiday lighting, as well as decorative lighting and security lighting.

LED products can vary in performance. Look for products that are ENERGY STAR certified for energy efficiency and quality.

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This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

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