Incandescent lightbulbs have officially gone the way of the dodo bird, and compact fluorescent (CFL) and light emitting diode (LED) bulbs are taking over the residential lighting market. While CFL bulbs are slightly less expensive than their LED counterparts, there are several reasons why you should consider investing in LEDs from the beginning. Read on for four ways that LED lighting sources can light up your life.

  1. Next Generation LED Light BulbsYou’ll see lower utility bills with LED bulbs. LEDs are actually semiconductor devices that light up when electricity is sent through them. An incandescent lightbulb, on the other hand, uses electricity to heat a metal filament to the point that it glows and gives off light. Although incandescent bulbs were the gold standard in lighting for many years, they are incredibly inefficient. An LED light fixture uses about 90 percent less energy than one equipped with traditional incandescent bulbs, and you’ll see that difference immediately on your power bill. LED bulbs cost pennies to run.

  2. LED bulbs will help your home stay safer. Incandescent bulbs get hot, as do CFL bulbs (though to a lesser degree), so there is a small risk of fire when they’re in use—especially in closed fixtures or near combustible material. LED bulbs are equipped with a heat sink to absorb any heat produced by the electrical current passing through the semiconductor, so they stay cool even when they’ve been in use for a while. Another advantage to LED bulbs is that they are a solid-state lighting source, so they don’t contain any moving parts that can break or burn out. In fact, LED bulbs are largely plastic, and unlike CFL bulbs, they don’t contain any harmful gases that could be released into the environment. As a result, indoor LED lighting is the safer choice.

  3.  LED light bulbsYour home will stay cooler with LED bulbs. Think about all the lamps and light fixtures in your home. If you’re currently using incandescent—or even CFL—lightbulbs in them, those fixtures are producing a significant amount of heat. An LED lightbulb produces approximately 3.4 British thermal units (BTUs) per hour of use, whereas an incandescent lightbulb produces approximately 85 BTUs. That number represents a lot of wasted energy, and in the summer, all that residual heat can cause your HVAC system to work harder to keep your home a consistent temperature. Making the change to LED bulbs does represent an investment up front, but you will quickly recoup that cost in energy savings.

  4. You’ll only have to buy lightbulbs on rare occasions. LED lightbulbs are unsurpassed in longevity. On average, they last ten times longer than CFL bulbs and over one hundred times longer than incandescent bulbs. For most homeowners, this means that an LED bulb purchased today will not need to be replaced for approximately 30 years, depending on how it’s used. Exterior LED lighting—especially those important (but difficult to replace) flood lights—is an upgrade to your home that is completely worth the initial cost.

Change isn’t easy, but switching your light fixtures over to LED lightbulbs is a move that makes a lot of sense from both a financial and an environmental standpoint. You’ll save money on utility bills and make your home safer, and it will be many years before you have to purchase another lightbulb. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t have to replace all your lightbulbs at once. Consider making the change to LEDs in the lamps and fixtures you use the most, and then replace additional bulbs when it makes sense for you.

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