LED Lights are the Sustainable Choice

*this is a sponsored post

I’ll be honest, when LED lighting first came out I was NOT a fan. Especially LED Christmas lights. I didn’t like the glow that the lights emitted. I actually thought it was tacky! I wasn’t happy about the push to switch to LED and I argued with my husband about the nation-wide switch to LED. He kept telling me that the bulbs lasted longer so it would save money and lower the country’s carbon footprint. If you google “LED lights ugly” you’ll find a long list of articles bemoaning the “ugliness of LED”. They can be ugly, but notice I inserted the word can into this sentence. You see LED lights are actually pretty cool, you can program them to change colors and actually adapt the light to your personal preferences. In fact, they’re not really ugly at all; you can actually have fun with them! You know those cool Edison style bulbs that are in trendy coffee shops? They’re LED! LED lighting is not just a trend, it’s the lighting source of the future.

From a sustainable standpoint LED’s are absolutely the way to go. They are way more energy efficient, lowing your electric bill and your carbon footprint. LED, stands for light emitting diode. It is solid state light, which means it uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. The Department of Energy says that “LED bulbs can be six to seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent". In 2012 over 40 million LED bulbs were installed in the US. This switch lead to an energy savings of over $600 million nationwide. Another cool Department of Energy fact “switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.”

LED’s also have a smaller impact on the environment upon disposal than incandescent light bulbs. They contain no mercury, and unlike fluorescent light bulbs don’t need a special hazardous waste disposal. Fluorescent bulbs need to be specially handled upon disposal because they do contain mercury. I don’t think this is widespread knowledge, which makes you wonder how much mercury is lurking in the landfill. This is concerning because mercury is a neuro-toxin which affects the brain, liver, and kidneys. It’s especially dangerous for young children. Mercury that ends up being improperly disposed of in a landfill can actually leach into groundwater. But that’s not all, mercury is a liquid at room temperature and as liquids do it evaporates. This cause gaseous mercury to be released into the air. Most of the mercury found in landfills that have been studied is from fluorescent light bulbs. LED’s can be just as bright as fluorescent so there is no reason not to switch.

Me and my boys inside of a giant LED light Christmas ornament!

If you like the sound of saving money, helping the environment, and lowering your carbon footprint consider doing an LED retrofit. In some cases you can switch out your old incandescent bulb for an LED bulb, but most of the time you’ll need an LED retrofit. An LED retrofit is simply making your existing light fixtures LED capable. For an LED retrofit you can hire an electrician to come out, decide your needs, and do the work for you. If you’re a homeowner consider finding an electric company that help you with your conversion to LED and even audit your home to help you become even more energy efficient. The sooner you make the switch to LED the sooner you’ll be saving money and lowering your carbon footprint. There’s really no reason not to switch!

If you live in the Jacksonville area I have the perfect electric company your LED retrofit, American Electric . They can help you will your LED retrofit and also audit your electric use, to help you further save on electricity and lower your carbon footprint. Hiring an electric company to help with the LED retrofit process will give you piece of mind and take one more thing off of your to-do list. American Electrical Contracting is one of the largest residential and commercial electrical contractors in northeast Florida. They love helping their customers will all of their electrical needs and have a high standard of excellence.

I hope that you make the switch to LED. There are just so many reason to switch. Spending the time and money to do an LED retrofit will pay for itself with your savings from reduced energy needs. Plus you can have the piece of mind of knowing you are doing something simple and frugal that is helping the environment and the community around you.