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Monday, 15 June 2015
LED Lighting Lowers HVAC Costs
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As we enter the summer months, high air-conditioning bills seem just as inevitable as death and taxes.  Something most people don't think about is that incandescent and halogen bulbs act as miniature space heaters, dumping over 90% of the energy they consume into heat… heating up your already-hot home. This means your air-conditioning has to work harder to keep you cool.  LED lighting uses a fraction of the energy consumed by traditional light sources.  They generate very little heat  (3 BTUs/hr vs. 85 BTUs/hr for incandescent bulbs) and remain cool during operation, thus easing the burden on your air conditioning system during hot weather and reducing your overall energy costs.  For every 60W incandescent (traditional) light bulb, you're spending about $13.86 more in cooling costs per year (based on Nashville/TVA's current electricity rate of 10.252 cents per kilowatt-hour) versus an equivalent LED bulb, so it can quickly add up!  Even when you consider the initial cost of LED bulbs (currently about $2.48 for a 60W equivalent bulb, compared to about $1.00 for a traditional 60W bulb), the payback period is just 6 months for a light that stays on 8 hours per day..  The savings come from reduced electricity to produce the light as well as the reduced cooling costs.  And just in case you're thinking that the heat generated from traditional lighting might be beneficial in the winter to help keep you warm, it's an extremely inefficient heat source, costing over 5 times as much as the typical gas furnace to generate the equivalent amount of heat.  Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) were promoted as an energy-saving alternative, but they're no match for LED lighting, and are falling out of favor.

LED stands for light-emitting diode. The light is generated by a semiconductor, creating an effect known as electroluminescence.

Residential Advantages

  • LEDs do not contain mercury or toxic materials. However, CFLs contain mercury, which makes them hazardous to handle and to dispose of.
  • LEDs are much more durable than incandescent bulbs because they will not shatter when jarred or hit, and are not sensitive to humidity.  Both CFLs and incandescent lights are fragile.
  • LEDs have a longer life than any other lighting source on the market.  This means reduced hassle and inconvenience of replacing burned-out light bulbs. You would need 42 incandescent bulbs (changing the bulb 41 times!) to equal the typical 50,000 hr lifespan of an LED bulb.
  • Because LEDs run so much cooler than other bulbs, they are safer.  Lighting a holiday tree or other lighting decorations using incandescent lights presents a fire hazard due to the extreme concentrated heat they produce.  Plus LEDs won't overload wall sockets by stringing multiple strands together.
  • LEDs are available in a range of hues, from remarkably bright white, to warm golden, to cool blue. 
  • LEDs offer design flexibility, and are available in unique styles and shapes. 
  • LEDs are an easy retrofit.  LEDs can be run with a dimmer (not true of most CFLs), which allows you to adjust the light level to suit your needs and create mood lighting.

Industrial Lighting Advantages

  • For industrial lighting applications such as warehouses, high ceiling environments, parking garages, traffic lights, etc. ─ the conversion to LED lighting would save many thousands of dollars in operating costs due to reduced electricity consumption, reduced need for bulb changes, ability to withstand shock, vibrations, and impact, and reduced demand on cooling. Plus, they are "instant on" (don't have to warm up before emitting a bright light, quiet (no "hum" typical of high-powered fluorescent lights), and don't require ballasts.
  • LEDs are a "green" solution, due to their vastly reduced energy consumption, reduced waste, and reduced toxic hazards ─ a win-win for health, safety, and the environment.

It's time to convert to LEDs now!

  • Why make your air conditioning work harder than it needs to? LEDs provide significant long-term cost savings and help you keep cool.  
  • If you are looking for ways to reduce your utility bills, increase the energy efficiency of your home and business with aesthetically pleasing lighting solutions, LEDs are currently an outstanding solution.

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Posted on 06/15/2015 11:00 AM by Eddie Hutton
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