Use Winter to Shed Some Light – Go Green with LEDs

Lighting your interior space the green way is a good first step on the path to environmental awareness and action. It’s also comparatively inexpensive to other eco initiatives.

LEDs (light emitting diodes) are viewed as the next generation in home lighting, as they’re more energy efficient than CFLs, lose little energy as heat and contain no poisonous gases. Their life spans are remarkable, lasting up to 35,000 hours or about 16 years based on six hours of daily use.

LED lamps can easily be recycled with regular glass products but should they end up in a landfill heap, no lasting environmental damage will be sustained, as they contain no toxic chemicals. Finally, unlike CFLs, LEDs are available in warm, cool and neutral lighting tones. They also come in many different models and styles.

LEDS are made using as many as 180 bulbs per cluster, and encased in diffuser lenses which spread the light in wider beams. When they were first produced they were limited to single-bulb use in instrument panels, electronics, and penlights. More recently, they are commonly used in strings of indoor and outdoor Christmas lights.

On the down side, LEDs are not known for their brightness and they’re still expensive. Consumers however, are beginning to understand how economical LEDs are to operate. As a result, the price of LEDs continues to drop, and many are warming to the idea of installing them in their homes and offices.

A cost comparison by considered the three main types of lighting. When run for 50,000 hours, incandescent bulbs are shown to cost over $350, CFLs have a price tag of nearly $90, and LEDs come in at almost $66.

Knowing LEDS cost more upfront isn’t as painful when you take into account the long-term savings you gain in running them. Think of it as the price of shedding new light onto your life.

ELDEN FREEMAN M.E.S., AGB, is the founder of the non-profit organization, The National Association of Green Agents and Brokers (NAGAB). Mr. Freeman is also Broker of Record at Freeman Real Estate Ltd.

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