CFLs, LEDs, and energy-saving incandescents

Question: What started on this day in 1970 and has grown from 20 million participants in the U.S. to over 1 billion people in more than 180 countries?

Answer: Earth Day!

While we’ve undoubtedly made some good headway in the past several years regarding the amount of good information that’s out there, Americans still continue to account for a lion’s share of the world’s total energy consumption. In fact, according to one WSU study, while Americans make up just 5% of the earth’s population, we consume about 24% of the energy. To put it another way, the average American uses the same amount of energy as 370 Ethiopian citizens!

Fortunately, there are some simple to implement changes you can make in your home or office to reduce your carbon footprint and they start with the lights overhead.

“Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States.”

Just the facts, ma’am:

Here’s a quick look at where we’re at-

– About 82% of the current light bulb market is still comprised of incandescent bulbs.
– Only about 1% of outdoor lighting in the world has been converted to LED lighting.Most electric bills in the U.S. average about 25% of their total from lighting alone.
– Incandescent bulbs lose about 90% of their energy in the form of heat.
– Most LED Lights have a Minimum 5 year warranty with an estimated life of 15 years.
– LED lights are Environmentally Friendly and devoid of hazardous materials such as mercury.
– In less than 20 years, it’s estimated that LEDs will account for 75 percent of all lighting sales.

Show me the money:

By making the switch from incandescent bulbs to LED lights, most consumers see an immediate 50-90% energy savings- plain and simple.  In thinking about this on a grander scale, one study suggests that over the last two years, “about 49 million LEDs were installed in the U.S. for a total saving about $675 million in annual energy costs.”

The same study suggests that over the next two decades making the switch to LED lights entirely could save the U.S. about $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

‘Tips’ of the trade:

So we’ve got you on the LED wagon- that’s great! Here are some things you put into practice to further reduce your energy spending in addition to making the switch from incandescents-

– Take advantage of controls and timers which will automatically shut off lights when not in use.
– Install dimmers in the rooms you use most often. The lower light levels will save you big in the long run.
– Use the sun’s natural light to brighten your home during the day. A light-colored, loose-weave fabric will allow daylight in without forcing you to compromise on privacy.
– Switch out lights on the exterior of your home or business’s walkways, porches, stairs and parking lots which are generally left on a long time. LEDs not only reap those additional immediate savings, they are also more weather durable than their non LED counterparts.
– Finally, Turn Off the Lights! Sounds like a given; however according to one Reader’s Digest poll, only 50% of adults say they diligently switch off lights when exiting a room.

When you think about the fact that there are roughly 2 billion light bulbs sold on an annual basis, switching even half of those to environmentally friendly, energy efficient LED Lighting could mean big things for the health of our little planet. is proud to light the way.

Happy Earth Day- Shine on!