Mass Adoption of LED Lighting is Changing US Carbon Footprint
Trying to keep your home’s energy costs down can be a real challenge; after all, you depend on things like heating and cooling to keep your family comfortable and safe. However, there are ways to improve your home’s overall energy efficiency if you’re willing to make a small initial investment. For example, implementing LED lighting into your home can go a long way in terms of cutting down your energy use, thereby reducing your energy bills as well as making your home more environmentally friendly.
Why LED Lighting is so Effective
You might be a little hesitant to begin switching out all of your old bulbs with LED versions—after all, it seems like newer and better technology comes out every few months. Continuously replacing something that becomes outdated after a few months is not only expensive but also impractical. However, LED lighting is the real deal. It’s light years ahead of other lighting options in terms of efficiency. Just consider some of the benefits of using LED lighting:
- LED lights use less energy – A LED light uses six to eight watts (power per unit of light generated). This is a drastic improvement over the 13 to 15 watts used by compact fluorescent lights and the 60 watts that a typical incandescent bulb uses.
- LED lights produce less heat – Incandescent bulbs produce 85 BTU’s an hour, while compact fluorescent bulbs produce roughly 30 BTU’s an hour. The heat generated by these bulbs directly works against the cool air your HVAC system produces in warmer months, resulting in the additional loss of energy. LED lights only use 3.4 BTU’s an hour.
These benefits result in substantial energy savings. The annual operating cost of 30 LED lights is roughly $32.85 a year, whereas it will be around $76.65 a year for compact fluorescent lights and $328.59 a year for incandescent lights.
Reduce Your Home’s Carbon Footprint
While it should be apparent how LED lighting can help to make your home more energy efficient, thereby reducing your energy costs, understanding how the use of LED lighting can help reduce your home’s carbon footprint may be a little unclear to some.
Your Carbon Footprint
Your carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide that you release into the air. Human beings naturally breathe out carbon dioxide, but they also produce it from burning carbon-based fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse emission and although animals produce it naturally, too much of it causes pollution and has led to global warming. Because of this, reducing your carbon footprint is vital to the environment around you.
How LED Lighting Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
There are two basic ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint by replacing your incandescent light bulbs or compact fluorescent light bulbs with new LED lights.
- Primary way to reduce carbon footprint – The main way that LED lights will reduce your carbon footprint is by using less electricity. The generation of electricity produces carbon dioxide. Because LED lights use so much less energy to produce light, they in turn produce much less carbon dioxide than incandescent lights and compact fluorescent lights.
- Secondary way to reduce carbon footprint – The entire manufacturing process, from the manufacturing of the bulb and its packaging materials to the transportation of the bulb contributes to the production of carbon dioxide. This means that every time you replace a bulb, you’re contributing to more greenhouse emissions. Fortunately, LED lights last much longer than incandescent bulbs or compact fluorescent bulbs, thereby reducing the frequency at which you need to replace them. LED lights have an average lifespan of 50,000 hours, whereas incandescent bulbs only last 1,200 hours and compact fluorescent lights only last around 8,000 hours.
All in all, the use of 30 LED bulbs will produce roughly 451 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Compact fluorescent lights produce 1,051 pounds a year and incandescent bulbs produce a whopping 4,500 pounds a year.
As you can see LED lighting can have a big impact on cutting energy costs and reducing your carbon footprint, but it’s only one of the ways that you can improve your home’s energy efficiency.