Save money and energy with LED lighting

At Century 21, we're constantly trying to help our clients save money and bring them cool new technologies they may not have been previously aware of.

One of my favourite technological advances in 2010 is LED (light emitting diode) light bulbs that fit into standard sockets.  LED bulbs are not new (in fact, I ordered my first set of bulbs online 3 years ago), but they are now in stores like Canadian Tire and they now screw into the same socket as regular light bulbs (E27 Edison Screw).

They are a solid state lamp that uses light emitting diodes as the source of light.  Each individual LED gives out less "light output" so manufacturers group multiple diodes together to make one bulb. Also, diodes use DC electrical power so LED lamps have a built in circuit board to operate from standard AD voltage.

Environmental Savings:
LED light bulbs use up to 90% less energy than conventional light bulbs.  As well, they do not emit any heat, so you'll save on your air conditioning in the summer.  Compared to fluorescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs do not contain mercury, and are built stronger so they are less likely to break due to vibration or impact.

Maintenance Savings:
My favourite thing about LED bulbs is that they simply do not require maintenance.  LED light bulbs have a life span of about 100,000 hours, and can work for 25-30 years of bulb life before needing to be replaced.  As well, their life cycle is unaffected by being turned on and off.  Some LED bulbs can be bought to work with dimmers where fluorescent bulbs cannot.

Recommended Uses:
I have a few light fixtures in my house that are very hard to reach.  The one fixture is an outdoor fixture (on a photocell) above my back door, and the cover is held on with Phillips Screws.  I replaced the old bulb almost two years ago with a 12v LED bulb (which is equivalent to a 140 w bulb) and it still shines brightly all night long, using very little energy.

Another place that I put a small LED bulb was in my storage closet.  It had a 100 w bulb in there when I bought the house, and the odd time I would leave it on by accident.  Now I put a motion sensor and an LED bulb, and I don't have to worry about leaving it on.  And because it is an LED bulb, and doesn't create heat, I reduced the risk of fire.

A year ago, a friend of mine was complaining that light bulbs only last a couple months each in his house.  I did some research online and I found that you can buy 'Rural Bulbs' which are for places with old wiring such as farmhouses.  He tried those, and they lasted a little longer, but they still burnt out after a few months.  Then one day, it hit me… I bought him an LED bulb to try.  They don't have sensitive filaments that trip like a fuse if the power surges.  Just before I posted this blog, I called him to confirm it is still working, and he was so pleased that he bought 10 of them.

The technology is improving rapidly and many companies (Sylvania, Philips, GE, etc.) are getting into the race to build these as a consumer product.

Here, Philips LED bulbs are $16.99 from Canadian Tire. At this retailer, prices typically range from $12 - $20 for a single bulb or two-pack of bulbs, depending on the brand. If you buy or order from Canadian Tire, the products also come with a one year warranty, which is handy because these bulbs are meant for longevity.

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Bob Sheddy

Bob Sheddy

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