LED (light emitting diode) is the most efficient type of lighting on the market and can be a significant money saver when it comes to your electric bill.  Home and business owners alike are choosing to upgrade their lighting fixtures with retro-fit LED bulbs or replacing fixtures in their entirety to an LED option.

LED fixtures use around 10 percent of the energy of incandescent bulbs. The cost savings of LED bulbs are worth the initial investment, and are a more environmentally friendly choice.  LEDs also last longer, making the higher cost a little more attractive. A typical LED bulb lasts about 50,000 hours, whereas an incandescent bulb only lasts about 1,200 hours.

On average, LEDs use approximately one eighth of the energy that incandescent bulbs use.  If you are replacing a 60-watt incandescent bulb, you only need a 7-watt LED bulb to get the same lighting benefit. When you have a lighting fixture that is rated at 60 watts per socket and the light may not be bright enough, you can increase the wattage capacity with an LED bulb – casting more light from your fixture without overloading it.

LEDs can be used almost anywhere, and can easily replace any incandescent bulb, PAR and MR reflectors (used in track lighting), decorative bulbs and under cabinet lighting. More and more, LEDs are being used for exterior home lighting because of their efficiency, versatility and ability to interface with smart home systems.

When you think LED, most consumers imagine modern and sleek designs.  However, LED comes in all types of styles, from traditional to transitional, and have even been incorporated into crystal designs. LED fixtures can be used for bathroom vanity fixtures, kitchen pendant lighting, ceiling fans and even grand entry foyer lighting.

When shopping for LEDs, there are a few things to consider: lumens, color temperature, the direction of light, does the bulb need to be dimmable, and will the bulb be used for indoor or outdoor use. LED bulbs can change the way your lighting fixtures and lamps appear, just by changing your bulbs to your favorite LED style.

Although referenced in wattage, LEDs are actually measured by Lumens and Kelvins. However, for the ease of consumers, LEDs are packaged and measured by comparable incandescent wattage.

 are measured by the amount of light given off by one candle.  The more lumens of the LED bulb or fixture, the brighter the light will be.  Color temperature is measured in Kelvins with a range typically of 2200k to 6500k.  The lower the Kelvins the more yellow the light – the higher the Kelvins the bluer the light will be. Direction of light is important as well because most LEDs are designed to emit light in only one direction, unless designed otherwise. It is important to take this into consideration when selecting an LED bulb for your fixture.

Not all LEDs are dimmable, so if you are planning on installing a dimmer switch, to make sure the bulb has that capacity. Not all dimmer switches will work with your new LED fixture or replacement bulbs so make sure you select the right one. Lastly, if you are installing a new LED fixture or replacing bulbs on an existing outdoor fixture, you should make sure they are able to be used in damp or wet locations, if that applies.

LED bulbs and fixtures need sufficient air flow when in operation.  Do not use LED bulbs for an appliance light, like over an oven or dryer and do not use them in an airtight fixture, like over a bath or shower.

The advantages of LED fixtures and bulbs are clear.  They provide higher efficiency, have a longer life expectancy, are shock resistant, provide a high quality of lighting, and can produce a wide range of color temperatures from yellowish to white to blueish.  There are only a few disadvantages to LEDs, which are; their output decreases over time, their output is directional and they are more expensive than other types of bulbs.  It is clear that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

If you are looking to save on your energy bill, consider purchasing an LED fixture, for the most energy savings, not just changing the bulbs.  The US Department of Energy has estimated that increased adoption of LEDs over the next 15 years would decrease electricity demands from lighting by 62%, prevent 258 million metric tons of carbon emissions and eliminate the need for 133 new power plants.

Once you have replaced your light bulbs or lighting fixtures with LEDs, you can sit back and relax.  Chances are your bulbs will not need replacing for about 15 years.  Many lighting manufacturers provide extended warranties on LED fixtures because of their reliability and endurance.  An LED lighting fixture is a good investment in the environment and your home energy costs.

Stephen Molloy, President  –  Molloy Electric Inc.

(718) 524-5513      www.molloyelectric.com