Birds, bees and LEDs…

Before the majority of lights available at any given big box store were LEDs, I was forking out $60 for two strings of blue lights to drape on our son for holiday pictures.  This was three years ago, when they were hard to find and NEVER on sale.

LED holiday lights are everywhere now, and that is fantastic.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs — enough to light two 24-foot (7.3-meter) strings.  Even better, LEDs produce more light per watt than incandescent bulbs, so you can do more with less.  Check out this neat calculator to figure out what you’d save by switching…

LED vs conventionalHow do they do this?  Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, use electron movement in tiny semiconductors (the same chips that help run computers, only much smaller) instead of filaments like incandescent bulbs.  In plain English, little electrons move around inside the chip and this motion creates the illumination.  If you really want to learn more about how these work, click here…

As a parent, I love these because they don’t get hot.  Anyone who’s ever spent more than a minute with a three-year-old knows that they’re going to touch anything that lights up. At least with LEDs  I can rest easy knowing he won’t lose his fingerprints.  Also, LEDs are encased in hard plastic instead of glass, so they’re more durable and less likely to pop between pinching little digits.

If you’re still using old school lights, pledge to make 2009 their last year of duty.  I’m not even going to get into the environmental benefits of swapping inefficient lights for new ones… you know it’s the right thing to do.  For your wallet and the planet.

And of course… if you EVER have any questions about energy efficiency or related technologies, feel free to contact me directly.  I love helping people realize the sound investment made in an energy efficient future!

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