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Switch to LED and save up to $50 in your next electricity bill

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if you’re still using an incandescent light bulb, you’re living in the dark.
While just a decade ago, you only had one single choice to make to light up your home, now you have three, Incandescent, CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and LEDs (Light-emitting diodes) light bulbs. Before you know it, you will have only one choice to make when incandescent and CFLs become obsolete.
You will recall heading to the hardware store to pick up some incandescent bulbs, choosing a wattage based on how bright you needed the light to be. In recent years, technology has brought us bulbs — namely, CFLs and LEDs — that have now made incandescent lighting obsolete. Not only are these new options more energy efficient, they can also last years, or even decades, longer than the standard light bulb.
A standard 60-watt-equivalent LED light bulb costs only a few dollars. And this is why incandescent light bulbs are being phased out - they waste a lot of energy and don’t last very long.
This is also why we are only going to be talking about CFLs and LEDs here.

But, why is this important?

Well because lighting consumes the most energy in your home
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CFL vs. LED Light Bulbs: What’s the Difference?

Is the long light bulb the CFL bulb and the LED the curly light bulb? Or is it the other way around — CFL is the curly light bulb and LED is the long light bulb?
Answer: CFL is the curly light bulb and LED is the long light bulb.
CFLs work differently than incandescent bulbs in that, instead of running an electric current through a wire filament, they drive an electric current through a tube that contains argon and mercury vapor. This process creates ultraviolet light that quickly translates into visible light, unlike incandescent lights which put off a warm glow.

The big difference between CFLs and incandescent bulbs is how much energy it takes to use them over time. CFLs use about 70% less energy than incandescent bulbs. They also last years longer than traditional bulbs, and only cost a dollar more.

However, one of the biggest drawbacks of CFLs is that it takes a few moments (from 30 seconds to 3 minutes) for them to warm up and reach full brightness. That means they’re not ideal in spots where you want lots of light as soon as you flip the switch, such as a dark, steep basement stairway. They also cannot be used with a dimmer switch.

Plus, modern CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, which is very harmful to both your health and the environment.

LEDs on the other hand, were for years most commonly found in small electronic displays. As the light emitted by each tiny LED is directional and fairly weak, household LED bulbs were always in the perphery until recently. They work by bringing together currents with a positive and negative charge to create energy released in the form of light. The result is a fast source of light that is reliable, instantaneous, and able to be dimmed.

CFL Light Bulbs

Benefits:

  • Use less energy than incandescent bulbs
  • Cost less than LED light bulbs
  • Produce extremely bright light that spreads evenly
  • Available in soft, warm, and bright white hues

Cons:

  • Cannot be used with a dimmer switch
  • Take a few moments to heat up and reach full brightness
  • Contain mercury, a toxic heavy metal
  • Can be sensitive to cold temperatures

LED Light Bulbs

Benefits:

  • Light up immediately, like an incandescent bulb
  • Don’t heat up much at all – they stay cool to the touch even after use
  • Last up to five times longer than CFLs; can literally last a lifetime
  • No sensitivity to cold temperatures
  • Do not contain mercury
  • Some models can be used with a dimmer switch
  • Available in soft, warm, and bright white hues

Cons:

  • Directional light that may not spread as evenly as other sources
  • • Currently cost more than CFLs

LEDs LEAD the way!

What sets LEDs apart from incandescent bulbs and CFLs is just how long they can last. LED light bulbs can last anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 hours, or up to five times longer than any comparable bulb on the market.

But that combination of efficiency and durability has historically come at a cost. LEDs cost more money than CFLs and incandescent bulbs. The good news, however, is that their price has dropped considerably over the years and will continue to drop as supplies and production increases.

LED obviously isn't perfect yet. In addition to the slightly higher cost, LEDs are vulnerable to high temperatures.

LEDs and fluorescents put off "cool" or bluish light compared to the "warm," yellowish light typical of incandescent bulbs. The difference in lighting types can take some adjustment, but LEDs obviously offer numerous advantages over incandescents. LEDs are even easy to dim and are perfect for encouraging plant growth, since they efficiently put off tons of light without producing heat that could potentially be damaging to plant life.

Is the Cost of LED worth it?

Firstly, look beyond just the upfront price of each bulb you buy; you should also factor in how much each option will cost to operate over the years. A bit of money spent today can often lead to substantial savings in the long run - Buying one quality bulb that lasts decades will save you more money in the long run than buying a dozen or more cheaper ones that keep burning out.

And then there’s the cost of the electricity used to light the bulb. Both CFLs and LEDs use considerably less electricity than traditional bulbs. However, in the CFL vs LED battle for energy efficiency, the LED light benefits make it a winner, hands down.

Here’s how much each type of bulb would cost to purchase and operate over a 25,000-hour lifespan (about 23 years at three hours per day):
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Now consider that those savings are from just one bulb. Think about the number of lights in your house — some fixtures, like chandeliers or ceiling fans, probably even use three bulbs or more. If you replaced 20 incandescent bulbs with LED light bulbs throughout your home, you could save up to $5,000 over their 25-year lifespan (and that’s assuming utility rates don’t rise).

Still, you don’t even have to make that big of a commitment to realize some significant savings. Switching just the five most-used lights in your home — for instance, the lights in your living room, kitchen, and entryway, which are probably in use for up to four hours a day — could save you around $500 a year on your electric bill.

Conclusion

By making the switch to LED, you’ll save a lot more in the longer run, make less trips to the hardware store to replace your lights and it is much safer to use. Most of all, as it is energy efficient and eco-friendly, you contribute to saving the environment. Various colours and designs are available today so there’s no reason to say your home will not look less beautiful.

Engage a qualified and licensed Electrician at iimafix for an assessment to make that switch to LED
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