For those who both care for the environment and like their house to be bright and light-filled, the question isn’t ‘should I switch to LED light bulbs?’, but rather, ‘how soon can I make the change?’ Perhaps you have just moved to a new house or you are thinking of ways to lower your carbon footprint. Either way, LED lights are the responsible, practical, cost-effective way to go.
Greater Energy Efficiency
Needless to say, when it comes to efficiency, LEDs are the winner! LED light bulbs are up to 80 per cent more efficient than incandescent and fluorescent ones. Unlike its less sustainable counterparts, LED bulbs waste only 5 per cent of energy as heat, converting the rest into light. LED lights also require less power – typically, a 36 watt LED bulb will give off the same amount of light as an 84 watt fluorescent. LED lights therefore rely less on the energy provided by power plants, making them an important part of a household’s sustainability plan.
As noted by Simonetta Longhi in a paper published in Energy Economics, “A large proportion of a country’s energy consumption is, directly or indirectly, the result of household decisions. In the UK, a household’s residential energy consumption accounts for about 20–25% of the overall household direct and indirect CO2 emissions.” Therefore, she says, reducing energy consumption at a household level could go a long way towards reducing the UK’s overall carbon emissions. Often, change begins with seemingly ‘small’ decisions that can have a very important impact when made by many households simultaneously.
A Lower Toxic Load on the Environment
Because LED lights are free of mercury and other toxins, it is easier to dispose of them, thus saving you the time and effort involved in compliant disposal of toxic materials. These bulbs also last longer (up to 50,000 hours compared to the just 10,000 hours for fluorescent bulbs, and 1,000 hours for incandescent light bulbs). Finally, LED lights are breakage resistant, because they are not housed in glass enclosures.
LED lights not only have a longer lifespan but are also clearer and brighter. By using them you can avoid conditions such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which tends to start in the autumn months and continues throughout the winter. The symptoms of SAD are similar to those of depression and can include tearfulness, a loss of pleasure in previously satisfying activities, low mood, feelings of despair, a loss of self-confidence, etc. Poor, inappropriate lighting can also contribute to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), which can cause headaches, tiredness, a blocked or runny nose, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Switching to LED lights makes sense from an environmental perspective, but it is also cost-saving, time and energy efficient, and safer. Since LED bulbs can help keep conditions such as SAD and SBS at bay, they contribute to your physical and emotional wellbeing, making them a safe bet for families wishing to feel and do their best.
Now working as a writer, Jackie started her career in Environmental Health and Conservation, but after becoming a mother refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she’s not writing, she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities and also has a menagerie of pets to look after.