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Now is the Time to Switch to LED Lights

LED light bulb

With the New Year upon us, now is a great time to start reevaluating our energy consumption and the way our lifestyles impact the environment. One great step toward that goal is making the transition from traditional light bulbs to LED (light-emitting diode) varieties. Today, LED lights can be found in virtually any store where traditional bulbs are sold, and making that switch is easier than ever. With Christmas lights deeply discounted immediately after the holidays, it's also a smart time to invest in greening next year's decorations.

While some might hesitate to make the switch because of the higher cost of LED, for many, the following benefits more than justify the higher price tag.

    1. Less Energy Consumption. It takes substantially less energy to power LED lights than their traditional counterparts, which will result in potential savings with your electric bills. Therefore, although you may initially pay more for an LED bulb than an incandescent bulb or fluorescent light, the energy savings over time actually make LED the better option from a financial perspective.

    2. Lower Replacement Cost. As with the energy savings, LED lights will save you money because they need to be replaced less often than conventional lighting sources. While some traditional bulbs last for only a few months, you can usually expect LED lights to last for years. That also means less hassle for you with climbing ladders and replacing bulbs.

    3. Resource Conservation. Because homeowners have to replace LED lights less frequently than other lights, LED light manufacturers don't have to churn out huge volumes of their products. As a result, fewer resources are used to make the lights.

    4. Reduced Waste. If LED lights continue to work for years on end, users will find themselves discarding fewer bulbs. In addition, LED bulbs are relatively easy to recycle, and virtually every component of an LED light can be reused or repurposed.

    5. Less Pollution. Mercury, a hazardous metal found in fluorescent lights, can be released if the bulb is broken or upon disposal. High doses of mercury contamination can harm our water supply and food sources. In addition, the energy used to power incandescent lights emits a great deal of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In contrast, LED lights contain no mercury and their energy requirements emit approximately 90% less carbon dioxide than incandescent.

    6. Efficient Production of Light. While light production in incandescent bulbs also results in the production of a great deal of heat, the same is not true with LED lights. Rather than wasting energy on wasted heat production, LED lights efficiently harness energy resources to only create light.

    7. Durability. Changing traditional light bulbs can be tricky, as a wrong move can result in the bulb crashing to the ground and shattering into millions of tiny, sharp pieces. In contrast, LED lights are not fragile. They are solid and much stronger than incandescent and fluorescents.

    8. Silent Light. When using LED lights, you won't encounter the buzzing or humming you might with conventional light bulbs.

    9. No Wait. Some traditional lights take a little time to reach their full brightness, but that's not the case with LED lights. Instead, LED bulbs power up almost immediately, so there is no wait time.

    10. No Rush to Replace. Most varieties of light bulbs burn out with no notice. One minute it's lit; the next minute it needs to be replaced. With LED lights, however, the light typically gradually becomes dimmer over time. Therefore, you'll have ample notice that the light will need to be replaced before it completely gives out.


Not only is using LED lights a great way to reduce energy consumption, minimize waste, and generally protect the environment, it can also help you save money. Therefore, when making your New Year's resolutions, consider making the transition to LED this year.


Chris Long is a store associate at a Home Depot in the Chicago suburbs, where he has been helping customers since 2000. Chris has interests in household electrical topics ranging from smoke detectors to solar panels.