These days, it’s hard to remember a time before LED light bulbs. Remember those incandescent light bulbs? The ones you were afraid to touch because they got so hot? Those were invented in 1879 — over 140 years ago! Before LEDs, incandescents were our only option, and only 5% of the total energy they consumed was shown in the form of light. What about the other 95%? That all went to the heat being emitted from those bulbs.

The invention of LEDs has utterly transformed the energy landscape — on average, they use at least 75% less energy than incandescents and last around 25 times longer.1 And believe it or not, the size of most LED lights are the size of a grain of cracked pepper. 

In this article, we’ll give you a quick overview of LED lighting, how they work and how much you could save if you made the switch to LEDs from incandescents. It’s surprising just how much money you can save by simply switching out the light bulbs. 

It’s truly a set-it-and-forget-it money-saving strategy. 

What is an LED & Why are They Better?

An LED stands for light-emitting diode — which in basic terms means a semiconductor that produces light when an electric current passes through it. LEDs can come in a variety of colors, but for white-light LEDs, a combination of red, blue and green light is used.

LEDs are much more energy-efficient than incandescent lighting or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs — the predecessor of LEDs. LED lights produce little heat, and unlike CFLs, do not contain mercury. 

They last much longer too — thousands of hours longer. The particular number varies by company and light bulb, but LEDs on average can last 50,000 hours. That’s 50 times longer than incandescents and 8 to 10 times longer than CFLs.2

How Much Do LEDs Cost?

Not as much as you’d think. LEDs are similar to solar panels — when a new technology becomes available on the market, they typically run at a higher cost. Nowadays, you can get an 8-pack of LED lights for around $10. That’s a little over $1 per bulb, which is around the same price as an incandescent. 

Do LED Lights Save Energy?

Absolutely. By replacing just 5 — yes, only 5 — of your most-used light fixtures in your home with ENERGY STAR-approved LED light bulbs, you could save $75 every year.3 

Now, imagine if you replaced every lighting source in your house with LED bulbs. Yes, it will be a hefty upfront cost to replace every bulb in your house, but the bulbs last for years and years, depending on how often you use them. 

That could equal hundreds of dollars in savings on your electricity bill — by doing nothing other than changing out a few bulbs in your home. How easy is that? 

More Energy Savings Where That Came From

There is practically an infinite number of ways you can save on electricity in your home, not just by integrating LEDs into your home. If you’re hungry for more tips, check out our Chariot University page to learn more. →



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