One of the choices that can make or break a room’s design and comfort is lighting. Although LED’s have been around for a while now, so many people are still confused about energy-efficient lighting. We all know great lighting when we see it, but its hard to figure it out for our own homes. I often see people give up on LED’s and go back to old bulbs that costs more because they think LED’s are the problem.
I spent several years in marketing for an energy efficiency company and we worked a lot with LED’s. It helped me to learn how to buy them and I’m hoping I can share some shopping tips with you. With these easy tips you can pick out energy-efficient lighting that will not only save you money, but help you create the perfect atmosphere in your own home. Without seeing all of your homes I can’t tell you exactly what kind of lighting you need, but I can give you some tools that will help you understand what to look for.
Let’s address some LED lighting myths first.
Myth #1 -LED’s Are Always Brighter Than Other Bulbs
LED’s come in varying degrees of brightness including bulbs that are warm and dim, you just have to know what to look for.
Myth #2 – Look At The Watts To Decide How Bright A Bulb Is
Watts have nothing to do with how bright a light bulb is. GASP. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see. I repeat, Watts have nothing to do with how bright a light bulb is. Watts are a measure of power usage. The lower the wattage, the less electricity it uses.
Myth #3-Changing Lighting Doesn’t Save Much Money
The Office of Renewable Energy estimates that changing just five of your most used light bulbs to LED’s can save you $75 a year. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot more than five light bulbs. By changing our home to LED’s my bill has actually decreased over $100 a month. Your savings will be based on how many bulbs you have, how much your use your lighting and other factors. But it’s a no brainer; installing lower wattage bulbs will save you money.
Myth #4-LED’s Are Too Expensive
LED’s used to be extremely expensive, but the cost has come down significantly. Big box stores have contractor packs that make them more affordable. Plus, you’ll recoup the cost of the bulbs very quickly with the savings on your bill.
Myth #5-You Can’t Dim LED’s
At first LED’s didn’t work with dimmers, but that’s old news. You do have to buy a specific dimmer, like the ones seen here, but it can be done! My dining room chandelier is on a dimmer, and all of the candelabra shaped bulbs are LED’s.