LED lights for home use have been around for a long while now, but have had trouble capturing the attention of the market due to pricing, light quality and fitting compatibility issues.
That’s now rapidly changing and there are LED lights appearing on the market that provide a more natural glow and are compatible with standard light sockets. For example, BetterLifeGoods in the USA sells a 10-watt white light bulb that replaces a 100-watt regular bulb. The company says it will lasts 50,000 hours and saves nearly USD $450 in electricity over its life while avoiding the generation of over 9,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions compared to regular light bulbs; based on coal fired generation.
While still considerably more expensive than CFL bulbs – the LED mentioned above costs USD $129 – LEDs offer some advantages over CFL based lighting.
Like CFL lamps, LED’s have no filament to burn out and they generate next to no heat – one of the problems that incandescent light globes have that cause them to use so much energy.
LED’s consume less than half the electricity of compact fluorescent lamps and have an operating life up to ten times as long. While there’s been concerns raised about the improper disposal and recycling of CFL’s as they contain small amounts of mercury; LED’s don’t have any mercury at all.
The most attractive aspect for solar power system owners, particularly those with off grid installations is certainly the power saving aspect – and this is where the seemingly steep cost of the fixture is a matter of perspective. While an LED light may cost many times more than a CFL bulb; there can be substantial savings in terms of the number of solar panels required to provide power to a home and deep cycle batteries needed to store energy in an off-grid situation..
When people are planning a solar power system for their home, often they miss one of the most important aspects. They will look at the power they are using now and build a system around that figure rather than first examining their options for improving energy efficiency. These small changes to lifestyle or equipment may cost a little, but as in the case with LED lighting, they can reduce the overall cost of a system by thousands of dollars.