Light emitting diode (LED) lighting is highly efficient, using a fraction of the energy of traditional lighting, and with a lifetime many times greater. LED lights are four times more efficient than a regular incandescent light bulb and last 10 times as long. LED lights also use between 50% and 80% less energy than an incandescent bulb. The small size and inherent directionality of white LEDs make them a promising option for a number of general illumination applications. Some specialized lighting examples are: under-cabinet lighting, in-cabinet accent lighting, adjustable task lighting, refrigerated case lighting, outdoor area lighting, elevator lighting, recessed downlights, accent lights, step and path lighting, cove lighting, spaces with occupancy sensors, food preparation areas, retail display cases, and art display lighting.
Some unique LED characteristics that other lighting options don’t offer include: directional light emission (directing light where it is needed), size advantage (can be very compact and low-profile), breakage resistance (no breakable glass or filaments), cold temperature operation (performance improves in the cold), instant on (require no “warm up” time), rapid cycling capability (lifetime not affected by frequent switching), controllability (compatible with electronic controls to change light levels and color characteristics), and no IR or UV emissions (LEDs intended for lighting do not emit infrared or ultraviolet radiation).
By replacing one incandescent bulb with a low-energy LED bulb in your home, you will be keeping one-half ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere through the lifetime of the bulb. Switching also keeps sulfur oxide and nuclear waste out of the atmosphere as well. If every home in the United States were to switch to LED home lighting, 90 power plants could be retired, a potentially powerful impact to the long-term health of the environment.
Health and / or Social Benefits
We all are challenged to do our part to conserve energy. By making small adjustments to the way we live, we can begin to make an impact on our world. Health problems linked to aging coal-fired power plants shorten nearly 24,000 lives a year, including 2,800 from lung cancer. The threat of climate change and the risks related to our dependence on petroleum are among the greatest threats we face as a nation and as a species. Shifting to sustainable construction practices such as LED lighting is easy and reduces CO2 emissions, saving lives and eliminating the demand for coal-fired power plants.
Though LED lights are a little more expensive to purchase, they are considerably less expensive to operate—LED home lighting requires only one third of the energy that an incandescent bulb will use. A single 18-watt LED bulb can replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb, saving 570 kilowatt-hours of energy. At a basic $.08 per kilowatt rate, that equals $45 dollars in energy bill savings.
Environmental Benefits Of LED Lighting
Efficient Home Energy Savings Website
Chinese Scientists Demonstrate 2Mbps Internet Connection over LED
Engadget Website, 2010