Replace All Bulbs With LED Bulbs
I have made the switch to LED bulbs. This didn’t happen out of any concern for the environment or out of any desire to save electricity, although those are both nice side benefits. It turns out there are great reasons to switch to LED bulbs that have nothing to do with either of those things.
LED Bulbs Save Watts AND Electricity
I discovered the great benefits of LED bulbs in a round about way.
I’m one of those people that likes nice bright light in their rooms. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do NOT like the blazing harshness of the so-called daylight bulbs. I do however, like bright (very bright?) regular light bulbs. For that reason, I look for 100-watt bulbs and fixtures every chance I get.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily see it that way, and the nice looking light fixtures my interior decorating wife prefers often have a maximum bulb wattage of 60 watts. That’s fine, if we are talking about three 60-watt bulbs, and a very translucent cover, but all too often, it’s just two bulbs, and they are further dimmed by a snazzy looking glass covering.
This is where LED lightbulbs come in. As you are probably aware, LED light bulbs use way less electricity to produce the same amount of light. As a result, you can get a 100-watt LED bulb that only uses 15-watts of actual electricity. That means I can use two 100-watt bulb equivalents in a light fixture that only allows two normal 60-watt bulbs and get plenty of lighting.
LED Bulbs Last a LONG Time
The other reason I switched to LED bulbs is that I had this older house, and light bulbs would blow out all the time. It seems like I was buying a new four-pack of light bulbs every month or so. And, with high ceilings, every light bulb change was a ladder-dragging pain in the butt.
LED bulbs last much longer, in no small part because they draw less electricity. That means each switch on and switch off causes a much smaller change in current. Plus, LED bulbs don’t rely on a tiny, glowing hot wire to generate light. That tiny wire is what breaks when a light bulb pops out.
Add it all up, and LED bulbs can last seven years or more. The best LED light bulbs claim to last over 10 years!
Now, I know that companies like to exaggerate, but even if they only last half that long, I would still only have to change bulbs once every four years! Now, that is worth it.
How committed am I to LED bulbs?
When we moved out of that old house, I unscrewed all the regular light bulbs from our new house and took them back to the old house where I swapped them out for my LED bulbs. The new house is bigger, so it will be a while before all of the old regular bulbs blow out and get replaced with LED bulbs, but in the meantime, I made sure to change out those that required the big ladder with nice, new LED bulbs. By the time one blows out, we might have already moved!
Which Kind of LED Bulbs Should I Buy?
There are some catches when it comes to buying LED bulbs, so you want to make sure you buy the right kind of LED light bulbs.
First off, like with anything else, there are some very cheap, and very awful, no-name Chinese LED bulbs out there. You don’t want these. They will hum, or flicker. They may run hot, and they likely will blow out way before their rated time. Plus, a lot of times, the light from these bulbs is really ugly. You don’t have to buy the best LED lightbulbs, but don’t go with the cheapest LED bulbs either.
I’m partial to the Phillips LED bulbs myself, but there is nothing magic about them either. Be sure to buy soft white bulbs, unless you really like those daylight type light bulbs. Also, if you have fixtures that have dimmer switches be sure that the box says dimmable on it. Otherwise, they may not work in your fixtures, even if you don’t try and dim them.
Personally, I always buy dimmable LED bulbs so I don’t have to keep track of which is which.
LED Bulbs Save Electricity
Cynics will scoff that the higher costs of LED bulbs won’t save you money on your electric bill for years, but with the above benefits, I’d be willing to pay a little bit more anyway. However, it is a good feeling to know that when you accidentally leave the lights in the basement on, it hardly matters with those smaller 60-watt LED bulbs only drawing 7-watts of electricity anyway.