In August 2023, a rule that would effectively ban the sale of common incandescent and halogen light bulbs went into full effect. Those types of bulbs do not meet the minimum standard of emitting 45 lumens per watt, making them energy inefficient. One of the most eco-friendly alternatives is the light-emitting diode (LED). And if you’ve been paying close attention over the past several years, many Texas Energy Providers have recommended switching to LEDs.
Read on for more information about the future of lighting: LEDs.
What are LEDs? And how do LEDs work?
LEDs differ from other types of lighting. As ENERGY STAR explains, “An electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs and the result is visible light.”
Heat created by the LEDs is absorbed into a heat sink. This keeps it from getting too hot and burning out. In fact, LEDs don’t usually “burn out” like we’re used to seeing with other types of lighting. Instead, their brightness slowly dims over time.
If you look at the packaging of an LED light, the lifetime listed is actually a prediction of when the light output decreases by 30%.
Why do Texas Energy Providers recommend LEDs so highly?
LED light bulbs offer a number of advantages over other light bulb types. Here are a few reasons why electric companies in Texas recommend we all switch to LEDs:
LEDs save energy
Residential LEDs use at least 75% less energy (and up to 90% less energy) than incandescent light bulbs. If everyone used LEDs instead, this energy savings would significantly reduce carbon emissions.
LEDs save money
As they use so much less energy than regular bulbs, LEDs can help you lower your electricity bill. Lighting makes up about 15% of an average home’s electricity usage. Using LEDs instead of traditional bulbs can save an average of $225 per year.
LEDs last longer
It’s true that LEDs cost more than regular bulbs at the time of purchase. However, LEDs last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. That means over time, you won’t need to buy nearly as many LED replacement bulbs for a fixture as you would if you used regular bulbs. Plus, the cost of LEDs continues to drop. This fact, combined with the money-saving efficiency of LEDs, gets you to a break-even point faster than in the past.
And while there are some drawbacks to LEDs (such as blue light exposure and increased light pollution) that need to be researched and addressed, they do show promising advantages over incandescent and other types of lighting.
What are some of the savings I can expect from an LED?
While you may or may not want to run out and replace all of your household lighting with LEDs at once, you can begin with impactful baby steps. Replacing bulbs in high-usage areas (like the kitchen and living room) is a great place to start. And replacing high-wattage bulbs with LED-equivalents will help you lower your usage.
Even one bulb can make a difference. For example, replacing a 43-watt halogen bulb with a 9-watt ENERGY STAR® rated LED bulb of the same luminosity could save $4.76 per year. And that’s just one bulb!
What else should I know about LEDs?
Texas energy providers like Reliant Energy, Green Mountain Energy, Direct Energy, Cirro Energy and Discount Power are examples of companies that embrace energy efficiency. Adopting LEDs is one easy way that homes and businesses can do just that.
You can also turn to ENERGY STAR® for more information about LEDs. Check out their LED purchasing checklist and their Choose a Light Guide to help you find the perfect LEDs for every room in your home.
Find and compare electricity rates in Texas
Residents of the Lone Star State have the power to choose Texas electricity providers for their homes! To make quick apples-to-apples comparisons of electric companies and plans, and sign up with just a few clicks, check out Everything Energy.