Aside from their superior light quality, economic value, versatility and adaptability, LED light bulbs also offer considerable advantages to those who care about the environment.
Firstly, there is the matter of energy efficiency. LED lights expend far less heat energy than other forms of light technology, and are unbeatable at converting what energy they consume into light – often 80% or more efficient than filament bulbs, for example.
So, where a 60watt incandescent bulb will require well in excess of 500 kWh of electricity over the course of a year, an LED bulb providing at least equal light output might need less than 70 kWh over the same period. So immediately, your carbon footprint can be reduced by hundreds of pounds from changing just one bulb.
But the energy consumption of a bulb is not the only way by which we can assess its impact on the environment. As is well known, LED lamps also have an extremely long lifespan. In fact, where a traditional light source might have a lifespan of, say, around 1000 hours, that bulb’s LED replacement may be somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 hours.
That means that if you were to put a new LED light in your garage at the time of the arrival of your newborn baby, you might not have to change that LED again until that baby of yours is ready to enter college (if ever).
But in terms of your carbon footprint, this means something else entirely. Every time you replace a bulb (which you would have to do maybe fifty times in the case of a traditional bulb before you would with an LED), your impact on the environment is increased by the amount of that bulb’s carbon output as it is:
- a)manufactured (including the extraction and transportation of its raw materials)
- b)packaged (and all those associated material and production requirements)
- e)used, and finally
- f)turned into waste
Measuring that total impact on the environment, and your personal carbon footprint, then, is a complicated procedure. It is further complicated by the fact, however, that where the LEDs are non-toxic and 99% recyclable, other forms of lighting are not.
Nevertheless, what is clear is that LED lighting is incredibly efficient, and as such, will reduce the impact of lighting on the environment in categories as varied as ozone depletion, freshwater Eco toxicity, and metal depletion. Furthermore, it is also clear that LED technology represents the future in efficient, environmentally friendly lighting.