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LEDs illuminate 10 times longer than CFLs and 100 times longer than incandescents. They are mercury-free, and are better at saving energy than the most efficient compact fluorescents.

Find it! LED lighting

Look for LED lighting for task lamps, spotlights, outdoor gear, and light strips. They are ideal for outdoors as they are much more durable than CFLs and can withstand colder temperatures.

Before you buy

LEDs are much more expensive than incandescents and even CFL bulbs. Some cost between $35 and $65 each. But don't let that deter you as they generally pay back relatively quickly. This calculator will give you an ideas as to how long it will take until you receive a payback on your investment.LED bulb savings calculator.

Choosing LED lights helps you go green because…

  • They use a fraction of the energy incandescent bulbs use, and are even more energy efficient than CFL bulbs. Their use translates into fewer carbon emissions from power companies.
  • They don’t generate heat like incandescent bulbs, so fans and air conditioners can be used less frequently or at lower levels.
  • They last longer than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, so there’s less need to replace bulbs, which decreases production and disposal considerations.
  • Unlike incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, they contain no mercury.
  • The low-voltage required means solar power can supply sufficient energy.

Though homes and businesses around the world are currently replacing their wasteful incandescent light bulbs with the longer lasting, more energy-efficient CFL bulbs, there is yet another technology coming that may revolutionize the lighting industry and the way we think about illumination. LEDs are semiconductors that when tapped with an electronic current, produce light. Each LED diode, at about one-fourth-inch in diameter are small in size, but can be grouped together for greater intensity and are better at focused, or single direction lighting.

The big draw for LED lighting, however, is their efficiency and energy-saving ability. Some current estimates have LED bulbs lasting 10 times longer than CFL bulbs and more than 100 times longer than typical incandescent bulbs, while using a fraction of the energy of incandescent bulbs.[1] Additionally, LED light bulbs contain no mercury (present in other bulbs, such as CFLs), so don't pose the same risk of toxic exposure. And they're cool to the touch, which means they don't produce heat like incandescents. As a result, they don't increase indoor temperatures and therefore reduce cooling bills as well.

Currently, LEDs are in the efficiency range of fluorescent tubes, and researchers are under mandate from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to ultimately deliver LEDs with 150 lumens per watt throughout a projected lifetime of at least 70,000 hours.[1] In comparison, incandescent bulbs are capable of 10-18 lumens/watt and last for about 1,000 hours, and CFL bulbs emit 35-60 lumens/watt and have a lifespan of 8,000-10,000 hours.[2][3]

The benefits of research currently in progress may have a large impact on the lighting industry. According to one researcher, if 25 percent of the light bulbs in the US were converted to 150 lumens/watt LEDs it could save $115 billion in utility costs by 2025, alleviating the need to build 133 new coal-burning power stations and cutting carbon emissions by 258 million metric tons.[4]

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