How Smart Lighting Saves The Environment November 30, 2016 00:00
Have you ever questioned what kind of bulb (LED, CFL, or incandescent) is best for the environment? Well if you have, the results are in.
In a three-part study funded by the Environmental Department, it was shown without a doubt that LEDs were significantly better for the environment than other lighting options like CFLs and especially incandescent bulbs.
The study took into account a wide range of factors and assessed just how much each bulb affected the air, water, soil, and resources of our planet and LEDs came out significantly ahead.
And it’s no surprise. Smart bulbs consume less energy, have a longer lifespan, and use safer materials than any other bulb out there.
The low energy consumption of Smart Lighting
When it comes to energy consumption, smart bulbs reign supreme.
Traditional incandescent bulbs use up a lot of energy, losing most of it by producing heat in fact. A whopping 90% of the energy required to use incandescent bulbs is lost through heat! That means only 10% goes towards actually producing light.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) have a substantially lower heat loss factor, which is part of the reason why they use around 75% less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb to create the same amount of light. Instead of using electricity to heat a filament like incandescents, CFLs send a bolt of electricity through a chamber to excite the mercury molecules within, the byproduct of which is light.
While CFLs are pretty efficient in how they use energy, the LEDs in smart bulbs can actually boast an 80% improvement over incandescent energy consumption. This is partially due to the fact that LEDs have a solid-state structure, meaning there aren’t really any moving parts to it. A current is simply sent through a semi-conductor which forces electrons to jump from one place to another, a process which results in the creation of light.
These energy savings will not only help reduce your monthly electric bill, they’ll also contribute to cutting back on global energy production, making our footprint on this Earth just a little bit smaller. In 2012 alone, for example, U.S. consumers saved over $675 million by switching to LEDs and switching over completely to LEDs by 2032 could save our country over $250 billion in energy costs alone!
The amazing lifespan of Smart Bulbs
An incredibly long lifespan is the second most environmentally beneficial characteristic of smart bulbs. Typical incandescent bulbs will generally last about 1,000 hours, or around one-third of a year for a bulb used around 6 hours a day. CFLs provide a much longer lifetime of around 10,000 hours. That’s about 4 ½ years at that same usage rate.
LEDs on the other hand, offer an amazing 25,000 hours! That means if you left an LED light on for 6 hours a day, it would last almost 11 ½ years, far outperforming CFLs and especially incandescent bulbs.
The benefits of a long bulb life are pretty easy to see. Using one LED for the same amount of time about 33 incandescents would last means we don’t have to produce as many bulbs. That means less landfill use, less production costs, and less transportation consumption which of course means cleaner air.
A mercury-free lighting choice
Another important point to note about the environmental impacts of smart bulbs is the fact that they don’t contain the same harmful materials that other bulbs, namely CFLs, contain.
As we pointed out before, fluorescent lights use the peculiar way the element mercury interacts with electricity to create light. Mercury, as many people know, can have some pretty nasty effects on our health. And as mercury poisoning is most common when it’s inhaled, cleaning up broken fluorescent bulbs immediately is especially important.
In fact, fluorescent bulbs have special disposal procedures to accommodate for this potentially deadly compound. While the amount of mercury in modern day CFLs is much lower than it used to be, exposure to this element should be as limited as possible.
LEDs on the other hand don’t contain any mercury. And although it’s still important to be mindful of a broken smart bulb, you won’t have to worry about breathing in any mercury while you clean up.
But wait, there’s more...
While the energy consumption, lifespan, and safe materials of smart bulbs are a few of the main reasons why these are the most environmentally friendly bulbs on the market, they have a couple other characteristics which can help reduce your footprint even more.
LEDs also have a much more focused light distribution than other bulbs. So while incandescent bulbs and fluorescent bulbs send their light in all directions, LEDs can light up one area without affecting the surrounding environment. Think of other bulbs as a torch and LEDs as a spotlight. That means instead of using 8 incandescent bulbs to light up a room haphazardly, you could instead use 5 well placed smart bulbs to achieve the same effect.
Smart lighting also lets you set schedules for your bulbs so they’ll automatically turn off whenever you choose. So if you’re in a rush to get to work in the morning and forget to flip the switch on your way out, you won’t waste an entire day’s worth of energy keeping your lights on.
The ability to dim any smart bulb in your home can also cut back on a good chunk of your energy use. Instead of being stuck with only one bright setting you can choose to keep lights a bit lower. Over time, you’ll be able to notice how such a simple can really help lower your electric bill.
Let us know what you think!
What else can you do to reduce your global footprint when it comes to lighting? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to go green with these Flux Smart products!