Make the bright choice: Switch over to LED lights

LED lights

Thinking about swapping incandescent bulbs or Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) for LEDs in your home? Don’t think twice! It’s a great way to reduce your energy use and has several advantages. These include saving money on your electricity bill, superior light quality, and lower environmental footprint. You will also need to replace bulbs only once in around 10-15 years instead of doing it every few months.

LED bulbs are different from old-fashioned incandescent bulbs in the way they produce light. In traditional light bulbs, electricity is passed through a thin wire filament. LEDs produce light through the use of a semiconductor that emits light when an electric current is passed through it. This is also different from CFLs in which electricity is driven through a tube containing mercury vapor and argon to generate invisible UV light. This is then absorbed by a fluorescent phosphor coating inside the lamp, causing it to glow.

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While early LEDs were limited by high prices and low availability, the technology has developed a lot in recent years and prices are dropping all the time. This has made LED lights much more accessible and affordable.

For instance, a pack of three 7 Watt LED bulbs of Eveready (equivalent to 15 Watt CFLs) will cost you Rs. 379 on Amazon, while a pack of three 15 Watt CFLs costs Rs. 329. The price difference isn’t big and the energy savings that LEDs provide, make them well worth buying.

LEDs use almost 90% less power than traditional bulbs and because of their low running cost, they can pay for themselves through energy savings in a few months. With each LED, you can save around Rs. 162 per year. Let’s say, if you have 10 LEDs in your home, then you save Rs. 1620 in a year. LED bulbs have very long life (more than 15 years if used on an average for 4-5 hours every day) and are not likely to fuse. It might be tempting to buy cheap but non energy-efficient bulbs, but in the long run you will be better off with LEDs.

Comparison Matrix

Parameter

Bulb Type

Incandescent

CFL

LED

Wattage 60 14 7
Energy efficiency 0% 50% 88%
Lifespan (hours) 1,200 8,000 50,000
Annual cost saving per bulb Rs. 85.50 Rs. 162
Warranty offered Nil 1 year 2-3 years

*Comparison matrix source: http://eeslindia.org/delp-delhi/

To accelerate the adoption of LEDs, the government of India has launched the Domestic Efficient Lighting Program (DELP). Under this scheme, LED bulbs are distributed to consumers by electric power companies at subsidized rates, and are available through select distributors such as Snapdeal.

DELP is helping save 68 lakh kilowatts of power every day with a cut in 645 megawatts of power demand during peak hours, a 5,520-tonne drop in daily carbon emissions and savings of Rs 2.71 crores a day.

As LED bulbs are more durable and efficient, switching over to them is the right choice.

But what will you do with your old bulbs? You should always recycle e-waste. Never throw away CFLs in garbage as they contain mercury – another good reason to swap them with LEDs.

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