LED is everywhere, in our phones, HDTVs, microwaves, and GPS, so why not in our lighting systems? The U.S. Department of Energy says residential LED lights use at least 90% less energy than incandescent lights and last up to 25 times longer. By 2035 energy savings from LED lighting could top 569 terawatt hours a year, equal to the annual output of more than 92 one-gigawatt power plants. And according to DOE, LED lights also reduce hazardous waste in landfills and terrestrial and aquatic pollution. Switching to LED lighting minimizes your domestic and commercial carbon footprint. Let’s learn why LED is a top contender in emission reduction.
What is Carbon Footprint?
Carbon footprint is a quantifiable understanding of the impacts of our actions on the environment. It is measured by how much carbon individuals and collectives release into the atmosphere. Apart from CO2 emissions, other greenhouse gas emissions, such as methane, F-gases, and nitrous oxide, and climate impacts like airplane vapor trails get added.
CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, is a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints. It expresses the impact of different greenhouse gases in CO2 that would create the same amount of warming. A carbon footprint consists of various greenhouse gases expressed as a single number.
According to Mike Berners-Lee, author of The Carbon Footprint of Everything, the carbon footprint is the “sum total of all the greenhouse gas emissions that had to take place in order for a product to be produced or for an activity to take place.” These activities and products can be household energy use, transport, food, clothes, appliances, etc.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), electric power generates the second largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, which accounts for 25%.
Things to consider when selecting lighting for your home or office space
When selecting lighting for your home or office space, here are some key things to keep in mind:
Purpose and functionality – do you want ambient, task, or accent lighting for your space? Different spaces may require different types of lighting to fulfill their specific functions. For example, kitchens and offices typically require brighter lighting for tasks, while living rooms and bedrooms may benefit from softer, more ambient lighting.
Light color and temperature – these factors can significantly impact the atmosphere and mood of a room. Warm white light (around 2700K to 3000K) creates a cozy and relaxing ambiance, while cool white light (around 3500K to 4100K) is more energizing and suitable for workspaces. Consider the desired mood and functionality when choosing the color temperature.
Cost savings – opt for energy-efficient lighting options to save on electricity bills and reduce your environmental impact. LED bulbs reduce electricity consumption and have a longer lifespan than traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. It means you will save money over time on frequent replacements and maintenance costs.
Dimming and control options – consider whether you want the ability to dim the lights or control them remotely. Dimmers and smart lighting systems offer flexibility in adjusting the lighting levels according to different activities or preferences.
Aesthetics and design – lighting fixtures should complement the overall design and style of the space. Consider the size, shape, and finish to ensure they harmonize with the room’s décor. Use fixtures with appropriate diffusers or shades to minimize glare and create a comfortable environment.
Environmental impact – reducing your carbon footprint is just as important when you choose a lighting option. It’s an easy way to do your part to cut emissions. LED lighting can reduce carbon emission in homes and businesses.
The benefits of LED technology provide all the above necessities when you want to select cost-effective, versatile, and eco-friendly lighting.
LED lighting accounts for 47% of U.S. households for most or all of their indoor lighting in 2020, according to the most recent results from the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). The share of U.S. homes using mostly CFL bulbs for indoor lighting fell from 32% in 2015 to 12% in 2020. Households using incandescent or halogen bulbs for most of their indoor lighting fell from 31% of the total in 2015 to 15% in 2020.
LED lighting and the carbon footprint
LED lighting offers several advantages over traditional lighting options, such as fluorescent or incandescent lighting, which can contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
LED technology is highly energy-efficient compared to conventional lighting sources. They require significantly less electricity to produce the same amount of light. LED bulbs can be up to 80% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and around 20-30% more efficient than fluorescent lights. By using less energy and with minimal heat loss, LED lighting reduces the demand for energy generation, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions.
LED bulbs have a longer lifespan than traditional bulbs. They can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and around 3-5 times longer than fluorescent lights. The extended lifespan reduces manufacturing, transporting, and disposal of light fixtures, resulting in lower carbon emissions associated with the entire lifecycle of the product.
Reduced heat generation
LED lights produce significantly less heat than incandescent bulbs. According to the Department of Enrgy, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat, and CFLs release about 80% of their energy as heat. LED lighting converts a higher percentage of the energy into light. This lower heat generation reduces the need for cooling systems, especially in commercial buildings, which can further save energy and reduce carbon emissions.
No harmful substances
Unlike traditional lighting options, LED lights do not contain harmful substances like mercury. Mercury is commonly found in fluorescent bulbs and poses a risk to the environment and human health if not disposed of properly. By eliminating mercury and other toxic materials, LED lighting reduces the environmental impact of their production, use, and disposal.
Smart lighting controls
LEDs are easily compatible with intelligent lighting controls such as motion sensors, timers, and dimmers. These controls help optimize energy consumption by automatically adjusting the lighting levels based on occupancy or daylight availability. By reducing unnecessary lighting, LED lights contribute to energy savings and lower CO2 emissions.
LED lighting is highly compatible with solar power systems. Solar panels generate direct current (DC) electricity, and LED lights operate on low-voltage DC power. This compatibility makes it easier to power LED lights using solar energy, reducing costs and reliance on fossil fuel-based electricity generation.
Overall, LED lighting offers significant energy efficiency improvements, longer lifespan, reduced heat generation, absence of harmful substance, and compatibility with smart controls. By adopting LED lighting, individuals and organizations can contribute to reducing their carbon footprint and promoting more sustainable energy practices. LED Craft offers a wide range of lighting and signage solutions. What can we help you with?