Back in January I shared some interesting facts about LED light bulbs and I took you shopping with me at The Home Depot as we replaced all of the fixtures on the first level of our home with LEDs. I'd hoped to wow you by reporting dramatic savings on my electric bill, but sadly our bill is actually slightly higher year over year. BUT I have some good theories on why this is the case which I'll share in a moment.
The installation process was easy as can be -- we just unscrewed all of our old CFL bulbs and screwed in the new LED light bulbs. Note that we chose not to discard our CFL bulbs since they're all still in good working condition. Instead we boxed them up and put them in the crawl space in the basement so that we can take our new LED light bulbs with us when we move. However, if have CFL bulbs that you need to dispose of, I'd encourage you to read the information here on CFL cleanup and disposal.
What immediately struck me after replacing all of the bulbs was the difference in the quality of light. It's not necessarily a good or bad difference -- it's just brighter and, well, different. I found it most noticeable in the bathroom where the light is forced out of the bulbs rather than being dispersed evenly from the entire bulb because of the way the bulbs are constructed. You can see in the image above that only the forward half of the bulb is giving off light. However, I quickly got used to this within a few days and now it's not even noticeable to me.
So I mentioned that our electric bill is actually up slightly year over year when I had anticipated it going down based on my research. I have a few theories about why this is occurring:
- First, we already had CFL bulbs installed throughout the entire house courtesy of a great deal at Target a few years ago. Because our electric usage from lighting was already incredibly low, we're not seeing a noticeable decrease from switching to LEDs. We'll still see savings in the long run; however, they will come from the fact that we won't have to replace the bulbs for many, many years to come. I'm also glad to not have to worry about the complications of cleaning up the mercury if a CFL bulb should break.
- Second, we also already have many electricity-saving measures installed in the house. Our kitchen light is on an automatic switch so it shuts off automatically after no movement has been sensed for five minutes. We also have a device that monitors our electric usage constantly so we can see how high our load is. And we tend to use our large appliances like our washer and dryer and dishwasher in the evening and early mornings outside of the peak load times which have a higher cost.
- Finally, as our children get older we're naturally using more electricity as they start using more technology and such throughout the day, taking more frequent showers instead of baths, and increasing our laundry with sports involvement.
I found it interesting to note that my father's electric bill was roughly the same as ours. We have houses of similar size; however, he has a two-person household with a regular work schedule outside of the home. In contrast, we have a seven-person household where there are nearly constantly members home since I work from home and my husband is still unemployed.
Overall, I'm impressed with the LED light bulbs and I think they definitely have an integral part in saving on our electricity. I just believe that our savings will take more time to become apparent than a household that was not already somewhat frugal with their electric usage.
Thanks for following along with me as I gave this new technology a try, and I've got one more $50 The Home Depot gift card to give away!
To enter: Just tell me -- have you given LED light bulbs a try yet? Or after reading more about them, are they something you'll consider when making your next light bulb replacement?
This giveaway will close at 3:00pm EST on 3/3/11.
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