Is LED Lighting Sustainable?

Each year, new laws are written mandating increased energy efficiency in buildings, creating a demand for clean technology NOW. Many cities are committing to using 100% renewable energy within the next 50 years, so it makes sense for businesses to cut energy consumption and offset usage with other sources of energy. Many businesses are looking to pick the low-hanging fruit of sustainable requirements first, and one of the easiest changes a high return is switching to LED lighting. Is LED lighting sustainable?

Energy Efficiency

LEDs are known to use less energy while giving off more light. How? Traditional light bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat, while LEDs put off 5% or less of the energy as heat due to the lack of a filament traditionally found in incandescent light bulbs. This efficient technology also has over 4 times the lifespan of fluorescents and lasts over 20 times longer than an incandescent bulb depending on usage. This means, LED lights last an average of 13 years, using significantly less wattage than the competition.

No Toxic Materials

Mercury is a common material used in the production of fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs. Did you know non-LED light bulbs have less mercury than a can of tuna? Because LED systems are electronic chips, no hazardous materials are needed!

Waste Reduction

Not only does the production of this technology use less chemicals, it creates less waste. The average LED light can last over 10x longer than an incandescent light bulb. This durability allows for less disposal of burned out lights, cutting down the amount of waste in landfills and recycling facilities. These lights are fully recyclable at certain recycling facilities, and can be repurposed to extend the lifespan. They are easier and safer to dispose of than incandescent or CFL bulbs, which should be taken to a hazardous waste disposal facility due to the toxic materials used in production. Today, LED lighting is the most sustainable option available.

Carbon Emissions

Lighting plays a large role in a person’s carbon footprint. Almost 17% of an average person’s carbon emissions come from lighting alone. An LED bulb can have the same brightness in lumens while using lower wattage than an incandescent or CFL bulb, meaning that one can get the same brightness using a fraction of the energy. Replacing old fixtures at home and in the office with energy efficient LED models is an easy way to significantly cut energy consumption.

These are only a few of the benefits that come with LED lighting. Others include better visibility at night, increased outdoor safety, and more pleasing aesthetics. This type of lighting can be beneficial in almost any indoor or outdoor space, and can be purchased in any home improvement store or installed by companies like The Energy Smiths for large projects or hard to reach spots. Next time bulb burns out, look into going the greener route with LED technology!