Thursday, January 16, 2014

Making the Future Bright With LED Lights

There's been a lot of fuss about light bulbs lately, especially in the States where I live. Currently, we are phasing out all incandescent light bulbs. We don't really have a choice, since it's now illegal to manufacture them I believe. I'm not sure how I feel about the government regulating what kinds of light bulbs I can buy, but that's a different blog all together. The truth is, regardless of regulations, LED bulbs are amazing. Three years ago, we replaced all of the halogen light bulbs in our home with LED lights. All and all, we purchased 16 bulbs at about $15 a pop. That was quite an investment I have to say, but with our average use, we were saving close to $20 on our electric bill each month. Not only that, but the bulbs emitted such little heat that we could actually use them during the summer months without drastically heating up our home. In the three years since we've bought them, I've seen the prices on LED bulbs dip slightly making them much more affordable. In the article below, Mike talks about his love for LED's. It's a love we both share, as I would never go back to using regular incandescent bulbs ever again, even if I had the choice. Though they're a tad on the pricey side, they still come out a much better bargain when you factor in how much money you'll save on lighting (and cooling) your home. The fact that they last for 20+ years makes them a no-brainer for lights in high places, such as on vaulted ceilings or over stairwells where you need polls and ladders to change a burnt out bulb. And there's just something about screwing in an LED bulb and knowing that the next time you'll have to change it, your kids will be grown and out of the house.
From the Montreal Gazette

Mike Holmes: Making switch to efficient lights good for planet and your wallet

The ABCs on LEDs, CFLs and halogen bulbs

After a decade, Mike Holmes still cares because he knows the work he, his crew and others do makes a real difference to the people they help.

Photograph by: Alex Schuldt/The Holmes Group, Postmedia News

You might have heard of the new federal regulations that came into effect Jan. 1. Basically, manufacturers can no longer supply 75- and 100-watt incandescent light bulbs to Canadian retailers.
Retailers can sell off any stock they have left, but once that’s gone it is lights out for those bulbs.
Next on the chopping block are 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs, which will no longer be produced come Dec. 31, 2014.
Is this a step in the right direction? Absolutely.
The ban might be a shocker to some homeowners — sales are slightly up for the bulbs since the Jan. 1 regulations came into effect as homeowners stock up — but it’s old news for B.C. dwellers. Their provincial government started to phase-out 75- and 100-watt incandescent bulbs back in early 2011. The U.S. has already started to phase out 40- and 60- watt incandescent bulbs this year, and they seem to be doing just fine with the adjustment.
There has been some resistance to the switch — you can find at least half a dozen blogs where people are complaining about paying more to light up and make the switch. But like it or not folks, this is what the industry is moving toward. And it’s not a bad thing.
The phase-out might seem sudden but it’s been coming down the pipeline for a while now. It was originally scheduled for 2012 but got pushed to 2014, to give manufacturers time to adjust and develop product alternatives.
The result? More options for homeowners interested in saving on their energy bill, better, more innovative products and a drop in price for alternative lighting options, such as CFLs (compact fluorescents) and halogen bulbs.
But which ones get my vote? Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, all the way.
Halogen light bulbs are the most like incandescent but they don’t last as long and aren’t as energy efficient as CFLs and LEDs. And CFLs, which contain mercury and can emit ultraviolet radiation, are cheaper than LEDs but they aren’t as safe or as efficient as LEDs. When it’s cold, CFLs take time to warm up and are sometimes too dim. Plus, most CFLs can’t be used on a dimmer, and when they can they don’t work as efficiently.
I’ve been using LEDs for years now and in my home, in the homes of the people we help on the show. We also started to use LED work lights on my job sites — my crew loves them. And we even use LEDs to light some sets for the show.
With average use, LEDs can last at least 22 years or 25,000 hours. CFLs last only about 8,000 to 10,000 hours and halogen bulbs a measly 2,500 to 5,000 hours — but they’re still a better choice than incandescent, which last only 1,000 hours.
And when it comes to product innovation, LEDs lead the way.
Most LEDs can be used on dimmers, which use about 20-per-cent-less energy, so the energy savings are two-fold. You can also get LEDs for under-cabinet lighting, which is great for the kitchen and bar.
There are also plug-in, battery-operated LED night lights that are motion-activated. They stay off during the day, detect movement up to 30 feet, have “glow modes” and last about one year. There are even LED-lit back plates that are mini LED fixtures that live inside the junction boxes of single-gang outlets and light switches. They stay on 24 hours a day but use less than one watt of energy.
I’ve heard of a lot of people complain about how expensive LEDs are. Yes, they cost more to buy but they pay for themselves. The money you save on energy and not having to buy more bulbs — not to mention the benefits to the environment — don’t compare. When you switch to LEDs you do something good for you, the environment, your home and your wallet in the long run.
Catch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right, Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on HGTV. For more information, visit For more information on home renovations, visit

1 comment:

  1. Led Light We got a couple of these to add to our band's stage lights. We use them more like accent lights. They're small and really affordable. We like them.