This is a collaborative post.
It’s not a secret that we all need to be making changes in order to protect the environment. Public opinion is slowly changing and this year has been a great one for forward progress. Despite this, it can feel really frustrating to make positive change by yourself, especially as we know that so much of the climate crisis is caused by big corporations and a lack of government rulings.
Even though it might be a bit too much to ask that each one of us steps up and single handedly changes the world, there are so many small changes we can make – and if enough of us adapt to these new ways of living, we’ll start to see the impact. Seemingly inconsequential things can make a big difference to the environment (and to your bank account) like cutting down the amount of meat we eat, using less single use plastic, and switching to LED lighting.
LED lighting got a bit of a bad wrap for a while, but the truth is that it can make a pretty big difference and has huge green advantages over typically used compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs). If you’re curious as to why switching to LED lighting is a perfect example of a change you can make to be greener, read on.
No Toxic Elements
CFLs each contain about 4-5 milligrams of mercury. This is a pretty tiny amount, so you’d have to break quite a few in your home or office before seeing any nasty health effects. It does mean though that CFLs should be disposed of properly, which costs money and takes time – meaning that many are sent to landfills instead, which is terrible for the environment.
LED lights don’t contain any toxic elements or mercury, so switching to LED avoids both damaging the environment and the cost and time implications that come with compliance with disposal regulations.
LEDs use less power than CFLs. You can replace an 84 watt fluorescent bulb with a 36 watt LED light for the exact same effect. Not only do they draw more power from power plants, but CFLs actually only convert around 5% of this power into light, and a massive 95% of this energy into heat, which is essentially lost as it’s not exactly heat you can use for you home or office.
Meanwhile, LED lights do the exact opposite – only losing 5% of its energy to heat and turning 95% of it into light. This smaller energy use means a lesser demand from power plants, which in turn lessens the amount of fuel burnt in order to create electricity. By using LEDs instead of CFLs in your home, garden, and office, you’re not only lessening the amount of energy wasted but the amount of fuel burned – so you can bring your electricity bill down whilst working and resting easy, knowing you’re maximising your energy efficiency in terms of lighting.
Less Light Pollution
Light pollution may not seem like a big deal, but it kind of really is. If you’re not sure what light pollution is, it’s the process by which our excessive and misdirected use of outdoor lighting has brightened the night sky to the point that in towns cities it’s hard to see any stars at all. But light pollution is more than just not being able to see stars (although that’s sad enough as it is). Light pollution also messes with ecosystems and astronomical research, and disrupts sleeping patterns which results in adverse health effects.
LEDs boast a much better quality of light distribution than the traditionally used CFLs, which makes them an amazing tool in the fight against light pollution. LEDs focus light in targeted directions instead of scattering light everywhere (including up at the sky) like CFLs, which means that not only is light pollution reduced, but you’re using less lights with less wattage, which use less power.
Less Noise Pollution
As if you still needed more reasons to switch to LEDs, they’re also designed to avoid wasting energy making noises like vibrations or humming, which reduces noise pollution. It may seem tiny – a light bulb buzzing in your home or office is a bit annoying, but it’s not a big deal, right? Well, if you remember that every home and office light, every park and stadium light and every street light gives off vibrations, or buzzes and hums, that’s a massive amount of noise. LED could cut out all this white noise and help take the edge off of noise pollution, especially in office blocks or cities.
Waste not, want not
The zero-waste movement is growing rapidly. Whilst it can feel really difficult to cut out waste completely, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all be doing our part to waste less. LED lighting not only reduces energy wastage, but with a lifespan of between 30,000 and 50,000 hours, they last up to 6 times longer than CFLs. This means less carbon emissions and fewer resources needed in the manufacturing process, as less lights will be needed in the same time span, but also means less physical wastage, including packaging.
Why not make the switch?
If you’re not there already, why not consider switching to LEDs and save money and the environment at the same time? If you’re not sure how much cash you could save by using LED lights in your home or LED panels in your office, you could figure out how much you’ll be saving with INUI’s handy lighting calculator.