The Twelve Days of a Green Christmas…Seventh Day…

On the seventh day of Christmas my green friend gave to me…7 LEDs, 6 fair-trade chocolates, 5 solar lights, 4 faucet aerators, 3 large rain-barrels, 2 new thermostats and a live…Christmas tree!

In case you just started reading my Twelve Days of a Green Christmas and are wondering why, on New Year’s Eve, I am writing about Christmas and the twelve days of it, you should read my First Day of a Green Christmas to understand.

Photo: Lowes LED bulb

Last year I wrote about CFLs on the 7th day of Christmas and I said with cost of LEDs being so high CFLs were a more affordable choice.  I’m happy to say this year that LEDs have become more affordable and many are replacing bulbs with LEDs.  I have actually started replacing a few bulbs and find the colors as well as the dimmable feature to be a great reason to switch some of my bulbs.

Of course I am not suggesting getting rid of all your CFLs that you added to your bulb collection last year or earlier but there may have been a few bulbs you did not change because they were on dimmers and CFLs do not work well with rheostats. This coming year might be a good time to try out a couple LED bulbs in those appliances or light fixtures that are on dimmer switches.  LEDs are “directional” light sources which means they emit light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs which emit light — and heat — in all directions. For this reason, LED lighting is able to use light and energy more efficiently in many applications.  Another nice option is a choice of color, i.e you can choose “warm”, “cool” or “daylight” in many of the bulbs.  Several different styles and socket sizes are also available.

On a grand scale ENERGYSTAR (a program developed by US DOE and US EPA) tells us “if every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that’s earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars”.  OK, that’s great…I will be helping to save the planet, but what are the 7 LEDs that I got today going to do for me and saving me money?

LED light bulbs are 10 times more energy-efficient and brighter than CFLs.  The folks at This Old House say “by the time you’ve replaced twenty 75-watt incandescents, you’ll have reduced your annual electricity bill by at least $325“.  A good LED lightbulb will cost about $10 and will probably not need to be replaced for decades.  Think about this also….it makes sense to replace any bulbs that are in fixtures that are hard to reach with LED bulbs that you may never have to replace again.  And, as a Real Estate Broker, I can tell you a house with LED bulbs installed is more attractive to potential buyers than a house with incandescent bulbs.  It’s not a huge investment but the perceived value is huge!

So, as we celebrate the seventh day of Christmas and the end of 2013, I’d like to end my year of posts with with this wish…Happy New Year…may 2014 be filled with good health, happiness and greener choices throughout the coming year!

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