There are lots of consumers and businesses further ahead of the game than we are at this, but I wanted to share a simple use case for LED lighting.
Problem 1: Heat
The primary reason why LED bulbs are touted over traditional incandescent is power saving. For us, we had a bigger problem with the heat that we’d get off the bulbs as a result of their inefficiency. With (8) 50 watt halogen bulbs in our boardroom, plus a projector, it got warm. Now toss in 10 people and it was sweltering. We couldn’t get enough AC in that room without freezing out everyone else. Other than AC, the other way to fight heat is to stop it from being created at all. 8 bulbs at 50 watts each equals 400 watts of heat. Moving to LED cut that heat down to 56 watts.
Problem 2: Replacement
Quoted lifespan on halogen bulbs are usually in the 1000-2000 hour range. In our experience, we were lucky to get even half of that. Maybe it’s from the tight housings that we have them in or maybe the bulbs we bought weren’t any good, but it seems like we couldn’t even go 2 weeks after getting all bulbs operational before one or more would burn out. Replacing them isn’t awful, but you have to drag out a stepladder so you don’t want to do it every few weeks. Yet, having that burnt out bulb looks bad.
Solution: LED Bulbs
So we decided to replace our hot halogens with cool 7 watt LEDs. We purchased ours from Costco for $11 each, and chose a warm color temperature. You can choose between a white-ish daylight color and a more typical “warmer” yellow light. The new bulbs are rated at 40,000 hours, so we should be able to go much longer without replacement and our boardroom should be just a little bit more comfortable. Many larger buildings are wrestling with the initial capital cost of LED bulbs as their main pain point and I can’t say too much about that, but for us, the $90 to replace all those hot bulbs with nice cool LED ones was worth the initial investment.