If this year’s Earth Day has you wanting to minimize your carbon footprint, take a look at what’s in your lamp.
Congress passed a mandate that requires all incandescent bulbs be phased out by 2012 and replaced with energy saving lights, including halogen, compact fluorescents and light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs. LED bulbs cost more, but they last longer than conventional lights and use less energy.
The Department of Energy says the energy savings from an LED conversion could save Americans a combined $120 billion over the next 20 years. For the energy every 50 incandescent bulbs emit, one single LED bulb can do the work.
Consumers who don’t want to give up the bright, warm glow of the incandescent bulb may find a green alternative from Switch Lighting. The company says its new technology creates a self-cooling environment inside the bulb, resulting in a brighter bulb with fewer LEDs.
Switch says its LED bulbs use 85 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and unlike compact fluorescents, they do not contain mercury. The purchase price payback in energy cost savings is realized in about one year.
Switch bulbs hit the market this fall.