LEDs: economical lighting you can use everywhere
Have you made the switch to LED lighting now that the cost of purchasing the bulbs is more affordable? I know that I've been dragging my feet. I have a few of them -- my front porch light for one, which I like to leave on all night and some days forget to turn off. (That's actually a perfect place to install a motion sensor with an LED floodlight.)
But why, you ask, should you spend money on new bulbs when the old ones still function perfectly well? The reason is that if they're tungsten or halogen bulbs, you're throwing money out anyway because the old-fashioned bulbs cost more to run every time they are on.
One reason I haven't switched all of my bulbs to LEDs is that I do have quite a few CFLs in the lamps I have scattered about the house, and those are energy efficient. They also last a long time as long as you don't turn them on and off too frequently, which can burn them out more quickly.
Advantages of LEDs
If you do have to replace a bulb, however, LEDs are the way to go. One of the many advantages of LEDs over the old tungsten bulbs as well as the CFLs is that you don't wear them out by turning them on and off. They don't get hot like tungsten bulbs, which waste most of your energy dollars giving off heat rather than light, and they last a very, very long time. If I install LEDS now at my age, I might not even have to change them again in my lifetime!
LEDs are so economical that you might want to start thinking about adding lighting to places you never thought about lighting before. For us baby boomers, that's actually not such a bad idea. Extra light seems like a necessity for aging eyes.
5 places to put more light now that it's so cheap
I recently came across some fantastic ideas for adding LED lighting solutions I might never have thought of on my own, and I wanted to share a few:
- Light up your drawers. Not your undies. Well, I guess you could light up your lingerie drawer, why not? Putting LED pucks or portable canisters in the drawers can help you find your clothes in the dark. It's great if you get dressed before the sun comes up. No more mismatched socks!
- Illuminate your closet. For the same reason you need light in your drawers, you can add LED strips and recessed lighting to the closet.
- Backlight your headboard or your sofa. Add atmosphere to your bedroom or drama to your living room -- or vice versa. Use colored LEDs and change the mood or color of a white wall. Or put an LED under the bed as a night light. Because LEDs don't get hot like old-fashioned bulbs, you don't have to worry about setting the bed on fire -- at least not that way.
- Perk up your pantry. Place LED light strips, cut to size, under the front of your pantry shelves to cast light on the labels and find things to the back that often get hidden.
- Add task lighting all over the kitchen and bathroom. Quit struggling to see because you decided that pendant lights look better in the kitchen than an overhead fluorescent. They do, but you still need to see. Install LED tape lights under the cabinets. In the bathroom, add sconces on either side of the mirror with 20W or 25W LEDs, and put recessed lights in watertight globes in the ceiling of your shower.
With LEDs so economical and versatile, you have no excuse for not having enough lighting. If you still can't see, it's probably a good idea to visit the eye doctor.
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