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LED Technology – Greener yet!

For the month of November, BC hydro is offering a $15 immediate rebate off LED bulbs at Home Depot in BC. I was amazed to learn that changing out just the four – 60 watt overhead incandescent bulbs in my kitchen amounts to $456 in energy sa

vings over the life of the bulbs. Well so far, I’ve changed out about 35 bulbs of varying wattage reducing 1200 watts of energy usage… That is close to the equivalent of a space heater or or hair dryer.

So according to the rated energy savings of these new LED’s over using incandescent bulbs, that equates to appprox $2830 over the lifetime of the bulbs (rated between 25,000 and 30,000 hours ea.). The cost of purchasing these lights so far has been $550.

Compact fluorescents contain mercury and produce ‘dirty electricity’ that can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome, which is characterized by muscle aches, weakness and fatigue, and may also may cause headaches, depression, aches and pains, dizziness, memory loss or confusion; and impaired sleep… this has been one of the main reasons i have switched back to incandescent (from fluorescent) and now to LED technology.

In the past I have used a combination of daylight, and cool fluorescents mixed with tungsten bulbs to get as close as possible to ‘daylight’ – 6500 kelvin’ light temperature in the makeup room and print media room. You may be saying ‘you can get daylight fluorescents’, but they produce excessive UV and are missing noticeable parts of the spectrum. I was very pleased to find a 40 watt Philips LED that produces 5000 kelvin which is a very acceptable color temperature for my makeup artist to work under*. My digital camera is balanced to 6500 kelvin as ‘daylight’ (as is yours), and my flash equipment is daylight balanced so it makes sense to create an environment for the makeup artist that mimics daylight as close as possible.

Some additional advantages:

Instant ‘on’ light • Dimmable • Mercury and lead free • quiet (no hum) operation • Emits virtually no heat and will not fade fabrics or furnishings • Color temperature stays consistent as you dim (tungsten goes noticeably orange)

While LED’s are still relatively expensive to make the jump, especially when the payback is over years, you have to ask the questions about your health, overall carbon footprint, and practical uses to determine if they are right for you.

*refers to the the calibration of your digital camera – Daylight = 6500K, not what you have it set on i.e. shade, cloudy, flash etc.

*Philips Lumileds’ patented conformal coating process addresses the issue of varying phosphor thickness, giving the white LEDs a more homogeneous white light – WO 2008104936