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LED Light Bulbs: A Bright Idea

Some advances in technology make things easier to do. Some advances make something more convenient. And then there are the advances designed to be more efficient and save money.

That last type of advance is the impetus behind LED (light emitting diode) light bulbs, a highly efficient lighting technology increasing its presence in the marketplace. According to an article on, “In 2012, about 49 million LEDs were installed in the U.S., saving about $675 million in annual energy costs. Switching entirely to LED lights throughout the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.”

What’s different about LED bulbs? According to Wikipedia, such bulbs come to full brightness without the need for warm-up time, and most do not emit light in all directions. Yet these bulbs produce brightness equivalent to incandescent or fluorescent lamps in one of two ways. Some LEDs use multiple LED chips, each emitting light in close proximity. Others use LEDs together with a phosphor. In terms of efficiency, LEDs emit more light for the same amount of electricity and have a longer life expectancy.

LEDs do cost more than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, but dollar-cost averaging over time means they will more than pay for themselves in lower electricity bills. If you’d like to shop for LED light bulbs, visit

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