Back in August of this year The Home Depot announced that they would be bringing to market a new line of light emitting diodes, commonly referred to as LED, light bulbs called EcoSmart.
EcoSmart LED light bulbs have started to appear in The Home Depot retail outlets in the United States and should soon start to appear in its Canadian stores.
Good thing. Electricity rates will be going up a whopping 46% in some areas of North America over the next 5 years! Good time to be taking a second look at how much electricity we use in our home. And with lighting accounting for more than 15% of home electricity use (second only to air cooling), it is a good time to be checking on the type of light bulbs we are using.
According to The Home Depot’s press release the A19 light bulb, what I call the workhorse size of light bulb because it is typically the most common size of light bulb in most North American homes “… retails for $19.97 and is a 40W equivalent, offering 429 lumen with a 50,000 hour expected lifetime, making it the most affordable bulb of its kind in the market to date. In comparison, just two years ago, a 60-watt equivalent cost $90 and a 100-watt dimmable bulb went for $360.”.
Here is a picture of the EcoSmart A19 LED light bulb from The Home Depot which uses just 9 Watts! You will be seeing it a lot in your neighbors’ homes as well as likely your own home very soon.
I received several of the EcoSmart A19 LED light bulbs from The Home Depot. I will tell (and of course will show) you how and where I used this LED light bulb in our own home over the next several days; sometimes to replace some incandescent (i.e. old fashioned) light bulbs and other times to replace working and non-working CFL light bulbs. I also asked for and received a non-EcoSmart LED light bulb and will show and tell you of its use as well.
In the picture below, an old fashioned A19 incandescent light bulb is on the left and an EcoSmart A19 LED light bulb is on the right. As of the writing of this article, the EcoSmart A19 40W equivalent light bulb on the right below sells for $17.97 on HomeDepot.com’s EcoSmart page.
By the way, the ‘A19′ indicates the size and type of light bulb. Who knew? I didn’t. You can read my previous article on how to buy light bulbs on line of a few days ago for resources on light bulb sizes and shapes if your are interested in where the letter ‘A’ and the number ’19′ come from.
Now, why am I excited and why should you be?
First, as referred to above, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, as recently as 2008 lighting accounted for the second most usage of electricity in the home at 15.4% (Space Cooling was first at 16.5% and water heating was a distant third at 9.2%). Investing in lower wattage light bulbs of any type will, therefore, reduce the amount of electricity used in our home and thus save us money through reduced electric utility bills.
Second, we don’t need to spend thousands of dollars at once to reduce the amount of electricity used in our homes, unlike what we are forced to do if we want to replace a central air conditioner to reduce the amount of electricity consumed to cool the air in our homes during the summer. We can simply choose to use the most energy efficient light bulb available when ever a current light bulb stops working. Or we can choose to replace the light bulbs not in the entire house at once but one room or one hallway at a time as our budgets allow.
Third, unlike CFL light bulbs (you know, the curly kind shown on the right in the picture below), LED light bulbs contain no Mercury. Mercury is a heath hazard. If you accidentally break a CFL light bulb you must be really, really careful. Why do you think there are in certain areas community programs for the safe disposal of CFL light bulbs?
Fourth, like CFLs, LED light bulbs do not heat up when in use; incandescent light bulbs are incredibly hot to the touch, so much so that if you want to change one you have to turn the light off and wait until it has cooled down. Therefore, replacing an incandescent light bulb with an LED will reduce your air conditioning costs (and thus save you money from reduced electricity bills) in the summer because it will not make the air hotter when in use.
Fifth, LED light bulbs turn on instantly. Many CFL’s start at partial brightness when first turned on and will need one to two minutes to reach full brightness. We had some of these in one of our bedrooms and currently have a set in one of our bathrooms.
Sixth, LED light bulbs do not prematurely stop working if only used for a few minutes at a time. However, most CFLs (personally, I think it is all but I have not used every single type of CFL light bulb) will prematurely stop working if only used for a few minutes at a time. This is what happened to the two CFL’s in the ceiling light fixture of our bathroom as well as in a different type of ceiling light fixture in our main hallway; they stopped working after only 2 or three years and needed replacing.
Lastly, per the Washington Post, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is phasing out incandescent light bulbs over the next several years based on wattage used. Therefore, one way or another we will eventually be forced to stop using energy wasting incandescent light bulbs.
Now don’t get the idea that everything is perfect. Some LEDs tend to have a more narrow projection of the light vs incandescent and CFLs. We encountered this situation ourselves which we will talk about and show you in this series.
However, I am very pleased that The Home Depot and Megan (one of those very shy behind the scenes people) asked us to participate in this activity to start using LED light bulbs in our home, both from their new EcoSmart LED light bulb line as well as other LED light bulbs they carry. And if we make mistakes along the way, hopefully you can learn as well so you don’t repeat them. So, hopefully through our experience you will be encouraged to at least consider them for your own home … especially since their costs have come way down while electricity costs are continually on the rise; even if it is simply one LED light bulb at a time.
Next time we see how we started to use the EcoSmart A19 40 Watt-equivalent LED light bulb from The Home Depot in our home.
Select this link to see how these new electricity saving and money saving LED ligth bulbs can be used in desk top / table top light fixtures.
NOTE: The Home Depot works with bloggers such as myself to conduct product reviews. They do not tell bloggers what to say about their products or how to say it. The Home Depot fundamentally believes that people should be free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot often provides product – free of charge – to bloggers for review as they did for this post. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.
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