By now you know that LEDs are fast becoming the preferred energy-efficient light bulb, and even Buckingham Palace is getting on board. The New York Times reports that the palace has installed LED lighting in all the chandeliers and on the exterior where "illuminating the entire facade [now] uses less electricity than running an electric tea kettle." Incredible!
Here's the good news about LED bulbs:
• They're more than twice as efficient as CFLs.
• They don't contain mercury and, therefore, don't require special disposal.
• They turn on quickly and are compatible with dimmer switches.
• They can be manipulated into a lot of shapes and sizes, and to produce a blue light that is very similar to incandescent lighting.
Here are the potential hurdles to overcome:
• Still pretty expensive. An outdoor LED spotlight today costs $100, as opposed to $7 for a regular bulb. Lighting experts say homeowners will need 5-10 years to recoup the cost in electricity savings after the initial investment.
• Current LEDs only provide directional light rather than 360 degrees, so it's better for street lights right now instead of indoor lamps.
But once they figure that out, it could reduce carbon dioxide emissions dramatically. And it bodes well that Buckingham Palace took the plunge. As the article states, Buckingham Palace is not your typical home. "They need high-quality light — they have a lot of gold...and gold tends to look silver if you light it poorly."
Hey, if it's good enough for the queen, it's good enough for us!
Read the whole article at The New York Times.