Excerpt from my book Green Lighting
LEDs offer a number of promising environmental benefits, and they are often viewed as the future of green lighting. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), LEDs eventually could cut by 50 percent the amount of energy we use for lighting globally and cut by 10 percent the total amount of electricity we use.
LEDs could cut projected 2025 global carbon emissions by 300 megatons per year while creating new jobs.
To break this down, on average. When generating a single kilowatt hour of electricity, it produces 1.34 pounds (610 grams) of CO2 emissions. So if the average light bulb is on for 10 hours a day, a single 40-watt incandescent bulb will generate 196 pounds (89 kilograms) of CO2 a year. However, a 13-watt LED equivalent will only produce 63 pounds (29 kilograms) of CO2 over the same time.
A building’s carbon footprint from lighting slashed by 68 percent. How? Simply by swapping out all incandescents for LEDs. It’s also true that the long life of LEDs should mean that fewer resources needed to produce and keep up lighting equipment. And the fact that LEDs lack mercury is a clear advantage. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that governments and private companies around the world have invested millions of dollars in research on LEDs.
In conclusion. Let’s get the big one out-of-the-way first. It’s certainly true! LEDs cost more than conventional lighting now. That’s at least when we’re talking about upfront prices. However, it’s essential to look at the total cost of ownership. Thereby including energy and maintenance costs. So and in that case, it’s not the price of the bulb that is the biggest piece of the pie. In their lifetimes, LEDs save a chunk of change over incandescent and halogen lighting. More importantly, they are starting to get close to competing with fluorescents.