Environmental conservation and sustainability have moved beyond trendiness and are now a way of life. These terms are used on our favorite TV shows and in the news with regularity, becoming a common part of our vocabulary. There is an increased need for solutions to problems brought into the light.
Our homes’ illumination accounts for 15% of the world’s electricity consumption and 5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Homeowners can improve these numbers by replacing their traditional light bulbs with light-emitting diode (LED) versions. LED lights address energy conservation concerns and general pollution.
Lights have a longstanding impact on toxic waste and ecological degradation. To understand how LED lights affect the environment, we must first evaluate the lights independently.
What Are LED Lights?
These eco-friendly bulbs emit light in one direction compared to traditional models, which disperse light all around. LEDs can conserve their energy by distributing light from the top of the bulb. This directionality makes them 90% more effective at producing light than conventional methods.
Three aspects of eco-friendly lights contribute to their advanced efficiency. They last longer, create less waste and use less energy than commonly used bulbs.
Innovators design LED bulbs to last for up to 11 years with continuous use. The longer a bulb can function, the fewer you will need to purchase in your lifetime. This, in turn, reduces the amount manufactured, which limits greenhouse gas emissions typically released through production.
The materials used in producing 25 LED bulbs generate one traditional bulb. This reduction in excess material use can limit the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. These materials are also nontoxic, so you can safely recycle LED bulbs.
These eco-friendly bulbs use up to 80% less electricity to illuminate than other bulbs. A decrease in energy use significantly lowers one’s greenhouse gas emissions. Limiting these emissions can reduce climate change and other forms of environmental degradation.
LED Lights’ Environmental Uses
One can utilize these eco-friendly bulbs to fuel other conservation actions. Building an indoor garden using LED bulbs can protect the environment. You can transition lighting your plants through energy-efficient bulbs and natural lighting to reduce your emissions further.
Homeowners can install indoor gardens to grow their own food, cutting back on the fossil fuels burned in transporting food. These gardens also protect endangered species. The changing climate is threatening a variety of plant species. Inviting these plants into your home garden can help shelter them and allow them to reproduce.
You can also install LED bulbs in automobiles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions further. Standard cars produce 4.6 metric tons of polluting emissions annually. Eco-friendly bulbs can help reduce that number.
Recycling LED Bulbs
Unlike conventional light bulbs, you can recycle LED lights in various ways. Recycling bulbs allows one to repurpose their materials for other projects. These bulbs do not contain the harmful materials other bulbs do, so many facilities widely accept them.
Lowes, IKEA and Home Depot all accept energy-efficient bulbs for recycling. There are also mail-in programs that reuse old LEDs. You can also repurpose them for home projects.
Painting old bulbs and utilizing them for garden décor is one way to reuse lights. You can also use the bulb’s outer glass to make stained glass windows or other art pieces. Around the holidays, you can transform old light bulbs into ornaments to give as gifts.
Further Environmental Aid
There are various ways one can further aid environmental conservation through the use of LED lights. Talking to your local government officials about installing energy-efficient bulbs in public facilities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste. You can also host seminars about recycling and reusing eco-friendly light bulbs.
Continuing to explore the ways energy efficiency affects the environment can help you choose sustainable resources. Utilizing LED bulbs in your home, around your neighborhood and in local businesses can help your town significantly reduce its negative environmental impact.
Jane is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co and an environmental writer covering green technology, sustainability and environmental news.