How I Made My Home Lighting Smart and Sustainable for Less Than $500

| 10/7/2014 9:17:00 AM

Tags: LEDs, home lighting, CFL, energy efficiency, save energy, home energy, Jennifer Touhy, South Carolina,

wink hubMy Wink hub now controls all my lighting, as well as other smart devices in my home.

Since I started making strides toward a sustainable lifestyle way back in 2007, I've known that the first and simplest step toward "greening" your home is to replace outdated incandescent bulbs with cool, clean LEDs. So, when my husband and I recently renovated a 1960s house in Charleston, I decided to take over the light bulb buying duties and finally complete my quest for LED livability. However, my first trip to the light bulb aisle in search of a swath of these eco-friendly illuminators left me wondering:

1. If I'll need to remortgage my new home in order to afford them, and
2. If I would need a second college degree just to understand which ones I was supposed to buy.

LED Learning Curve

Slowly but surely, LEDs are shedding their reputation for being too bright and ugly to fit into a home's décor. This is thanks, in large part, to manufacturers' enthusiastic (albeit government prompted) adoption of the technology. Today, there is rarely a case where you can't get an LED alternative to an incandescent. However, there are now so many on the market that when the average consumer is confronted by floor to ceiling bulb options, it's understandably easier to just grab that trusty (and cheaper) incandescent and run.

To address consumer confusion, manufacturers are attempting to educate the public on how to choose the right bulb through thorough package labeling. The problem is that there are so many numbers on each bulb, it's even more confusing. When I sent my mom a picture of this bulb I was considering, she replied, "$209 for a light bulb!?"

10/10/2014 4:04:06 PM

have had luck with battery led but the 1st one i bought for lighting 115v wiped out my tv reception and i was on cable. mixed results with fluorescents bought lights of america worked the best but cannot find any store that sells them the twisty chineses do not last especially in the higher lumens which i need due to vision problems i need bright light to read and in certain locations edison bulbs are still the best choice example the attic or crawl space you might use it 1 hour a year and if cold fluorescents do not light

10/10/2014 9:05:47 AM

LEDs do seem the way to go but then so did CFLs when they were first promoted. They didn't live up to their so-called potential, did cost more than incandescent but didn't really last the lifespan we were promised. And they forgot to tell us about the mercury and that to get rid of a dead bulb you would have to go to the hazardous waste depot! Not to mention that you wouldn't be able to find that bit of mercury that escaped when a bulb broke! Hopefully LEDs will actually last the lifetime promised or those wonderful future savings will go out the window.

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