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LET THERE BE LEDS

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) have become the go-to choice for energy-efficient lighting, consuming 50 to 80 percent less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. But an even more efficient option is light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which use semiconductor technology to convert electricity directly into visible light.

LEDs use a fraction of the electricity required by other light sources: a six-watt LED generates more light than an 11-watt CFL or 40-watt incandescent while using 45 percent less electricity than the CFL and 85 percent less than the incandescent. According to our research, if a million households each replaced one 40-watt incandescent bulb with a six-watt LED, and used it six hours per day, more than 53,000 metric tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide would be kept out of the atmosphere per year.

LEDs offer other advantages as well:

Despite the advantages, two important factors have thus far kept LEDs from entering the mainstream:

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Written by: Union of Concerned Scientists.


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