Sunday, April 1, 2012

Earth Hour vs. LED – Which is Better for the Environment?

Earth Hour vs. LED – Which is Better for the Environment?

Did you participate in Earth Hour over the weekend?  On Saturday, between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. the world – or much of it – went dark in an effort to help save the planet.  I probably would have participated if I weren’t at work in the middle of a huge project that had to get done soon.  No one can fully participate – just turning off your lights, TV and video games for an hour isn’t the same as going and tripping all the breakers (which is when your power is truly OFF) and no one that I know that participates in Earth Hour goes to that extreme.

With LED, it could be Earth Hour every hour of every day.  Most LED light bulbs have a life span of 25,000 hours – 25 times as long as an incandescent and 2.5 times as long as a CFL and without any of the hazardous chemicals contained in CFLs.  Most LEDs save up to 80% of energy consumption when compared to incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.  Depending on the number of lighting fixtures in your home, I don’t know how much switching all of your bulbs to LED will save you, but it’s bound to save more, especially in the long run, than deliberately turning the lights off for a single hour once a year.  That happens all day, every day or whenever you have the lights on.

And that’s taking into account how many people or places actually do it.  It may make a huge impact if the entire Phoenix metro area went dark for an hour, but only for that hour and the hours surrounding it that people took preparing for it.  For example, I highly doubt the gas station/convenience store down the street from my house participated – or that any of the people inside of it did.  Studies show that if new efficient lighting technologies – like LED – were implemented globally, the world could achieve an energy savings of 40 percent.  That’s 555 million tons of CO2 or 1.5 million barrels of oil per year.

So if you participated in Earth Hour, good for you, it probably does help a little bit.  But next time Earth Hour rolls around, I’ll just be sure to have finished my LED makeover by then.

No comments:

Post a Comment