LED Lighting, should I switch??

We all heard the switch to the curly (Fluorescent)  lightbulbs

My personal concern is the possible unknown amount of possible mercury that is in these bulbs and the possibility of them breaking and releasing it into my home in my kids rooms or even possibly my kitchen over a cooking area and into my food.  Danger danger danger Clean up under and around after you break one of these bulbs. unknown to consume less energy, now we are hearing to switch to LED lighting.  Do we really need to keep spending money to supposedly save money and energy?   What are the benefits to LED lighting, and why should I spend more money and more time switching out to the new LED lighting?


First, lets talk a little more about what LED means.   LEDLight–emitting diodes.  LEDs are “directional” light sources, which means they emit light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, which emit light and heat in all directions. For this reason, LED lighting is able to use light and energy more efficiently in many applications.      (taken from Energystar.gov )

Here are some of their benefits:

1.)  Very long lifetime usage.   New LED light bulbs are suppose to last 100 + hours.  That is 10 – years of constant usage or 20 + years of 50% usage.  So, if you use the LED light bulb for 8 – 10 hours a day it would take about 20 years before you would need to replace it.  – that sounds worth my time and money –

2.)   Energy Efficiency.      Compare:

                                     Incandescent                             CFL                                                 LED
Approximate cost per bulb $1                                           $2                                                $8 or less
Average lifespan           1,200 hours                                 8,000 hours                                25,000 hours
Watts used                       60W                                             14W                                             10W
No. of bulbs needed for 25,000 hours of use

21   bulbs                                    3   bulbs                                  1 bulb
Total purchase price of bulbs over 23 years

$21                                        $6                                              $8
Total cost of electricity used (25,000 hours at $0.12 per kWh)

$180                                             $42                                              $30
Total operational cost over 23 years

$201                                             $48                                               $38

(chart taken from  thesimpledollar.com )

3.)  Eco-Friendly.    The LED lights are free of toxic chemicals.   Lots of people are finding that the incandescent bulbs have made people sick from the amount of mercury used.


4.) Low UV Emissions.    LED bulbs produce a small amount of UV, but they emit even less because the amount of UV that is produced is converted to white light by the phosphors inside the lamp.  And due to the low UV emissions places like museums and art galleries are preferring the LED to protect their art.  unknown

5.) Lots of Uses.  LED can be used in lots of conditions and for lots of purposes.  LED is being used for mood lighting, well lit rooms, and offers lots of colors.  They can also be used for outdoor lighting and while other bulbs are affected by extreme cold the LED bulb is not affected by the weather.

I hope this helps you decide if you want to change out your bulbs and sometimes the fixtures have to be changed. As always, call a licensed and insured electrical contractor.



Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 11.46.59 PM

Disclaimer:  Always check local and state laws before doing any electrical work on your home or building.  Always call an electrical contractor for work.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke Detectors, they are extremely important life saving little nuisances.


We had some neighbor boys over the other day and I was cooking and the smoke alarm starts ringing, so my kids all jump into well rehearsed action and start opening windows and fanning the smoke alarm.  I look at the boys and they are a little frightened standing by the door ready to escape. I said “don’t tell me you guys don’t use the smoke alarm as a dinner bell?”  They just smiled a little more frightened and then played outside the rest of the time.

But lets be serious, these have saved countless lives and could save countless more if people install them correctly and change the batteries 2 x a year.  What a pain, I know, but when it comes to protecting your families lives, is that really too much to ask?  There are so many different types and laws and preferences on smoke alarms.  My wife just learned that you are supposed to change the smoke detector out every 10 years.  

So what are the different types of smoke detectors?  There are heat detectors and smoke alarms.    Heat detectors  have a lower false alarm rate but they are slower than smoke alarms at detecting fires.  Smoke alarms have different choices also.

So, does it matter where my detectors are and if they are connected to each other.  Absolutely!  many laws require the 120 volt interconnected alarms with the battery back up in case of power outage.   It is especially important for the interconnected in town homes or apartment buildings, and condos, large buildings and shopping strips.

What about Carbon Monoxide/smoke alarms?unknown-1

Definitely!   Every home with at least one fuel-burning appliance/heater, attached garage or fireplace should have a carbon monoxide alarm.  If the home has only one carbon monoxide alarm, it should be in the main bedroom or hallway outside of the sleeping areas.  An alarm should be on every level of the home and in sleeping areas.  Make sure nothing is covering or obstructing the alarm. Test the carbon monoxide alarm once a week by pressing the test/reset button.  Remember, it may be a nuisance but it is for protecting your family.

Well, this has been fun, I am off to check my carbon monoxide alarm!

Disclaimer:   Remember, always call a licensed insured electrical contractor to work on your electrical.  Always check with local and state laws before you do any work.


Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 11.46.59 PM