Did you know that it’s World Environment Day? On June 5, the United Nations will hold its annual celebration, hosted this year by China.
The theme is ‘Air Pollution’ and, although we don’t have China’s pollution problems, improving air quality is an important goal for all of us.
If you want to make a quick, affordable change, you can switch out your old incandescent bulbs for new energy efficient LED lights. Even small changes can have a noticeable impact if we make them together.
Let’s look at some of the adverse effects of incandescent and CFL (compact fluorescent) lights and compare them to the benefits of LED lights.
Light Bulbs and Your Health
The light bulbs in your home can have a significant impact on your overall health. Incandescent bulbs use much more energy than LED bulbs, which contributes to pollution.
The more pollution there is in your neighborhood, the poorer your health will be. Your breathing will suffer, and the particles and free radicals in the air from the pollution will prematurely age your skin.
Traditional incandescent lights can flicker, especially as they near the end of their lives. This flicker can cause headaches and eye strain. CFL bulbs can also flicker quite a bit. However, LED lights usually don’t flicker, which can help reduce headaches if you’re prone to them.
The heat from an incandescent bulb can be a hazard to small children in your home. The last thing you want is for your toddler to burn his hand when exploring the fascinating world around him. However, LED lights give off very little heat, making them a safer choice for homes with children.
UV Light From Bulbs
The sun emits enough UV light to cause sunburns and other adverse effects, so we don’t need to be exposing ourselves to UV radiation inside our homes as well.
CFL lights emit a noticeable amount of UV radiation, so much, in fact, that they’re quickly falling out of popularity. The United States FDA even cautions residents to stay at least 11 inches away from CFL bulbs while they’re burning to avoid potential radiation.
Why would you want something in your home that you can’t be near without exposure to harmful radiation? Incandescent bulbs give off less UV radiation than CFL bulbs, but LED lights emit no UV radiation at all. Also, LED lights give off light in the blue spectrum, which is similar to the light from the sun.
One of the primary benefits of blue light is that it stops your body’s production of melatonin, a chemical that makes you feel sleepy. Blue light in your home and office can make you feel more awake and alert during the daytime. Incandescent bulbs give off light in the warmer red spectrum.
Red light does not slow your production of melatonin so you might feel more slugging during the day if you only have incandescent lights in your home and office. Many LED lights nowadays can change their color temperature as the day progresses. By the evening, they’ll give off warm light to perfectly support your natural sleep rhythm.
LED Bulbs Don’t Contain Mercury
Believe it or not, stores still sell light bulbs that contain toxic mercury. CFL bulbs, if broken, can emit poisonous mercury gas into your home. This is especially dangerous for small children and pregnant women.
Even unbroken bulbs need to be wrapped in a plastic bag and taken to a designated disposal site such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. If you were to throw out a CFL bulb in your regular trash, it would eventually shatter and begin seeping toxins into the ground and nearby water sources.
Instead of toxic bulbs, choose LED lights that contain absolutely no mercury. LED lights are better for your health and better for our planet. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on expensive, high-efficiency appliances to help Mother Nature this World Environment Day. Affordable upgrades like LED lighting are better for you, your energy bill, and planet Earth.
If you’re interested in upgrading your lighting, but you aren’t sure where to start, give us a call!