For more than a century, the light bulb has stood as a symbol of innovation and human ingenuity.
Today, the LED light bulb is living up to that reputation by taking energy efficiency to a whole new level.
Sitting on the counter of The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric is a display reading, “The new LED lighting from Philips is here, and it can change everything.” It contains Philips brand LED replacement light bulbs that use just a fraction of the energy of the traditional incandescents they replace.
A 60-watt incandescent light bulb can now be swapped out for a12-watt LED. A 40-watt incandescent can be replaced with an 8-watt LED.
“Saving energy is as easy as changing a light bulb,” joked Jim Pender, president and CEO of Rockingham Electric.
Consumers will soon be able to replace their old 60-watt incandescents with a new, highly-efficient 10-watt LED light bulb from Philips. This replacement light bulb won Philips the Department of Energy's first-ever Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize in August.
If every 60-watt incandescent bulb in the country were replaced with the 10-watt L Prize winner, Americans would save around $3.9 billion worth of electricity.
And incandescent light bulbs are being legislated out of existence. By January 1, 2012, 100-watt incandescent light bulbs will no longer be manufactured, due to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, in favor of new more energy efficient lighting.
“The world of lighting is changing rapidly, probably more than any other category we work with,” Pender noted.
The Lighting Store also carries the next generation of incandescents, halogen light bulbs that look just like the classic light bulb, but use less energy. A 60-watt traditional incandescent can be replaced with a 43-watt halogen light bulb.
“There is a tremendous amount of interest in energy-efficient light bulbs right now,” Pender reported. “They are still more expensive, but people realize the payback.”
A partnership between the Green Alliance and Rockingham Electric is making energy-efficient light bulbs even more affordable. Members of the local consumer co-op get 10 percent off everything in the store at The Lighting Center in Newington and The Harbor Lights in Hampton.
Saving money, energy and the environment aren't the only reasons to make the switch to energy efficient light bulbs.
“LED light bulbs last a lot longer,” Pender said with a smile. “You can install one up high in a place that you need a ladder to reach and not have to worry about it forever.”