Lovin’ LED, Uh…Not So Much!

3 Jun

In an effort to be somewhat green but mostly to try to save on our power bill, we have been really conscientious about things that we haven’t before such as putting gaskets in the outlets on outer walls, over insulating the attic, insulating the garage doors, basically lots of little things that hopefully will add up to a cost savings on our power bill.  We are still troubleshooting some HVAC issues and don’t want to have huge power bills here in the new house.  My husband has a Fluke thermal imaging camera at work that he borrowed and brought home to check for ‘hot spots’ around the house.  He loves gadgets anyway so he’s had a great time shooting the ceilings, garage doors, anything that shows up red and means hot air is leaking though.  He hit pay dirt when he shot the can lights in the ceiling.  They were registering about 95 degrees even when they were turned off so obviously we’re leaking cool air with them.  The thing is the builder must have found a light fixture clearance sale when he built the house because he loaded the house full of these can lights.  There are about 15 in the kitchen alone. My husband immediately started researching LED lights and saw that we could save a lot of money per light if we changed all our regular bulbs out to these new LEDs.  I have been resistant to LED lights ever since they first came out with the LED Christmas light strands.  They just don’t look right – they have this awful blue haze look so I was not a fan of changing everything out to LED.  If any of you know my husband you know that when he decides to do something he’s all in – go big or go home.  He ordered a huge box of the things and thus proceeded to go around and replace everything with the $40 dollar apiece new lights.  But even with the huge up front cost, in the long run you’re supposed to still save a lot on your power bill.  The kicker is that the bulbs are supposed to last for 22 years, that’s not a typo, yes 22 years.  I just bought a 2 year bulb last week and it blew out in a week, so I’ll believe that when I see it.  Hmmm…  Anyway I get up the next morning after he’s changed the lights in the basement room and needed to get a flashlight out to see how to make coffee.  It’s already sort of dim in here, but with the LEDs it’s awful.  Can you say down right gloomy!  After my cussing and complaining about the blasted things he finally agreed they might not be as bright as the other ones.  This coming from a man who hates dim lighting and always had every light on in our old house because he likes it bright.  Next phase of research begins.  They have a new and improved LED now that is specifically made for can lights.  It is actually a one piece unit that contains the baffle, bulb and outside trim in one piece.  We’re trying these next to see if it’s any brighter.  Give me the regular old power hog light bulbs any day.  I don’t care if I’m not being green!!  The new LED can unit is supposed to run on fewer watts but more lumens than traditional incandescent lights.  What is a lumen anyway?  I have never cared.  I just would pick out a light bulb that had the appropriate wattage and shape for the light fixture that was being replaced and went with it.  He doesn’t understand why I’m not joining in with his delight in this find.  He has even put together stats on how we’ll break even on the up front cost of the lights in just one year based on our energy savings.  Phillips Electric could hire him for a sales guy – he has the pitch down pat.  I said “Honey can’t we look at some furniture and fabric samples now?”  I am tuned out.  Lumens are so much more exciting!!  Stay tuned for a lumen update once we’ve changed them out and get our first month’s power bill after going to LED.

2 Responses to “Lovin’ LED, Uh…Not So Much!”

  1. Aunt Jo June 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

    Amy, you’re a hoot! And I agree about the lights. I got some and took them back. But now I love the little strings of under-the-cabinet-lights in the kitchen. I’d have them everywhere–cool and light up!
    Aunt Jo

  2. Sunny June 12, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    This cracked me up. I can hear the conversation between you and Scott just as clear as if I had been there.

    Just think.. If he doesn’t wan o help wih furniture and fabric, you get free reign, and he can’t complain. You did offer to include him.

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