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LED trying to take hold in the outdoor light-fixture market

The federal government would like to see all incandescent bulbs replaced with more energy-efficient lighting by 2014. Most people have begun replacing traditional bulbs with new compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)—and making the adjustment to the “new look” of the energy-saving and longer-lasting bulbs. Slower to gain acceptance are LEDs or light-emitting diodes, as the bulb of the future. Many home developers know that the LED light fixtures, especially for outdoor lighting, are readily available, but in many cases too costly for the consumer, even though they are money-savers over a long period of time.

Those who sell LED lighting to developers and consumers also admit there is some concern over the fixtures, which are thrown out when the bulb goes out, even though this could take years. More waste in the landfill offsets the environmental benefits of the energy savings to some degree. But as these issues are ironed out, LED will eventually become a standard feature of lighting in home and commercial buildings, say the experts.

For now, however, the replacement of incandescent bulbs with CFLs is an excellent choice, especially for outdoor lighting fixtures because they are more energy-efficient and handle cold well, plus they throw out a lot of light. The key remains to keep the light pointing downward, to illuminate the human activity, rather than at an angle that wastes light and contributes to light pollution in the sky—a cause taken up by environmental activists primarily in the West Coast states.


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