Select Country
Follow Us

Earth Day: 7 Facts You Didn’t Know About LEDs

With the availability of affordable, efficient LEDs, today lighting plays a significant role in the environmental movement. But lighting hasn’t always been so intertwined.

When Earth Day was invented in 1970, millions participated in clean ups, teach-ins and other activities to show concern for the environment and make an impact in positive ways. At the time, lighting wasn’t an active part of those conversations. The most talked about light source of the day was probably the popular camera flash cube – which even 10 years after the advent of Earth Day would represent half of all light bulbs on the market. Obviously, the lighting industry has massively transformed.

Today LEDs represent approximately 20 percent of the market – and growing. These efficient light sources are already making major impact today, but we have lots of runway to go bigger and bolder. In honor of our upcoming Earth Day, here are my top seven fun facts tied to the potential of LEDs:


1. Seven billion pounds of green house gas emissions reduced

If every American switched out one light bulb with an Energy Star LED. That’s equivalent to removing the emissions from 648,000 cars. 

2. $566 million saved

In annual energy costs if every American replaced just 1 light bulb with an Energy Star LED. That’s enough to light 2.6 million homes for a year. 

3. Nearly 200 extra hour-long TV shows powered

If you switched just one 60-watt traditional light bulb with an LED. 

4. One big vacation earned

Switching every bulb at home to an LED could save as much as $6,000 over the bulbs’ life. Hawaii, anyone? 

5. More easy meals and treats

With the energy saved from switching to one LED you could microwave three two-minute meals per day for an entire year. Or, you could buy approximately 40 extra lattes over the bulb’s lifetime. 

6. See your baby off to college

LEDs last 13 to 22 years or up to 25 times longer than traditional light sources. If you installed an LED in your newborn’s room it could still be running strong by the time you send him off to college or even celebrate his graduation.

7. Big change with your spare change

Today, you can find a branded LED for $5 or less. You can probably find that much in your couch cushions and be on your way to deeper energy savings and impactful environmental change.

This Earth Day, make the pledge to switch to LED, to realize deeper energy savings, to do your part to protect the environment and to save time and money year after year.

Bill Lacey is CEO of GE Lighting. 

Image credit: Getty Images

All views expressed are those of the author.


Subscribe to our GE Brief