Today, we are gabbing with Tyson Taussig with Lighting Inc. about LED lighting. LED stands for light-emitting diodes, and these LEDs were originally used for computers, cars, and other electronic components. It’s only been recently that LEDs have become commonly used for home and office lighting. And the benefits of switching to LED lighting are worth taking a look.
The Benefits of LED Lighting
Tyson explored a number of benefits of transitioning your home or business from incandescent to LEDs. Here are the highlights:
1. LEDs Are Available in a Wide Selection
Just a decade ago, you’d be hard pressed to find the kind of LED bulb you needed. Plus, they were expensive. Today, LEDs are available in even specialty bulbs, and they are priced as low as $5 per bulb.
2. They’re Energy Efficient
Because LEDs are so much smaller in comparison with other light sources, they put off much less heat. Since they are more energy efficient, LED bulbs don’t need to be changed as frequently. They can last 5–10 years, meaning not only are you no longer changing bulbs, but you’re not spending the money or putting old bulbs in landfills. That’s good for homeowners as well as facility and maintenance teams, and of course, for the environment as well.
3. They Look Amazing
When you switch to LEDs, you’ll notice a cleaner light source. Switching to LED lighting can make a big difference in your home’s décor.
4. It’s Easy to Switch
If you can change a light bulb, you can start switching to LED lighting. It’s just that simple.
When Should You Consider Switching to LED Lighting?
Some people think that, if they are still using incandescent bulbs in their homes, they’ll just wait until they burn out to replace them. Since LEDs last up to five times longer than their counterparts, every time you turn on an older bulb, you’re actually wasting money.
Instead of waiting, you can realize significant savings by switching to LED lighting now. According to The Simple Dollar, over a 23-year period, the total cost of an incandescent bulb will be $201, versus $48 for CFL bulbs and $38 for LED lighting. If you change now, you’re essentially putting $163 back in your pocket over the next two decades.
Full Podcast Transcript and Audio
Marla E. C.: Okay. This is Marla, the Green Home Coach, and you’re on the Green Gab Podcast. And today, I am so excited to have Tyson Taussig … That’s a mouthful, Tyson.
Tyson T.: Well you keep nailing it.
Marla E. C.: Thank goodness!
Tyson T.: I’m so glad to be in here, Marla. Thanks for having me.
Marla E. C.: And we are going to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart, and that is lighting. And you are a master at lighting.
Tyson T.: I wouldn’t call myself a master yet, but I am absolutely loving it.
Marla E. C.: Well you’re a master in my mind.
Tyson T.: Yes.
Marla E. C.: So tell us a little bit bit about you and where you are and what you’re doing.
Tyson T.: Yeah. Well you know, LED lighting, this is not the only thing I’ve done. I’ve got this whole background in energy efficiency. Of course, we know each other from the Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council, so …
Marla E. C.: Yay!
Tyson T.: You know, I’ve got a lot of things going. This LED lighting thing has really taken off though. Especially in the last few years, it’s just a total no-brainer. Everybody’s switching to LED. People are throwing away their CFLs and incandescents because LED is just so much more energy efficient, it looks better, it’s better on the environment, and everything else.
Marla E. C.: Oh, you’ve got so many options.
Tyson T.: So business is just really good. Oh yeah.
Marla E. C.: Yeah, I mean when I first started replacing light bulbs ten years ago and experimenting with LEDs, there was hardly anything. But now I can even get like candelabra bulbs, and specialty bulbs and fan lights.
Tyson T.: Any shape, size, oh yeah.
Marla E. C.: Okay. So what’s your favorite thing … And we need to go back to some things about other things, but I wanna kick this off. What is your favorite thing about LED lighting?
Tyson T.: Oh my gosh, that’s tough. I would say energy savings. I do love when my customers talk about saving money, you know. I do residential plus commercial lighting. We did a school district recently, and hearing the feedback from them on how much money they saved, you know, it was awesome. But I have to say, I think my favorite part is doing the before and after photos.
Marla E. C.: So how it looks?
Tyson T.: Yes, I love it. I’m so used now to all my customers being extremely happy. We go do these before and after photos, and they just really pop. LED lighting makes such a big difference.
Marla E. C.: Nice.
Tyson T.: Yeah.
Marla E. C.: And that’s funny, because I wasn’t expecting you to say that when you started talking about cost savings. And I am so with you there. I love the way I can get different effects with lighting now. I can play with the colors. So we’re gonna do a deeper dive into this, so you really understand it.
Tyson T.: Okay, yeah.
Marla E. C.: So number one, in case you don’t know what LED lighting stands for …
Tyson T.: Light emitting diodes.
Marla E. C.: So you know the little blinky lights like on your computer and on your car that are … You know, we’re used to seeing the little red glowy lights on our electronics and stuff. Those were the original LEDs that we saw on stuff, and then they branched into being used for lighting, general lighting.
Tyson T.: Yeah, exactly. There was even breakthroughs, like it was in the ’90s. There was somebody even won a prize for it. Darn, I wish I could remember the name of that prize. But …
Marla E. C.: Maybe the Edison …
Tyson T.: The Nobel prize.
Marla E. C.: Oh, the Nobel prize?
Tyson T.: Yeah, that’s right. They won the Nobel prize for developing this visible light that can be emitted in these small little packages. So basically that’s one of the coolest things about LEDs, that they’re so much smaller, they put off so much less heat. I mean it’s a revolutionary design. And it’s come into fruition now basically because the continued development, the upscale manufacturing, and then the costs keep coming down.
Marla E. C.: Oh, it’s come down so fast.
Tyson T.: Exactly, and just like what you were saying, now, almost every single bulb imaginable, you can get it in LED. So it used to be just some screw-ins and maybe some of this and that. Well now, any single shape of bulb, size of bulb, you can get it in LED. And people walk in our store all the time, we’ve got a storefront in Tulsa around 46th street. People just come in, even grandmas and grandpas come in just bringing an old bulb, and “Hey, you ready to switch to LED?”
Marla E. C.: Yeah.
Tyson T.: And I think it’s awesome, also, that the reputation of LED has really grown from … Well, from it used to be “Oh, it’s too bright. It’s that blue color.”
Marla E. C.: Right.
Tyson T.: Now, with the wide variety, people are becoming more accepting of it. I think that’s one thing that I’m having to fight less and less, is just “Hey, LED works.” Everybody knows it’s sort of, “Hey, it saves money, it’s gonna look good.”
Marla E. C.: Yeah. And there’s … Like with my mom and her home, the thing that she’s loved … We started switching out lights to LEDs, and the biggest things she loves is that she has no more need to change light bulbs. And that’s awesome.
Tyson T.: Yes, I love that.
Marla E. C.: My mom’s in the enjoying life stage of life, and she doesn’t need to worry about getting on a ladder or a chair and changing light bulbs. That’s ridiculous. So this is a great gift, a no-hassle better light solution. Matter of fact, we found her these really cool lights that when they dim, they feel warmer colored so they feel all cozy, and then when they get brighter, they get more white light, more like outdoor sunlight. And she uses this room in the daytime as an office and at nighttime as a TV room, so it works perfect to create just the right ambiance for this room. It’s all on a dimmer.
Now if you do want LEDs that are dimmable, you need to look for … They need to say dimmable, right?
Tyson T.: That’s right. That technology you’re talking about is called warm dimming.
Marla E. C.: It’s so cool!
Tyson T.: I love it too.
Marla E. C.: Or warm (laughs). Oops. Tongue in cheek.
Tyson T.: That’s great. And on the maintenance thing, you said something that just made me remember on some of these biggest projects we do, we have changed maintenance people’s lives in office building stuff where they just have to … They spend all their time running after changing light bulbs, and we do a project where we convert them to LED and it’s like “Oh, we can move onto everything else in the building.” And same thing at home, just like you’re saying.
Marla E. C.: So think … I’m a big person that I just don’t like a lot of waste. I don’t like wasting time, I don’t like wasting energy, I don’t like wasting physical stuff. So I get all worked up about all the packaging and stuff. I mean [crosstalk].
Tyson T.: Me too.
Marla E. C.: But you know, I just really try to be conscientious about it. So if you figure an LED lasts for 10 years, and a lot of them are lasting 5 to 10 years depending on use, how many incandescent light bulbs is that replacing, and how much less waste that is? Because you’re not throwing light bulbs in the trash every few months or a year or whatever.
Tyson T.: Absolutely.
Marla E. C.: So it’s like all these benefits that are just … You don’t even think about them.
Tyson T.: Yeah. I wish I could put a more exact number to it, but you know, typically it’s like 5 times the life.
Marla E. C.: At least.
Tyson T.: So you know, like 5 to 1 on the landfill saving. Plus, when you compare it to the fluorescents or compact fluorescents, you know, curly Qs.
Marla E. C.: Curly Qs.
Tyson T.: Yep. You’re saving on mercury.
Marla E. C.: Right.
Tyson T.: So you can’t just throw those in the trash.
Marla E. C.: Yeah, please don’t.
Tyson T.: Yes, that’s right. So a big saver there. And we see a lot of people wanting to be more environmentally conscious, businesses that are incorporating sustainability in their core values, and not wanting to pollute the environment, that makes a difference. I know it’s just, you know, each bulb, it’s a small amount, but over time it really adds up. I think LED’s making an impact on that side.
Marla E. C.: It does add up.
Tyson T.: Yep.
Marla E. C.: I have a lot of people say “Well my incandescent still works, so I’m just gonna wait until it burns out to replace it.” The first thing I saw is “Uh, nah. Just throw it away right now. You’re gonna throw away the same amount of material whether it works or doesn’t work, and it’s just costing you money every time you keep turning it on.”
Tyson T.: And if we were talking air conditioners, I would say “Go ahead and wait until maybe you have a major repair, you know, your system is at end of life.” But it’s just a light bulb. And there’s actually some great calculations that you can do on the web, the cost of waiting, and it will tell you …
Marla E. C.: Let’s link that in the resources, the cost of waiting.
Tyson T.: Okay.
Marla E. C.: That’s awesome.
Tyson T.: The cost of waiting, it’s pretty simple to calculate, and I will tell you that the answer is usually switch to LED right now.
Marla E. C.: Oh, yeah. I can’t even think of a situation …
Tyson T.: Unless you already have a very efficient light already, the answer is switch to LED right now.
Marla E. C.: Wow. So I wanna backtrack a minute. We’re gonna deep dive into this whole idea of lighting and how you can use them in the next segment, so stay tuned. But I wanna just … I wanna talk about how we got to know each other, because it’s kind of a funny story. Do you remember it at all?
Tyson T.: I mean, I remember that …
Marla E. C.: It was through Dirk.
Tyson T.: Oh, that’s right! It was, that’s right. He introduced us.
Marla E. C.: So this is crazy. So when I first moved to Oklahoma City about two years ago, one of the very first groups I joined was called REI Women’s Business Center, and I just was looking for a place to meet other professional women and women business owners, and I found this group because I’d done something similar in St. Louis. And I went, and I became pretty good friends with a lady there who later invited me to be at a tabletop expo with her for senior expo. And while we were there, we met Mick Cornett, who at the time was running for governor for the state of Oklahoma, and I then got on his newsletter list. As a result of that newsletter list, I found out about Dirk … Oh my gosh, his last name just escapes …
Tyson T.: Spiers.
Marla E. C.: Spiers, thank you. Goodness gracious.
Tyson T.: Dirk Spiers, yeah. Spiers New Technologies, the battery manufacturer here in Oklahoma City.
Marla E. C.: Yeah, he does electric vehicle battery reconditioning, repurposing. This really cool company, and Mick Cornett had done a ribbon cutting there. And I saw this in his newsletter, I’m like “Oh, this looks like a really cool company.” And Dirk said “Oh, you have to meet Tyson Taussig.”
Tyson T.: Wow.
Marla E. C.: So that’s how I got to know you.
Tyson T.: Well that’s a really cool referral. I do remember that now, and you contacted me out of the blue.
Marla E. C.: So how’s that for roundabout?
Tyson T.: That’s right. Well it’s awesome.
Marla E. C.: Don’t you love it?
Tyson T.: And now you show up to the Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council, the OREC meetings. You’re such a great addition, and we even had you come and speak. It’s been awesome. So I love getting to know you.
Marla E. C.: I’m so excited to do the conference this year. So if you are in the Oklahoma area, Oklahoma Renewable Energy Council and, what’s the other?
Tyson T.: Yeah, the Association of Energy Engineers. We put on this joint conference every year, that’s right. This is the fifth annual one, and it’s been growing every … I’m so excited about this year. Basically it’s a time we all get together and we have a big one day conference. It’s like …
Marla E. C.: Yeah, I can’t wait to do it this year, because I missed it last year.
Tyson T.: It’s gonna be great.
Marla E. C.: January 9th, 2019, right?
Tyson T.: That’s right. 1/9/19.
Marla E. C.: So we’ll link the conference to the notes, too. So if y’all are interested in coming to the conference, check it out. It’ll be in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tyson T.: And it’s pretty cheap, and there’s gonna be a lot of awesome speakers there. So some national keynote speakers. We’ve got stuff on wind, solar, energy efficiency, LED lighting, if I say so myself.
Marla E. C.: Yep. I’ll have a table there.
Tyson T.: And more, too. Yeah.
Marla E. C.: Come see us.
Tyson T.: Good food, yeah. Come see us.
Marla E. C.: Well, you’re back with Marla and Tyson talking LED lighting. Doesn’t that sound funny? LED lighting. Alright, oh my gosh, so much to talk about with lighting, am I right?
Tyson T.: Are you ready for that deep dive?
Marla E. C.: Yeah, I’m totally ready for the deep dive. How about you?
Tyson T.: Okay.
Marla E. C.: So, for beginners, I’ve gotta think that most of you guys listening, and gals, listening to this podcast have at least experimented with energy efficient lighting. So I’m guessing, if nothing else, you’ve played around with CFLs. I think that’s a safe bet?
Tyson T.: Sure, yeah. Well here’s a safe bet, I bet everybody’s changed a light bulb.
Marla E. C.: Well I think that’s a great place to start!
Tyson T.: And that’s as easy as it is for switching to LED. Usually it’s just as easy as switching out a light bulb.
Marla E. C.: What I have so many people tell me is “Oh my gosh, there’s so many choices on LED lights.”
Tyson T.: That’s true.
Marla E. C.: And when LEDs really first started coming out, one of the things a lot of the manufacturers did is they put the color temperature number on there instead of equating it with what we were used to.
Tyson T.: Okay.
Marla E. C.: And I think that confused a lot of people.
Tyson T.: Yeah, you’re talking about those, the Kelvin temperatures.
Marla E. C.: The K numbers, yeah.
Tyson T.: Yeah. So the Kelvin temperatures, yeah, it goes on a scale really from 2,000 to 8,000, and it’s like you equate it from 2,000 being like fire light to …
Marla E. C.: Warm and glowy.
Tyson T.: … 8,000 being sunlight, direct sunlight.
Marla E. C.: Well that’s even brighter than sunlight.
Tyson T.: It’s like that real white color.
Marla E. C.: Yeah, blue white.
Tyson T.: Yes. And so the Kelvin temperatures, man. What I tell people is, I mean, it ends up being a matter of preference at the end of the day.
Marla E. C.: Of course.
Tyson T.: So different people like different things. But there is a little bit of logic towards what color temperature you wanna use. You know, you can almost call it on a design side. And my wife is a little bit of a designer, so I like looking at this. So if you have warm colors in your house, earth tones, reds, browns, skin color, wood tones, you might wanna go for a warmer color temperature, or something towards the bottom on the scale. Maybe 3,000 or 2,700 is what you see in a lot of people’s homes.
Marla E. C.: And don’t you think a lot of manufacturers now are also putting on there “warm light”?
Tyson T.: That’s right, yeah.
Marla E. C.: Yeah, so that helps, they finally got smarter.
Tyson T.: Right. Warm, cool, daylight. You see those slang terms, yeah. So warm light, that’s what people … But if you’re maybe in a different kind of setting, and you see this in the more modern home, that you have more whites, grays, blues.
Marla E. C.: Yeah.
Tyson T.: And that kind of color pallet actually goes really well with cool light.
Marla E. C.: That sunlight feeling.
Tyson T.: Right. It actually accentuates it, gives you a little more pop on some of your colors. And you know, I see some of the younger people switching to cooler lighting whereas more of the older people like the more warm lighting. Again, it ends up at the end of the day coming to preference. In my house, I have 3,000, so I’m pretty boring, pretty standard. But you see people, I’m seeing like I said, more and more switching to 4-5,000 in their homes.
Marla E. C.: And I here that Europeans and Asians in a lot of other parts of the country … Or country, the world, tend to gravitate more toward the cooler lights, the more daylight-simulating.
Tyson T.: Interesting.
Marla E. C.: And this warmer light is kind of something Americans have adopted. I have no idea if that’s true, but that was a rumor I heard. But I thought that was just an interesting rumor even if it was a rumor.
But here’s the thing I’ve also done in my home. So I’m middle-aged, folks, if y’all don’t know that yet. I talk about my grown kids. One of the things I need is more light to do certain things, like to read a cookbook or to read a book or to work. So I’ve started layering lights in my home, and I’ve actually had a couple of friends that work with design that have kind of helped me with this. So for task lighting, I will do a brighter light.
Tyson T.: Yeah.
Marla E. C.: So like on my desk, I have a super bright, whiter light. Cooler whiter light. And yet my overhead lights might be a little bit warmer.
Tyson T.: Oh, I see, that’s interesting.
Marla E. C.: And then I have my lamps that are warm.
Tyson T.: I like that. Layering.
Marla E. C.: I will tell you, one thing I’ve learned. If you go with something really warm in some lamps and really cool in other lamps, it looks weird.
Tyson T.: Usually I don’t recommend you mixing, but the way you’re talking about it, it’s almost like a layering. And you know, these cool new architects putting out lighting designs today are having a field day.
Marla E. C.: Oh my gosh, yes.
Tyson T.: Because LED lighting, because it can be so compact, they’re building it straight into the designs of these buildings and homes. And you’re seeing stuff with cove lighting, up lighting, back lighting, task lighting.
Marla E. C.: Have you seen the one that it’s in … Like it’s a baseboard with a little groove behind it, and they put a string of LED lights in the groove so it just makes the baseboard glow?
Tyson T.: All that is called indirect …
Marla E. C.: Oh, it’s beautiful.
Tyson T.: It’s beautiful. All that’s called indirect lighting, and I think most people actually prefer it because yeah, you’re not seeing any glare in your eyes. It accentuates the architectural features that you’re seeing. Absolutely love it.
Marla E. C.: And it was a lot harder to do this with incandescent lights. Just the technology, and now LED light is so small, we can distribute that lighting so much easier. And it’s an electronic, basically, as opposed to a mechanical … I don’t know that a light bulb would be mechanical, but it’s a different technology.
Tyson T.: I definitely know what you mean.
Marla E. C.: Yeah. But it’s so much more versatile.
Tyson T.: It is electronic, and there’s less heat and less fire risk with it. It’s still got electricity running through it, don’t get me wrong, but you can do a lot of this on low voltage, meaning there’s no risk. You can put these things anywhere. I’ve seen it built into cabinets. We were talking about that really cool house that has the back lighting in the cabinets, I love that stuff.
Marla E. C.: I love it, oh my gosh.
Tyson T.: Yeah, it’s just more affordable and more practical now with this LED.
Marla E. C.: So I’ll look for some pictures to try to link, because that would be really cool for you guys to see some of the pictures of some of the kinds of things that we’re talking about. And I’m even starting to find a lot of add-on things, like I saw this light cover that’s a switch plate for your plugs and for your lighting, and it has a tiny little LED built into the plate. And it runs off … It has little prongs, so it gets its electricity from the light plug fixture, but it’ll do like a little bitty down light like a night light for like a safety path in a home.
Tyson T.: So cool.
Marla E. C.: So it’s a great retrofit tool. And that’s just an easy way if you’re already in a home and you haven’t designed in lighting, you can start adding things in from a safety perspective or from a design perspective.
Tyson T.: Oh, absolutely. It makes a huge difference in the environment. I think that’s like I was saying early, I think it’s undersold. And I love this part of my job. LED lighting can really change the environment.
Marla E. C.: That’s awesome.
Tyson T.: You can really make things look better, be more productive in an office space, parking lot lighting making you feel more secure or safer out there where you can actually see. A home, making it feel a more intimate space. There’s all kinds of things you can do with lighting, and I love it.
Marla E. C.: You know, outside … I love the idea of this. I lived by myself for a while, so having outdoor lighting that made me feel safe when I was coming home by myself was a huge factor. So I had a light that was motion sensor-based, so whenever I drove up, it turned on. And then it also had a dawn to dusk feature, and it was an LED light. And in my new home, we didn’t have those kind of fixtures when my husband and I bought our home here in Oklahoma City, and so we wanted that same effect. We found a light bulb that would do that. A light bulb! An LED light bulb.
Tyson T.: It’s all built right in.
Marla E. C.: And it was like 8 bucks, it was nothing! And what was so stinking cool about it is it had dawn to dusk, motion detector, and it’s LED rated for outdoors. And I put it in, and now I have all of that same safety features in my light bulb.
Tyson T.: I love it.
Marla E. C.: It is so stinking cool. So talking about outdoor lighting, one of the first places a lot of people started using LED lighting was holiday lighting, and still is.
Tyson T.: Oh yes. And I will tell you that LED has made a huge difference in that business as well.
Marla E. C.: And we spend a lot of money on holiday lighting, don’t we?
Tyson T.: That’s right. And I will tell you, it’s a lot of energy as well. You know, a lot of money on energy costs as well.
Marla E. C.: Yeah.
Tyson T.: Yeah, if you wanna decorate for the holidays these days, and we see these big casinos and office buildings and some of the bigger spots downtown, they wanna put up all these Christmas lights. LED has actually made a significant dent in holiday energy savings.
Marla E. C.: Nice.
Tyson T.: Yeah, it’s great. There’s still a niche market for incandescent. Some people still think “Oh, it has a better look to it.” But man, to me, to the naked eye, you really can’t even tell the difference nowadays.
Marla E. C.: The first holiday lights I bought were that bluish-white.
Tyson T.: Yes.
Marla E. C.: And those go on some specific trees indoors. But as I’ve … Every year I replace at least one strand of lights. Kind of my so far recipe.
Tyson T.: Awesome tradition.
Marla E. C.: Well, here’s the other thing too, folks, is when you are getting rid of your old holiday lights, many cities offer holiday light recycling facilities. So they’ll actually take the old lights for you. I know that Walmart was involved with a lot of projects at least back in St. Louis. I don’t know who is this year, I’ll need to look that up. But if you can, recycle your old lights. That way they at least aren’t ending up in a landfill.
Tyson T.: I’m a big fan of recycling. I didn’t know you could recycle your old Christmas lights.
Marla E. C.: Yep. They strip off the coatings and separate the pieces and then recycle the metal. So I will look for some holiday light recycling resources, and we’ll link those as well. But if you have not made the switch to LED holiday lights, oh my … Get out there early. They are the first lights to sell our every single year that I’ve bought them.
Tyson T.: That’s right. Oh, they’re so beautiful.
Marla E. C.: And that’s why I have so many different kinds, ’cause I can’t find the same kind every year ’cause I don’t get there early enough! So this is the time, yeah. Get out.
Tyson T.: Well it’s for sure a thing. Because well my wife, I told you she’s a designer. She works at this place where they do tropical plants all year, but during the holidays, they decorate for Christmas for these large homes, businesses.
Marla E. C.: Oh, fun.
Tyson T.: I was telling you about those casinos.
Marla E. C.: Yep.
Tyson T.: Well they’re using nothing but LED lighting.
Marla E. C.: Oh yeah.
Tyson T.: Yeah, because they build it right onto the trees, they do these big thousand-foot runs with garland and LED lighting. It’s gorgeous, and yes, it’s probably too early for Christmas as we’re talking today.
Marla E. C.: It’s November, though. We’re recording this in November.
Tyson T.: That’s true, that’s true. But yeah.
Marla E. C.: So that’s crazy. So hang on, folks. We’re gonna take a quick breather and we’ll be right back to keep on talking lighting for you and your home.
Man, we just keep going all day. Okay, any questions or just keep rolling?
Tyson T.: Just keep rolling.
Marla E. C.: Well, we are still gabbing about lighting. That is so super cool. Ha ha, pun intended, with Tyson of Lighting Inc. And you are a treasure trove of lighting information. I love it, I could do this all day long.
Tyson T.: Thanks, yeah, me too. Well I mean it is what I do all day long.
Marla E. C.: Hey, go figure! So before the break, we were talking about how holiday lighting and outdoor lighting has really impacted so many businesses. I gotta guess that, I know Las Vegas has become one of the more energy efficient cities in the United States, and I’m sure it’s because they kind of had to because they’re out in the middle of the desert and they have lights everywhere. But I’ve read a couple of articles that they’ve gone like completely LEDs.
Tyson T.: Yeah.
Marla E. C.: Which would make sense.
Tyson T.: Well you see this in growing cities and growing areas. We live in one here, Oklahoma’s growing for sure, and Las Vegas as well. And what you see is that these utilities, they have to make choices. They have to either build new power plants or find some other way to reduce the amount of electricity being consumed. And they’re finding it’s actually cheaper to pay people to switch out their lights than it is to build that new power plant in a few years. So we’re definitely seeing it here where the utility industry is driving this, especially on the commercial side. But you can get free LED lights from your utility company here, and I think that’s pretty common nationwide …
Marla E. C.: In a lot of states.
Tyson T.: Yeah, that utility company wants to see the energy you do use, you’re using it efficiently as they’re trying to incorporate renewables and so on. The first point of attack, the low hanging fruit, is energy efficiency. And the lowest hanging fruit of that is lighting. I mean you see the quickest paybacks, it’s a low upfront investment. It’s really doable for the average home owner.
Marla E. C.: And it’s a significant part of most of our electric bills.
Tyson T.: That’s right. Definitely, you can see this percentage on your bill. And when you talk about switching to LED, most people see like 70% savings of their lighting, of the lighting portion of their bill, which is a chunk.
Marla E. C.: Generally about 10 to 20% of your overall bill.
Tyson T.: That’s right. I would’ve said 15, so 10 to 20%, that’s pretty fair.
Marla E. C.: So there’s an immediate payback. Most people find, they get … I mean if you’re just talking dollars and cents, most people find that they pay for the cost of their LEDs in less than a year.
Tyson T.: Yeah.
Marla E. C.: Just with the electricity savings. Here’s the secret, though, don’t you think, is that there’s this upfront cost of buying a bulb, and then we’re paying it back with our electric bill savings a little at a time. And a lot of us don’t even see our electric bills anymore because we pay everything online or auto-pay it. So if that’s a big concern for you and you want to reinforce that that payback’s really coming, look at your electricity bill and watch what happens.
Tyson T.: It’s true. I tell some of my customers, you talk about those paybacks, and we end up talking a lot of paybacks at my business. One year, two year. But if you have let’s say a one year payback, what that really means is that whether you buy these lights or not, you’re gonna pay that amount of money over this next year. So let’s say you save $120 a month, and your new light … I’m sorry. Let’s say your new lights cost about $120, and they’ll save you about $10 a month.
Marla E. C.: Done in 12 months.
Tyson T.: So it’s a one year payback. And if you didn’t buy those lights you’re gonna pay that $120 by the end of the year anyways.
Marla E. C.: Right. And now, in year two through five or seven, your energy bill continues to be $120 less.
Tyson T.: Absolutely. That’s money in your pocket.
Marla E. C.: Right. Now you’re making money.
Tyson T.: I love it. I love it. And I will tell you, when we are selling LED here in Oklahoma, we typically don’t talk about the environmental benefits even though they’re super real. Even though I happen to believe in global warming, that’s not what I’m out there telling all my customers because well, dollars and cents is what gets people to pay attention.
Marla E. C.: And if you … Okay, so many benefits of LEDs. So many benefits. Right off the top, is no matter what your beliefs and what your values, we all have a budget to operate within. And a budget is trade-offs, right? So trade it off. You can trade off the cost of that electricity to do something else. Maybe buy holiday LED lights, or buy a great gift for somebody or whatever. Redecorate part of your home.
I mean, there’s so many trade-offs we can make with our money. So number one, there’s your cost savings. Number two, it does do great good for our environment. And not just the environment overall, because we don’t have the issue of mercury with CFLs, we’re not using as much energy which has a ton of environmental and cost-saving benefits, but we’re also getting a better lit environment which is good for us and good for our health, because we’ve shown so many benefits to lighting. It’s a natural complement to day lighting, to natural light, right?
Tyson T.: Absolutely, you’re hitting them all.
Marla E. C.: Hand in hand. So let’s see, what other benefits. They’re fun, and they’re beautiful.
Tyson T.: They are.
Marla E. C.: There’s just a huge aesthetic principle. And I’m sorry, I will be stereotypical for a woman, I’ll just claim it right now. I love it when things are beautiful. I want my surroundings to look nice, and here you really get it all. It looks good and it performs well.
Tyson T.: Absolutely.
Marla E. C.: So that’s just … That’s my motto for pretty much everything I try to do in my own home and in my business, is help people to bring in things that do both.
Tyson T.: Yeah. And I will say, as a new homeowner, I just bought first house this year, I am experiencing it for myself some of those trade-offs you were talking about.
Marla E. C.: Yeah.
Tyson T.: And you know, you gotta give up just a little bit to say that yeah, these costs add up. I wanna be as energy efficient as possible, but sometimes it is a little hard to fit in the budget. I would say, though, if you’ve got a list of energy efficient projects you’re trying to do in your house, you should put LED at the top. You’ll love it …
Marla E. C.: And check out the programs in your state, right?
Tyson T.: That’s right, yeah. That’s right. Get you a little free something from the utility, you know?
Marla E. C.: And like St. Louis had certain light bulbs you could buy and retail outlets that were subsidized by the rebate programs from the utility companies. Some utility companies you have to contact them to get the light bulbs.
Tyson T.: They do it here.
Marla E. C.: But there’s all different kinds of programs. I will tell you folks, I have found really awesome LED light bulbs to screw into my lamps for as little as two dollars. Two dollars. And that was in a big box store. Well, I’m gonna give them a callout. It was IKEA. It was IKEA.
Tyson T.: Nice. We’ve got ’em at our store too.
Marla E. C.: But I’ve gone in every … Well in yours, I know when we did the tour of your store, they’re so reasonable, folks. And you can get so much more technology, you can get smart LEDs that you can connect to apps on your phone.
Tyson T.: Yes.
Marla E. C.: We’ve got light bulbs connected to our home automation system from our cable provider, and there are so many different options right now that you can do fun, fun cool things.
Tyson T.: This is definitely a big thing in our industry now, is automation, connectivity, IOT.
Marla E. C.: Wait, what’s IOT?
Tyson T.: Internet of Things. And yeah, I should’ve known I can’t get away with an acronym on this show. You know, basically it’s all about that connectivity. Everybody expects that you should be able to control things with your phone, and it’s no different with lighting. We’ve got the bulbs that have speakers built in. Bluetooth is actually being incorporated a lot in lighting right now, and just controllability. There’s so many fun things. The cutting edge of LED lighting is really cool, folks. You’ll probably be seeing this stuff in your homes in the next four or five years. Yeah, that’s right. There’s some really really cool stuff coming down the pipe.
Marla E. C.: And not only is it fun and convenient, it also has a great safety aspect. All of this, what may be convenient for one household may be a safety factor for others. And this kind of technology helps us to allow people to live independently, to let people have this kind of thing in their homes so they feel safer. And there’s just so many awesome benefits that come from what is just a really nice implementation of technology. And I love this marriage of technology and improving people’s lives. That’s what we’re here about, right?
Tyson T.: Absolutely.
Marla E. C.: Exactly.
Tyson T.: You’re nailing it, Marla, this is great. I think I did pick a nice time to get into LED lighting, it’s really taking off.
Marla E. C.: Yes, you definitely did. So believe it or not, we’re running out of time. So leave us a couple of tips real quick on how to get started with LEDs in your own homes for our listeners.
Tyson T.: Well you know, I would say as much is available online, I like the idea of going into a store.
Marla E. C.: Okay. So you see it?
Tyson T.: If I’m a homeowner out there, I wanna go and I wanna see it because there’s some different factors that you wanna pay attention to when you’re buying new light bulbs. First, well there’s different shapes and styles that give you a different effect. And a lighting professional can walk you through all this. There’s all kinds of lighting stores, I have one of them, but …
Marla E. C.: And I love going to a local store because of exactly that.
Tyson T.: Oh yeah. Local, you kidding me? I believe in that in general, but like I said, there’s the different shapes and styles. There’s different lumen packages. Lumen is the brightness, so you’ve got up and down there. Dimmability, the color temperatures that we were talking about earlier with the Kelvin scale, right, and matching that up with your design at home, what kind of color pallet you’re going for. All that, and so much more. So that’d be my advice, would be go see somebody. Get outfitted. Bring a list and some pictures of what you’ve got, and bring it into the store. Yeah, you’ll make yourself … A lot easier on yourself.
Marla E. C.: And you can start … Even if you don’t wanna replace all your bulbs at once, if you have that list and you go talk to a lighting professional, they’re gonna help you identify that list what your replacement options are. So you can do it a little bit at a time. In my experience, buying from a local professional is typically no more expensive than buying from a big box store, and I get all of the expertise of that lighting professional.
Tyson T.: That’s right.
Marla E. C.: So I do love that. And you know, might as well take the time. In my experience, the local lighting professionals and lighting stores really have somebody there that can walk you through this, so I think that’s an awesome idea.
Holiday lights is another great place to get going, especially since it’s that time of year.
Tyson T.: Yes, switch out your string lights to LEDs. You know, they’re gonna be on eight to ten hours a night, and it definitely makes a difference on energy.
Marla E. C.: Yep. And you can hook ’em up to a smart plug and control them from a remote or an app, and there you go.
Tyson T.: They look better, they probably won’t ever go out. It’s not like the old ones where every year you get them out and five are gone, yeah.
Marla E. C.: Exactly. Super cool. Well hey, we will post on the show notes if folks wanna get ahold of you with any questions.
Tyson T.: Sounds good. If you have a business that has old fluorescent lighting or metal-halide lighting, or warehouse or manufacturing, that’s what I really specialize in is helping big businesses and doing bigger projects. I’d love to [crosstalk]
Marla E. C.: I mean most of us work someplace.
Tyson T.: That’s right. Look up!
Marla E. C.: I love that, look up. That’s the way to look at it. Well Tyson, it has been an absolute pleasure to have you in studio today, in my new digs in Oklahoma City. I hope we will get a lot more opportunity to do things like this in the future, and thank you so much for sharing your expertise with the Green Gab audience.
Tyson T.: You’re so welcome Marla.
Marla E. C.: Well everybody, you have a great green day!