LED lights take the load off!



Globe style LED bulb

Many older houses haven’t had the electrical system updated in 30+ years, and have fewer circuits than newer homes.  How can LED’s help you be safer with older wiring? Here’s what’s happening – We are  now using more lighting fixtures than just the older floor and desk lamps, or 2-bulb ceiling fixtures from days gone by. Today’s families have a million things to plug in, and  we love pot lights everywhere.  

Older electrical systems have fewer circuits. A circuit includes all the things that are connected to one breaker or fuse. Some circuits may have only 1 or 2 items on them, like a dryer, or furnace, but others may have many more, like a whole series of plugs (aka receptacles) and lights. The average homeowner has no idea how many plugs and lights are connected to each breaker or fuse in the panel. (Your electrical panel directory can help – if it’s properly labelled).

With the addition of power bars which multiply how many things you can plug into one wall receptacle, it quickly adds up. If many things are turned on at once, the load is high. If the load is too high, the breaker or fuse may shut off, which means it’s doing it’s job.   OR worse, FAIL to do it’s job and NOT shut off, in which case you have a very hot wire in your wall which can become a fire hazard.

LED Lights draw less power
You can reduce this load and heat by switching to LED bulbs. For instance the equivalent to a 60 Watt Incandescent bulb (the kind we’ve been using for decades), is a mere 7 Watt LED bulb. LED’s use only about 10 – 20% the amount of power that the incandescent draws and generate much less heat. The heat from an incandescent or halogen style bulb can get so hot that it will deteriorate materials around it, and be dangerous if installed improperly, especially in pot lights which are very enclosed with little air circulation to disperse the heat.


CFL bulb

Generally CFL bulbs have taken over from incandescent. While CFL’s save power (ie. a 15 Watt CFL bulb could replace a 60 Watt incandescent) , these bulbs have mercury in them, hence require careful handling and special disposal. CFL’s are also susceptible to temperature and humidity, and don’t like being installed upside down. CFL’s last about 8 times as long as incandescents, but LED’s last about 40x as long.

More advantages of LED’s
LED’s work cooler, last longer and use less power than CFL’s. While early selection was limited, now you can get them in many styles, including cool and warm colours of light, dimmable, spot lights and diffuse lights, and varieties to also replace halogen bulbs, such as you see in track lighting. The warm or cool colour varieties of the bulbs can significantly change the colour and feel of your room. Next time you are in the hardware store, take a look at the LED selection.

LED combined bulb

LED combined bulb

Are you moving into a different house?
When new owners move in, often their power usage patterns will be different. Circuits may see more demand than previously. If you switch to LED’s, your older, hard working wiring may breathe a sigh of relief.

With older wiring systems there are often a number of mostly smaller fixes that need to be done.   This is where the value of a Meticulous home inspection report comes in; I find a bunch of electrical items in my home inspection,  then I recommend the client call an electrician to address the list and have them look at the electrical panel while they are there.  That’s one service call for  electrician, then  your home is much safer.

Call today to learn more about how Meticulous Inspections can help you take care of your place! 647-287-1962