Green Light

LED lights save energy and time in a Swiss supermarket and a North Carolina parking garage.

Even though LED (light-emitting diode) light bulbs are longer lasting, more energy efficient, and provide warmer light than fluorescent bulbs, they are probably too expensive to use in your home. But in large-scale projects, the energy savings and low maintenance costs of LEDs might be worth the high price.The Migros Supermarket in Essenbach, Switzerland, expects its new LEDs to last an average of 16 years (based on 10 hours a day of use, six days a week), while providing superior illumination. An added bonus: it has virtually eliminated the time-consuming process of changing bulbs. The municipal parking garage in Raleigh, North Carolina, switched from stale orange fluorescents to LEDs this spring. The benefits have gone beyond the 40 percent reduction in the garage's energy bill: The number of drivers who felt "very safe" in the parking lot increased 76 percent.