You can take an important step toward going green simply by replacing your light bulbs.

Hugh Kremer, general manager of LED Source in Bloomington, says that by replacing incandescent or fluorescent lights with LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights, you’ll be using mercury-free and more energy-efficient products, you’ll have to replace bulbs less often, and you’ll be able to recycle the components. “You don’t have to change your lifestyle, just the lights,” says Kremer. “It’s a feasible thing to do.”

Bloomington is home to one of only four LED Source franchises in the United States. Located at 406 S. Walnut, across from The Chocolate Moose, LED Source serves primarily businesses and municipalities, although it is also open to people interested in purchasing LED lights for their homes.

“We can retrofit or replace any kind of interior or exterior lighting,” Kremer says. “We carry the top five brands in the world. We can put together the best from each company. That’s what distinguishes us from the competition. We put together packages rather than push products.”

While the initial price for LED lights is higher than incandescent and fluorescent lights, businesses should see payback in 12 to 18 months, notes Kremer. LEDs use about 15 percent of the energy of incandescent and about half the energy of fluorescent lights. And because LEDs need to be replaced only about every 12 years (for a business that keeps its lights on 12 hours per day), maintenance costs decrease. “We make facility managers look like heroes,” Kremer says.

The color and quality of light in LEDs are also superior to fluorescents and are now at least on par with incandescents. And only 10 percent of the energy used by incandescent bulbs goes to light while the other 90 percent is generated as heat, which is “extremely inefficient,” Kremer points out. With LED lights, it is the opposite.

Kremer researched opening up an LED Source franchise when looking for a career change. “I have a seven-year-old daughter, and I want to do what I can every day, that means my job, to help avoid an environmental crisis.”

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