Ian Somerhalder has a bright idea! By doing one small thing, you can save on your energy consumption and that of the planet’s. It’s so good, he won’t even have to compel you!

He may play one of the biggest and most popular vampires on the planet but Ian Somerhalder wants you to take a bite into something more meaningful. While in Toronto recently, Ian Somerhalder dished about his passion for reducing his carbon footprint, his plan to make The Vampire Diaries set more energy efficient, and more importantly, how you can make a big impact one small flicker at a time.

So what exactly is this newly invented creation that looks like a light bulb, goes on instantly like a light bulb, emits the warm glow of a light bulb, dims like a light bulb but isn’t like the light bulb you’ve come to know? The new Cree LED bulb lasts 25 times longer and uses at least 84% less energy.

According to Somerhalder, who is also an environmental advocate and founder of the ISF Foundation, stressed that you can do your part to initiate change for a better planet by simply changing your bulbs with Cree LEDs.

“One thing that we should all do is think about making small changes,” Somerhalder said during an interview. “I’m here to talk about light bulbs, which seems crazy but these are a game changer in the industry.”

Somerhalder also stressed that education is key and by doing small things as a collective we can ignite big change. “To be able to take this product and use the access I have with the popularity of The Vampire Diaries TV show to spread the word is amazing,” Somerhalder admitted. “Consumerism is a giant “ism” in our lives. Everything we do, we consume. We always hear about the word “sustainability.” Sustainability just means keeping the status quo and what we have. But ultimately, we’re screwed. If we can redefine the definition of sustainability to creating more and using less, than we have something. The idea is to produce the same amount, but use less.
Also, what nobody is talking about with the light bulbs we use now is, “where do they all go once they’re burned out?” You think you’re throwing it away, but there is no “away.”  They go in landfills, which end up in our water supply, etc.  Cree Lights have eliminated so much of the toxic element and have provided a consumer-based product that you can buy that you can feel good about. And you’re also reducing the impact on our resources.”

Somerhalder also plans to take Cree LED light bulbs to work. “I’ve spoken with the Executive Producer of the show and Cree LED’s will be in every single light socket on The Vampire Diaries set. We have 365,000 square feet of set so this is massive.”

Making these small changes like changing the light bulbs in your home may seem simple, so why aren’t we all doing it? According to Somerhalder and Chuck Swoboda, Cree’s Chairman and CEO, it’s all about education and changing minds.

“As an engineer, to create something better than Thomas Edison did, is the coolest thing ever,” said Swoboda. “People have done LED light bulbs in the past but the problem was that nobody bought them. What we did with this bulb was consider three things. One, “How do we even get the consumer to try it?” We’ve all been trained that light bulbs burn out and get hot but this one doesn’t. Second, it needs to work even better than a regular light bulb, and this does, and third, the price point needs to be reasonable so people will buy and try them. If you think about electrical energy consumption in the world, 20% is used for lighting. If you convert to LED lighting broadly, you can cut that in half. So, I don’t know any other idea that’s this accessible to people that you yourself can save 10% of your energy consumption. Over the life of this bulb, you’ll get your money back.”

“In order to make these small changes, we have to educate, empower and activate people,” Somerhalder added. “The education comes from knowing the product and the empowerment and activation comes from using your dollars and going out and to get the product. What I’ve learned from being on The Vampire Diaries is that fans that watch globally want change. They’re young, educated and empowered. There are 100 million people that watch this show. That’s a lot of people and a lot of power! That in itself is a great way to reach out to people and through social media, which has changed the game.”

But Somerhalder isn’t just stopping at reaching his fan base. He has big plans to get Cree LED lights in schools and up in the friendly skies. “My goal is for every single school in North America to have these lights,” Somehalder said. “Also, getting on the phone with airlines, like Delta in Atlanta, and asking them, “Do you want to cut your energy consumption?” And telling them that this exists. It can be done. There’s also a huge PR component here. People want to cut energy and save money. People will know that you’re putting your best foot forward.”


Save energy and reduce your impact! Cree LED light bulbs are available exclusively at The Home Depot.

Ian Somerhalder is the star of The Vampire Diaries and is the founder of the ISF Foundation that aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.



—By Toni-Marie Ippolito









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