|Photo by Victor Cruz/Estilo Arquitectura|
But they are LED, which means they will use hardly any electricity, which in Mérida, and all over México, is quite expensive and produced by highly polluting methods.
The new LED lights go along with our solar hot water heater. It is a wonderful feeling to stand in a hot shower and know there's no gas-fired tank at the other end of the pipe. I often hear people say these things are not economical; that is, they don't pay for themselves, or at least not in a decent period of time. Neither do cars or many other nice things, but that's another discussion.
The economic argument for solar water heating is actually pretty strong in México, anyway. Here in Canada a solar water system can cost $7,500 or more (US or CDN, your pick) and because the light is weaker here, it doesn't provide sufficient hot water for a household. With Mérida's broiling sun, you need no backup (though you might need a second one for a large household), and it costs $1,500 U.S. or less, installed, including an electrostatic water softener.
I'm not sure why they cost so much more in Canada. But the cost made it a no-brainer here. Sure, it's a lot more than a new gas-fired water tank that will rust out in a couple of years, but for me part of the attraction of living in Mexico is the idea of living more lightly and reducing our resource footprint.
If I had a ton of money, I'd get a photo-voltaic solar system to replace at least part of the household electricity. Mexico has a net-metering program so the electical utility company will give you credit for feeding excess power from a PV system back into the state power grid. Haven't yet met anyone who has done this, but it's a long-term dream.