Energy Saving Light Bulbs
If you are like most people, then lighting accounts for around one fourth of your electricity bill. The good news is that it has become possible to drastically reduce that energy consumption by taking advantage of recent advances in energy saving light bulbs.
With all the new options though, you may find it difficult to choose the best light bulbs for your home or business. To help make that choice a little clearer, I’ve listed the three most common types of bulbs below, along with explanations about their advantages and disadvantages.
Incandescent Light Bulbs
The traditional incandescent bulb is still the most common light bulb found on the market. They are less efficient than other types of bulbs using newer technology. Anyone who’s ever touched a lit incandescent bulb with their bare fingers knows that they produce a lot of heat. Actually, up to 90% or the energy they consume produces heat rather than light. They are cheaper than other types of light bulbs, but their lifespan is also the shorter, as they will only last 2 years max, assuming that they are turned on for 3 hours each day. On the other hand, manufacturers are trying to reduce their energy consumption by up to 25% to meet the standards in the Energy Independence and Security Act, passed in 2007.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs), identifiable by their distinctive designs, are the most energy and cost effective light bulbs available on the market today. They produce light when an electrical current is driven through a tube containing argon and a small amount of mercury vapor, which triggers the actual illumination. CFLs are up to 75% more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, which means that they can significantly reduce your overall electricity costs. Their lifespan can be as long as 9 years, and they actually pay for themselves after just 9 months of use. They cost less than half as much as incandescent light bulbs for the same amount of light.
One drawback of CFLs is that they are most efficient when left on for long periods of time, but lose efficiency if they are frequently turned on and off. Therefore, they may not be the best choice in closets or other place where the lights are usually tuned on for a short period of time.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs), have recently become more and more popular because of their highly effective technology. They work by connecting a diode to an electrical current. Electrodes are triggered within the diode, which forces them to release photons, and thus produce light. The initial cost of LEDs is higher than other types of lightbulbs, but they last up to 25% longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Manufacturing of LED bulbs has seen a drastic increase in recent years, and they are expected to become more affordability in the near future. Because they cut your lighting’s energy consumption by up to 80%, LEDs make it possible for you to drastically reduce your electricity bills.