Energy Efficient Light Bulbs – Which Ones Shine Brighter than the Rest?
You can make your home shine bright for less money and less impact on the environment. An average home spends about 5% of its budget on lighting, which is a lot when you think about it long term.
Energy-efficient lighting bulbs can actually cut your energy bills and this is the fastest way to save up some money. By replacing your most-used light bulbs, you can save up to $45 every year.
There are many different bulbs like CFL, LED, and halogen incandescent available with the energy star of efficacy. So, your best bet is to go with light bulbs that have that energy star.
What’s the Difference Between The Old and The New?
Traditional bulbs use plenty of energy to produce light – in fact, they are no longer being made. Another fact is that 90% of that energy spent is spent as heat instead of light, and no one turns the lights on for the heat. That’s money being thrown away, actually.
Newer bulbs are great because they provide those savings in energy thus saving the environment and our wallets. You can also pick from a wide choice of colors and levels of light which makes these lights more comfortable than they used to be. They are very efficient and they can save you money.
So, What Choices Do You Have?
You have various different choices for energy efficient lighting. The most popular ones are the halogen incandescents, CFLs or compact fluorescent lamps, and LEDs or light emitting diodes. They can initially be more expensive than traditional bulbs, but they can save money and make up for that during their lifetime.
They use less energy and last a lot longer than traditional bulbs. They can be found in hardware stores and stores that sell home improvement equipment. There are various controls like photocells and timers that can save you electricity when you are not using the lights.
You can use the dimmers when you want lower light levels. You should select products that are compatible with your energy efficient light bulbs. If you have some outdoor lighting that you leave on for a long time, sometimes even overnight, you can pick CFLs or LEDs which can then save you a lot of energy.
Most CFLs which are bare and spiral can be used in enclosed fixtures and it can protect them from various weather conditions. Both LEDs and CFLs are available as flood lights which means that they have been tested and are able to withstand snow, rain, and other conditions even without enclosures.
Look for energy star fixtures that have been created for outdoor use and have features like shutting off during daylight automatically and turning on when someone passes by.
These have a capsule insight that holds gas around a filament and this increases the efficiency of this bulb. These are available in all sorts of shapes, you can get different colors and even dimmers if you like.
They meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standards. However, there are better options now that can be better for your lighting needs.
The full name of these is compact fluorescent lights similar to the straight long tube fluorescent lights that are usually found in the kitchen or in the garage or basement.
They are usually curly and use less electricity than typical CFLs They can pay themselves off pretty quickly, but they are quite expensive at the outset. They can start saving you money after nine months. It actually uses one-fourth of the energy that traditional bulbs use and it can last ten times longer for the same amount of light.
You can find them in various different colors like warm tones. When they first came out, one of the biggest problems people had with them is that the light they gave was too cold. However, new CFL bulbs can actually give a warm light and save you money.
Some of the CFL bulbs are encased to cover a wider area with the light so that they can provide a similar shape of the bulbs that you are replacing.
You can also get the dimmable option which is great. You should always recycle them as they contain a small amount of mercury and many companies recycle them for free.
Light emitting diodes contain semiconductors that convert electricity to light. It was once known only as the type of light used in indicators and traffic lights in white light and other general illumination.
However, today it’s one of the most common energy efficient technologies and it’s developing very quickly. They have an energy star and they use only about 20% – 25% of the energy, while lasting 15 or 25 times longer than the traditional bulbs.
They are now available in many different products as replacements for traditional bulbs, reflector bulbs, small track lights, desk lamps, kitchen lighting under cabinets, outdoor area lights, and so on.
They come in a wide variety of colors as well as dimmable options just like motion or daylight sensors.
They work equally well indoors and outdoors because they are extremely durable and great performance in different environments. You can find great outdoor options which are very popular right now like pathway lights, step lights, porch lights, and solar-powered LED lights for even more efficiency.
LEDs are more expensive in general but they still save money and last a long time. The durability itself saves a lot of money.
Benefits Of Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
The benefits of energy efficient light bulbs may be quite obvious but you should still be reminded of what they are before you make any big decisions. For one, they require much less energy to work properly. Here’s a look at what other benefits energy efficient light bulbs can bring us.
Efficiency – This is a bit obvious, and we mentioned it earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again. For comparison, CFLs are four times more effective than traditional bulbs, lasting ten times longer too. LED bulbs can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 11 years.
Using them also cuts your energy bill a lot. This means that you can save both on the lifetime because in 11 years you would buy countless regular bulbs but just one LED, and your electricity bill will be lower.
Lower emissions – Every bulb you replace with an energy efficient one, will reduce the emissions by half a ton. If every person in the US replaced just one bulb, the emissions reduced would equal the number of emissions from 800 000 cars on the road. Imagine how much of a difference you could make.
Electricity savings – Energy efficient bulbs cost more at the outset than the traditional incandescent bulbs, these will offer valuable savings later on, over their lifetime by lasting longer and using less energy.
Versatility – The energy efficient bulbs can now replace almost any incandescent bulb, which is amazing and really useful in many homes. There are CFLs that can work on dimmer switches and on three way lamps and so on.
Durability – LEDs can take a lot of stress from bumping and weather. They don’t need a filament so they don’t break as often as your regular bulbs would.
In essence, there is no reason not to get these energy efficient bulbs as they can save you a ton of money. Depending on the provider, the price can be a little higher in the beginning but it makes up for it later on.
So, you've probably heard a lot about energy efficient light bulbs. However, you are still not sure which ones to get. Here's an article that can help you solve that problem and learn more about energy efficient light bulbs.