Energy Efficient Lightbulbs

Thursday October 20, 2016


If every American household replaced one regular incandescent light bulb with an energy efficient light bulb, we could save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year. Crazy, right? We would also save about $600 million in yearly energy costs and prevent 9 billion pounds of yearly greenhouse gas emissions. Just that one little change could make a huge difference.

Although you’ll probably pay more upfront, the light bulb will last longer and lower your utility bills. It’s a win-win. There are three different kinds of energy efficient light bulbs and today we’re going to give you a quick run-through of each so that you can decide which is best for your home.

Energy-Saving Incandescent Light Bulbs. Sometimes called halogen light bulbs, energy-saving incandescents contain a capsule that holds gas around a filament. This increases the bulb’s efficiency by about 25%, helping it to last about three times longer than regular incandescents. You can find energy-saving incandescent light bulbs in a variety of shapes and colors, and they can also be used with dimmers. They are the least energy efficient of your options, but they’re still better than regular light bulbs.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLS). When you think of energy efficient light bulbs, you probably think of those strangely shaped bulbs with a top that twists and curls. Those are CFLs. CFLs use less electricity than incandescent light bulbs. Although they cost more than traditional lightbulbs, they’re far more economical because they last 10 times longer. In fact, most CFLs will pay for themselves in about 9 months. You can purchase CFLs in several different colors and some can be used with dimmers. Please note that because they contain a minuscule amount of mercury, they should be recycled, not thrown away.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDS). LEDs are not the most common lighting choice for houses at the moment because they are still a bit pricey (this is expected to change in the coming years). However, because of their efficiency, they will still save you money. LEDs are a type of solid-state lighting. They are semi-conductors that convert electricity into light. Commonly used in indicator and traffic lights, LEDs are a good choice for recessed fixtures and small track lights. They can replace 40W, 60W, and 75W traditional incandescents, amongst other bulbs.

Improvements in eco-friendly lighting are being made all the time, and you will likely see many changes in energy efficient light bulbs in the coming years. For example, many people find that non-incandescent light bulbs are too white and harsh, but manufacturers have listened to consumers and created some softer, warmer options. If you still find that you don’t like the starkness of the light, you could try to diffuse it with a good lampshade.

You can find energy efficient light bulbs just about anywhere regular light bulbs are sold: hardware stores, grocery stores, retail stores like Target and Walmart, etc. And if you want to be certain that you’ve chosen a truly eco-friendly light bulb, check to see if it is ENERGY STAR certified. That will prove that it has passed the eco-friendly guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

When you purchase energy efficient light bulbs, you know that you’re doing your part to protect the environment. Plus, you’ll save money on your utility bills. 



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