Energy Efficient Lighting Options
Lighting used to be so simple. If you needed a lamp or overhead light bulb, you went to the store, picked out the bulb with the wattage you needed, and you came home. Voila. Lighting!
Today, everything’s changed. But for the better. Now, there are many energy-efficient lighting options available. Homeowners can now choose from a wider variety of energy efficient lighting options. All of these options, however, may have your head spinning, wondering which light bulb offers the best return on investment.
Energy Efficient Lighting Options
The old standard incandescent light bulb is on its way out. These bulbs are famous, as they have been the go-to option for homeowners for decades — but for all the wrong reasons.
As the bulb uses electricity, a tiny filament inside the bulb heats up and glows. During this process, very little energy is used to generate light — a mere 10 percent — while the other 90 percent of electricity consumed is waste.
This extremely wasteful process is behind the drive for manufacturers and regulators to push for more efficient lighting options.
A guide to energy efficient lighting
Here’s a simple guide to energy efficient lighting so you’ll know just what to buy to save on energy bills.
Light Emitting Diode (LED)
These bulbs are highly efficient, but they’ve long been the costlier option. However, as the technology continues to advance and homeowners realize their significant return on investment (LEDs last a long time), they are fast becoming a viable lighting option.
LEDs offer a light that is called directional, light that is ideal for use in applications like under cabinets or in recessed lights. The bulbs haven’t always been ideal, however, for use in a table lamp; however, advanced LEDs are now addressing the issue by using lenses with diffusers and reflectors so that the LED light is dispersed much like an incandescent bulb would distribute light.
The benefits of LEDs include:
- A long life span. Compared to compact fluorescents, LEDs can last as much as 10 times longer and even longer than a standard incandescent bulb.
- Because they don’t employ a filament, LEDs are not as subject to damage or breakage. Durable LEDs break less often under duress.
- One of the energy-wasting components of old bulbs was how much heat the bulb actually gave off. LEDs don’t give off heat; instead, they are cool. As a comparison, LEDs generate less than 4 BTUs per hour, while an incandescent generates 85 BTUs per hour.
- LEDs don’t employ harmful mercury.
- LEDs use between 2 and 17 watts, as much as 1/30th of the watts a CFL or incandescent bulbs uses.
Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL)
CFLs are a compact version of the fluorescent bulbs but in standard sizes. You can use a CFL in a standard lamp and it gives off the same kind of light as an incandescent bulb. Unlike the name, the light isn’t the same as light you see when you enter a hospital or school with overhead fluorescent lighting.
The benefits of CFLs range from:
- Compared to incandescent bulbs, CFLs are four times as efficient, and the unique bulbs also last longer, 10,000 hours compared to 1000 hours for incandescents.
- Less costly to operate. CFLs do cost more to purchase than an incandescent, but it’s their lasting power that provides cost savings. You can save 570 kWh over the bulb’s life by opting for an 18 watt CFL instead of an incandescent of 75 watts.
- The light emitted by CFLs is coveted, as it gives off a warm light, as opposed to the stale, cool light of standard fluorescent bulbs. These new bulbs also don’t make noise (think of the “hum” of fluorescent lights used in institutional buildings) and they don’t flicker either.
- CFLs are available in a wide variety of sizes and shapes to suit many lighting applications. As such, CFLs are flexible, able to be used in any lighting application in which you can use an incandescent light bulb. This includes porch lighting, track lighting, lamps, recessed lighting, and more. You can also get three-way bulbs and dimmer bulbs for even more versatility.
For more information about saving energy, contact Jacob Heating & Air Conditioning. We’re happy to help our West Volusia neighbors secure energy savings through an A/C upgrade, seasonal maintenance or repair. Just gives us a call today!