Old Faithful: Incandescent LightIncandescent light bulbs may be your go-to choice when it is time to replace a light in your home. They are the cheapest and have been used for decades. However, the government has begun a ban on incandescent light bulbs. “…the sale of traditional 100-watt bulbs will be illegal. The 75-watters will be banned in 2013, and 60- and 40-watt bulbs the year after. (http://cei.org/op-eds-articles/how-many-congressmen-does-it-take-screw-light-bulb)” This is due to the high energy cost of incandescent lighting. A lot of heat and carbon dioxide are emitted from these bulbs, raising the energy bill and negatively impacting the environment. Consumers have been pushing towards CFL’s for some time now.
A Better Alternative: Compact Fluorescent LightCFL’s are much more energy efficient than incandescent lights. They emit significantly less heat and carbon dioxide, plus they last more than six times as long, on average. There are still many disadvantages, unfortunately. These lights take longer to heat up, so turning them on and off quickly can reduce their lifespan. Furthermore, you must use a 3 way bulb in a 3 way socket and the same goes for dimmable sockets. Failure to do so may not give you any light at all. Also, these bulbs have mercury in them, so use extreme caution if you break one. The mercury also pollutes landfills after the light goes out and the bulb is tossed in the garbage. If you have CFL’s in your home just make sure to use caution. (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_about)
The Best Option: LED LightLED’s are the newest option for light bulbs at home and the benefits are numerous. They are more durable than incandescent lights and CFL’s. Plus, they emit much less heat and carbon dioxide than their competitors. This means you will pay less in energy costs and they are more environmentally friendly, both during and after their lifespan. Mercury is not used in these bulbs. The only downside is that they are more expensive, but they are built to last 50,000 hours, on average. Essentially LED’s are a higher cost up front; however, they are a bargain in the long run.
The image above compares each of the light bulbs in various fixtures to show the differing visual effects. From left to right you see the incandescent lamps, the CFL’s, and the LED’s. Is it time for you to make the switch?
This post was written by Leanne.
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