Energy Efficient Lighting for Your Home
There are numerous energy efficient lighting options on the market. These options help save money by reducing your energy consumption and your utility bills. Fluorescent lights convert energy into light better more efficiently than regular incandescent bulbs. There are many options when it comes to fluorescent bulbs. In the industrial and business sector, linear fluorescent bulbs are most common. However, there are many different types of fluorescent lamps that can be used in the home setting. The most common places for fluorescent lighting is the kitchen, bathroom, basement or garage. However, with today’s lighting advancements, you can use these energy efficient lighting options almost anywhere. Compact fluorescent lights can be used in traditional light fixtures and lamps. Additionally, high-intensity discharge lights, also known as HID lamps can also be used.
When it comes to lighting, fluorescent lights use approximately one-quarter of the amount of energy needed to power an incandescent light bulb providing the same amount of illumination. Additionally, fluorescent lights last approximately 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs. These bulbs will provide between 7,000 and 24,000 hours of lighting. According to the Department of Energy, one 27-watt CFL bulb can save you approximately $62.00 over the life of the bulb. During a CFL’s lifespan, you would need to change a regular incandescent bulb approximately ten times. This coupled with the energy savings can save you a ton of money. In fact, replacing all of your incandescent light bulbs with CFL light bulbs can lower you energy bills by several hundreds of dollars over the life of the light bulb. Finally, these energy savings also lower your carbon footprint, making them a greener option in the lighting world.
The way fluorescent bulbs and HID bulbs save money is they way the are made. The electricity used to power these light bulbs converts small amounts of mercury found inside the bulb into a gas. The gas produces ultraviolet photons which convert into visible lights when the photons hit the phosphor lining of the light bulb. Mercury is the only element that can produce this type of energy efficient light. At the end of a fluorescent light bulb’s life, only a small amount of mercury is left in the tube.
It is important to properly dispose of your CFL bulbs to prevent mercury from contaminating landfills. In fact, many states mandate these light be recycled. You can contact your local public works authorities or waste disposal company to learn how to safely throw away these light bulbs. Additionally, some retail stores are beginning to offer recycling opportunities for consumers. You can also consult this website to find locations for fluorescent light bulb recycling in your area. If you are unsure if your light bulbs contain mercury, look for the Hg symbol on the lamp or on its packaging.
LEDs are extremely energy efficient and consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs. Since LEDs use only a fraction of the energy of an regular light bulbs, they cost a lot less to use.
CFLs use roughly 1/4 as much energy as incandescent bulbs and can save a significant amount of energy. This also translates into some serious cost savings as well. The EPA estimates that the average CFL pays for itself in just 6 months.