Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

Tips for choosing energy efficient light bulbs

Given that standard incandescent light bulbs don't use electricity as resourcefully as other designs, many people are making the switch to energy-saving light bulbs. While fluorescents are perhaps the best-known example in the world of energy efficient light bulbs, they are not your only option. Halogen bulbs as well as LED light bulbs can also be used in the name of electrical efficiency.

Energy-saving light bulbs benefit the environment in two key ways. First, they reduce electricity consumption, and with it all the harmful byproducts that result from electricity production. Second, because they tend to last longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, energy efficient light bulbs also reduce waste.

Types of Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

All three main types of energy efficient light bulbs have particular characteristics, advantages and drawbacks. However, regardless of the type of energy-saving light bulbs you prefer, you can enjoy even more dramatic electricity savings when you pair them with dimmer switches.

Fluorescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent light bulbs (also known as CFL bulbs) can generate more light per watt of electricity than standard incandescent bulbs, and they waste far less energy through radiated heat. However, they contain mercury, which can make them tricky to dispose of properly. LED light bulbs are extremely efficient and last a long time, but they're prohibitively expensive and most people find it difficult to swallow the upfront costs associated with switching to them. Halogen light bulbs are simply regular incandescent bulbs which are specially designed to reduce the amount of tungsten that evaporates within the bulb, making its light production more energy efficient. However, they do become extremely hot and can pose fire hazards, so make sure you don't place them near any loose-hanging fabrics or upholstery.

Comparing the lifespan of standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and LED light bulbs tells a dramatic story. While you can expect between 700 and 1,000 hours of use out of a standard incandescent bulb, you'll get 10 times the life out of a compact fluorescent bulb. Switch to LED lighting and you'll get 100 times the lifespan out of each individual bulb.

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