Efficient and Modern LED Light Bulbs Replace Outdated CFL Technology
Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs)
CFLs have been a great alternative to standard incandescent light bulbs for saving energy, lowering utility costs, and using lesser amounts of fossil fuels. In fact, an ENERGY STAR certified CFL saves consumers about one-fourth the energy and lasts ten times longer than a standard incandescent while casting the same amount of light.
While CFLs have been beneficial overall, there are still some negatives that have made many people weary of using them. First, CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury and should not be disposed of in your usual trash bin. Not only are consumers afraid of the mercury itself but the hassle of taking a CFL to be properly disposed of (such as at Lowe’s or Home Depot locations) is just plain annoying.
Another negative about CFLs is that they are not designed to be used in areas where the lights are often switched on and off. This includes
areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms where only small amounts of time are spent. CFLs that are turned on and off often burn out much more quickly than when left on for longer periods of time.
CFL technology has reached its peak and because newer lighting technology doesn’t have any of the negatives that are associated with CFLs, consumers are encouraged to move toward efficient and hassle free LED lighting.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
LEDs are extremely energy efficient and long-lasting light bulbs. They generally use only 20-25% of the electricity that a standard incandescent uses and they last up to 25 times longer. LEDs contain no mercury or other hazardous wastes and they can be disposed of in your home trash bin.
As LED technology continues to improve, prices for consumers have become more reasonable and because they need to be replaced so infrequently, they are well worth the initial cost.
Choosing a Light Bulb – Choosing Quality Brands and Understanding Lumens
Be wary of LED knock offs. Stick to quality brands such as TCP, Philips, and Sylvania. Discount brands often do not have the quality that these name brands do and they are more likely to be disappointing.
A common problem that consumers have while choosing a bulb (other than an old-fashioned incandescent) is that we have never commonly used the term “lumens.” As a society, we are accustomed to choosing a light bulb using wattage. The problem with this is that wattage is not the measure of how bright a light is. It is the measurement of how much energy the bulb uses. Today, it doesn’t make sense to use wattage as a unit of measure when choosing lighting because different types of lights use different wattage amounts but can still cast the same level of brightness. The proper unit of measure is called the lumen.
When you look at light bulb packaging you’ll notice that it generally has a label that gives both the lumen number and what the equivalent wattage-based light bulb would be. This way you can still look to replace your 60 watt bulb with a lower wattage bulb but choose one that will light your space just as brightly.
So, the next time you go to replace a bulb, pick out an energy-efficient LED... and don’t forget your lumens!