Environmental LED Lighting
I just have to say that something came over me when I got a utility bill that was about 15 % higher than my normal bill and it got me obsessed with trying to lower it. What better way to do that than with a full assessment of my energy usage? I often never really thought about my energy usage because I live in a studio apartment, and my bills were never really that much…but I challenge you out there to do your part.
I think the first place to start is by asking yourself: Are ALL of my lightbulbs energy efficient? For me the answer was NO…tisk tisk I know. I have some track lighting – 4 lightbulbs (PAR30 size) that are sucking 65 Watts a piece! How Dare I!!!
I did some research and found these expensive environmental LED lighting alternatives…for $30 I found a GE LED bulb including shipping. Now just as a sanity check, this same bulb was on sale in Ace Hardware for $45 (I just checked yesterday) so this is a steal. But don’t forget that there are some sellers on ebay selling led bulbs for a steal as well. I’m a big proponent of led bulbs since their energy consumption is so low AND they are not toxic (CFL’s have dangerous mercury in them) when tossing away. But the other good thing about these bulbs is their lifetime. Some boast 20,000 to 50,000 hours of use…I calculated that if you use these bulbs for 5 hours a day everyday, they would last between 11 and 28 years!
Environmental LED Lighting Savings
There are some 6W environmental LED lighting bulbs I found on Amazon for $9.85 a pop. These might be worth replacing even your 15W or 20W CFL’s that you might have around the house. At 6 Watts per bulb, my CFL’s look like energy hogs!
LED lighting is going to be the future of lighting, so why not snag some now and start watching your energy bills go down today. I’ll follow up with another post on more ways you can save on your energy bill.
Below is a guide that I pulled from Amazon just as an FYI about bulbs with some added notes of course:
Choose the Right Bulb for Your Lighting Needs ( just keep in mind the wattage)
One bulb is as good as another, right? Actually, no. Choosing the correct light bulb for your various fixtures can save energy, increase safety, and help create the right ambiance. But it’s not always easy to select the right bulb. Use the following guide to help determine the appropriate bulbs for your fixtures at home.
Bulb Type Basics
The incandescent bulb is the one most people are familiar with. Light is created by passing electricity to a filament and heating it until it glows a warm, white light.
Advantages: These bulbs are usually inexpensive, produce a pleasing and consistent white warm light, and are dimmable. Incandescent bulbs are good for many household applications.
Disadvantages: They generally have a short life compared to other bulbs, and they waste energy since they transform energy into heat rather than light, which makes them hot to the touch. In fact, 90% of the energy is lost by producing heat instead of light…it’s very inefficient.
A halogen bulb is an incandescent bulb that uses halogen gas and a filament to generate light. To perform properly, the operating temperature of the bulb filament is very high and the halogen gas must be at the appropriate pressure. Quartz glass is used to protect against the increased heat.
Advantages: These bulbs produce a bright white light, tend to have a long life compared to standard incandescents, are dimmable, and offer good beam control. Halogen bulbs are great for displays, accent lighting, task lighting, and under-cabinet usage.
Disadvantages: They’re more costly than incandescents and are also very hot to the touch.
To produce light, CFL bulbs use the interaction between mercury and other gases; the resulting glow mimics the warm, white light of incandescents.
Advantages: CFLs are energy efficient and are an easy replacement for inefficient incandescents. They tend to have a long life and come in a wide range of shapes, colors, and sizes. CFLs are great for use at home, as well as commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings.
Disadvantages: They tend to cost more than incandescents and are temperature sensitive. All linear fluorescents require separate ballast. Also, disposing of these can be some trouble, since the mercury in the bulbs are toxic, you must handle these with care and make sure they are recycled properly.
An LED bulb houses clusters of light-emitting diodes–tiny electronic chips that glow when electricity passes through them–instead of filaments or gasses.
Advantages: LEDs have a longer lifespan than incandescents because of their energy efficiency (manufacturers are testing Energy Star qualifications), are durable and low maintenance, and are ideal for spotlighting artwork because they don’t emit ultraviolet or infrared light, which can often cause fading and other damage.
Disadvantages: LED light bulbs for the home tend to be on the expensive side–plus, since they serve as directed light sources, they aren’t ideal for ambient lighting.
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