Energy-efficient lighting is more important now, than it has ever been before. Many people are struggling to pay their expensive electric bills, and the planet could use any break it can get, when it comes to cutting down on pollution and CO2 emissions.
With that being said, incandescent bulbs are slowly becoming a thing of the past, as they are gradually being phased out throughout the globe. Incandescent bulbs would have had a better chance of sticking around, if the only other energy-efficient alternatives would have been compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Now that LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology is on the rise and these cluster bulbs are starting to become more available, there really is not many excuses left.
Of course, many of you are familiar with the old-style fluorescent lights, which are long tubes that are commonly used to light up warehouses, stores, shops, aquariums, tanning beds, etc. The compact versions, CFLs, have been around now for several years, and it surprises me still today, just how many people haven’t even switched over to ’em yet! However, there are some traits that CFL bulbs have, that some folks just plain detest, such as:
CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury, but if you handle them carefully and keep them out of harms way, it will cut down on the risk of them breaking. Some people complain that CFLs don’t last as long as they claim to, and that they are expensive when you keep having to replace them and am I really saving very much money? Well, here’s the thing, if you constantly flick them on and off, it will greatly shorten their life. But, even if you cut their life in half, it will still save you money because they are very efficient. Plus, the price on those have come down over the years, when compared to their original, inflated price.
Another complaint is that CFLs make for a poor outdoor light when it is cold outside. Yeah, they do, as the gas doesn’t heat up enough to produce a full light in really cold temperatures. Another common complaint is that CFL bulbs don’t work in their dimmer switches. Dimmable CFLs are available for lights using a dimmer switch, but not all compact fluorescent lights can be used on dimmer switches.
Personally, I’ve used compact fluorescent bulbs for several years and I haven’t had any problems with ’em, outside of the occasional bulb that shoots prematurely.
I just use the basic spiral bulbs, although I have used the fluorescent globe-style bulbs for a vanity mirror in a bathroom (click here for Infinity Mirrors) before, and standard enclosed bulbs for lamps (click here for Himalayan Salt Lamps) or wherever I needed a softer light, and when I lived at another place, we had a chandelier that I used fluorescent chandelier bulbs and/or Candelabra (bulb with a small base and a torpedo shape) CFL bulbs.
I also like the natural daylight effect fluorescent bulbs have. They make for excellent grow lights for plants and aquariums – especially the traditional tube-style bulbs. I understand that LED lights are on the rise, but for now, although LED is even more energy-efficient than fluorescent lights, I’m sticking with my CFL bulbs, for now.
Now, what’s so special about LED lights? Well, although the bulbs are rather expensive, they produce very little heat and use only a small amount of electricity and they last for a very, very long time. LED technology has been around for quite some time, but in the past, they were limited to single-bulb use in applications such as electronics, instrument panels, pen lights, etc. Over the last few years, I’ve being seeing strings of indoor and outdoor LED Christmas lights being sold in some stores along with LED night lights and flashlights. Now, you can find clusters of LED lights within a bulb, although still not easily found like CFLs, you can buy LED light bulbs to replace your standard incandescent or CFL light bulbs that you use throughout your home.
At the time I’m writing this, the Walmart that is closest to me, only sells LED night lights, flashlights, and those strings of LED light that I mentioned a moment ago. As the incandescent bulbs are getting phased out, the bigger LED lights (small LED clusters within a bulb) should start to become more readily available. You can always shop online, if this is the type of lighting you desire. I’ll give an example of how energy-efficient they are:
A 75 to 100 watt incandescent bulb puts out about as much light as a 23 to 30 watt CFL, and a 16 to 20 watt LED light bulb.
I just checked Amazon, and they seem to only have a limited amount of LED products at this time, but you can always browse around or check back later, as they are always adding to their inventory:
——————>‘Click Here’ to Shop Amazon for LED Related Products<——————
I just found a website that has some bigger LED bulbs available. Here’s a quick excerpt from their site: “The high cost of producing LEDs has been a roadblock to widespread use. However, researchers at Purdue University have developed a process for using inexpensive silicon wafers to replace the expensive sapphire-based technology. This promises to bring LEDs into competitive pricing with CFLs and incandescents. LEDs may soon become the standard for most lighting needs. We are following these developments with interest and will report the latest updates in this research.” Read more, here: http://eartheasy.com/live_energyeff_lighting.htm
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—End of Post “CFL & LED Light Bulbs – Energy-Efficient Lighting”