As the days grow shorter with the approaching winter season, chances are that your energy bill may grow as well. If you’re not already using energy-efficient light bulbs, now is the time to make the switch. New energy standards, which were rolled out in 2012, call for light bulbs to use 25 percent less energy than traditional, incandescent light bulbs. Using inefficient light bulbs is like choosing to throw money away, and who wants to do that? To help you avoid this pitfall, here are three energy-efficient light bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs.
|Energy-efficient CFLs use about 75% less
energy than incandescent bulbs.
1. LED light bulbs. LED stands for light emitting diode, and these bulbs work by using semiconductors that convert electricity into light. According to energy.gov, LED light bulbs average about 75 to 80 percent energy savings over their lifespan, and they last up to 25 percent longer than incandescent bulbs. To learn more about how to choose an LED light bulb, click here.
2. CFL light bulbs. Compact fluorescent lamps, known as CFLs, utilize a long tube fluorescent light that is wound up in the bulb. In his article on CFLs, William Harris explains that CFLs are more energy efficient, because they use an entirely different mechanism than incandescent bulbs to create light. Instead of the glowing filament that is used in incandescent bulbs, CFLs use argon and mercury vapor in a spiral-shaped tube. A ballast in the bulb creates an electric current that passes through the vapor and creates ultraviolet light. Next, the ultraviolet light stimulates fluorescent coating on the outside of the bulb, which then emits visible light. These bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and, according to ENERGY STAR, if every home in America swapped out just one incandescent bulb for a CFL, we would save about $600 million in annual energy costs.
3. Halogen light bulbs. In terms of energy efficiency, halogen light bulbs are somewhere in between incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Designed to replace inefficient incandescent bulbs, halogen bulbs use a gas from the halogen group. This howstuffworks.com article explains that when the gas in halogen light bulbs heats, it combines with atoms from the tungsten filament. It then deposits them on the filament, enabling the filament to last much longer than an incandescent bulb and averaging an energy savings of about 28%. To learn more about energy-saving halogen bulbs, click here.
When it comes to saving energy on lighting costs, making the switch to energy-efficient bulbs is a must. And, with new energy standards and a variety of bulbs from which to choose, the switch has never been easier. For more insight on which bulbs might work best for you, check out this article from The Daily Green, which compares the light quality of LED, CFL, and halogen bulbs. In the meantime, we hope you choose to light your life wisely!