Be bright when it comes to home lighting.
Increasing your lighting efficiency is one of the easiest ways to decrease your energy bills. The average home uses about 5% of its energy budget on lighting and has about 70 light bulbs. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures with ENERGY STAR-rated bulbs, you can save $75 each year on energy costs, according to Energy.gov. Replace all your bulbs and watch your savings grow from there!
Choose one of these longer lasting energy efficient options:
- CFL: Compact Fluorescent Lamps
- LED: Light-Emitting Diodes
- Halogen Incandescent Bulb
LEDs account for 65% of light sources, halogens, 28%, and CFLs 7%. National Electrical Manufacturers Association 2018 figures.
What makes LEDs the best home light?
LED light bulbs work when an electrical current passes through a microchip, which illuminates the tiny light sources we call LEDs, and the result is visible light.
LEDs help the environment while reducing energy costs. According to the DOE, their widespread use is on track to save the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants, with a total savings of more than $30 billion, by the year 2027!
- LED light bulbs produce light up to 90% more efficiently than traditional incandescent light bulbs.
- They also include features that keep the bulb cooler to the touch, which avoids potential injuries and fire risks.
- Many LEDs are rated with a lifespan of 50,000 hours. Consider, if you used 8 hours of light a day, the LED bulb would last 17 years! In comparison, halogen light bulbs last about a year. and CFL bulbs about 3 years.
- LEDs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting, according to the DOE.
- Save about $80 in electricity costs per bulb over their lifetime.
LEDs are safer than their closest competitors, CFL and halogen bulbs.
CFLs are inexpensive curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights, but use less electricity and can pay for themselves in less than nine months.
CFLs contain a small amount of mercury that is dangerous if ingested. In addition, this type of bulb should not be thrown in the trash.
Halogen incandescent bulbs have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase efficiency. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers. Halogen bulbs meet federal minimum energy efficiency standards, but are not the most efficient option.
Halogen bulbs operate at very high temperatures, which means they can cause burns to the skin if touched. They can also, in some cases, cause a fire when knocked over or come in contact with something flammable.
Looking back in time.
The U.S. Department of Energy passed the Energy and Independence Act in 2007 requiring new light bulbs use 25% less energy. As a result, there was a huge push between 2012 and 2014 to replace older incandescent light bulbs with newer, more energy-efficient versions. 60-walt incandescent bulbs were banned in 2014 for failing to meet energy standards.
What's the fuss over incandescent bulbs?
Traditional incandescent bulbs produce light by heating a wire filament to a temperature that results in the generation of light. Incandescent bulbs were popular because they were inexpensive and available in a wide range of colors; however, much of their energy went into heat production and very little toward emitting light.
- Incandescent light bulbs also have a very short lifespan, lasting only about one year on average.
- The energy costs associated with the once-popular bulb, along with its stunted lifespan, far outweigh the initial savings at the cash register.
- Since incandescent bulbs produce a lot of heat, they may cause burn injuries and pose a fire risk.
Read more at the Energy Education Council's efficient lighting options website or check out SafeElectricity.