Choosing Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated August 31, 2022)
There are all kinds of reasons that can influence you to be as energy efficient as possible. Some of the more common reasons include wanting to save money on your monthly utility bills, wanting to save money on shopping, and even wanting to reduce the amount of energy that you use in general. Whether you are looking to make a green impact on the planet, or saving a little green in your wallet, you need to know the right methods for choosing energy efficient light bulbs. In reality, all you really need to do is keep in mind these guidelines, and you should have no problem getting the right light bulbs for your home.
- Check the package. The first thing that you need to understand about choosing energy efficient light bulbs is that they should be clearly marked. This means that you need to look carefully at the packaging. Good quality energy efficient light bulbs will be clearly marked with Energy Star somewhere on the packaging. If the packaging isn't clearly marked, it may not be as energy efficient as the packaging may lead you to believe.
- Types. There are several different types of light bulbs that are designed to be energy efficient. Perhaps the single most popular type are fluorescent bulbs (both regular and compact) which also provide the most "natural" light of all the energy efficient light bulbs. In fact, these are so popular that some cities are making it illegal to sell the old incandescent light bulb anymore in favor of these. Another of the more popular choice are the light emitting diodes (LEDs) or even halogens which tend to provide the brightest lights.
- Benefits. If there is one benefit that all energy efficient light bulbs will share is that it will save you money. Energy efficient light bulbs are also engineered to have a minimum of ten times the service life of regular light bulbs. In addition, these lights will usually give of the same amount of light using a whole lot less energy than traditional light bulbs. For example, an LED bulb that only uses about three watts of energy can put out as much light as a 45 watt incandescent bulb.
- Potential drawbacks. CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) have a couple of large drawbacks. The first is that as they are now, you cannot really use them effectively with a dimmer switch. Another potential drawback is that CFLs are extremely hazardous if they get broken. In fact, they are so dangerous that the EPA considers them hazardous materials.
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