High Efficiency Light Bulbs PDF Print

 

High Efficiency, Low Wattage Light Bulbs

Conserving Energy

High efficiency, low wattage light bulbs have been increasing in popularity over the past few years.  They are renowned for their economical use of energy and decreased heat emission in homes. By giving off less heat and using less energy, low wattage light bulbs can have a huge impact on the amount of electricity consumed and help mitigate the adverse effects of energy consumption on the environment. The Environmental Protection agency estimates that if American home owners were to change just one light bulb in their homes to a high efficiency alternative it would save enough energy to light 3 million more homes and prevent almost 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year! (Energy Star)

Saving Money

These factors can also help homeowners save a great deal of money by decreasing their lighting and cooling costs.  Using less energy to light a home will decrease electric consumption and help cut overall utility costs.  The significant decrease in heat emission from efficient light bulbs can help relieve the costs of home cooling as well.  Investing in low wattage bulbs is the perfect way to decrease the electric bill during those hot summer months when the air conditioning seemingly never ceases to run.

Transitioning

Due to new government efficiency standards these alternative light bulbs will soon become the mandated standard for lighting needs.  It makes sense to begin the transition to high efficiency bulbs as soon as possible. These new lights will cost more than the traditional light bulbs of the past, but will last longer and save a great deal of money at the same time. (Plain Dealer)

There are a few downsides to these products however.  The traditional fluorescent bulbs used in in the majority of offices and homes are being discontinued after July 14th 2012 because they do not meet efficiency standards.  The new high efficiency bulbs being produced to replace them will not work in the old fixtures because of reengineered ballast that will be placed in every new light bulb.  This ballast allows the bulb to operate efficiently, but its lack of compatibility with the old fixture causes quite an inconvenience.  Light bulb manufacturers suggest having an electrician rewire the existing fixtures, or for the best results just install new fixtures all together.  Although a monetary and timely inconvenience, the switch to higher efficiency bulbs will save money in the long run. (Plain Dealer)

Concerns

One detriment that needs to be taken into consideration with florescent bulbs is the presence of mercury. Care must be taken when cleaning up a broken bulb or disposing of a dead one.  If the bulb is broken the toxic mercury present inside is potentially harmful if overexposure occurs.  The best advice is to clean up the bulb with plastic gloves and dispose of it properly.  Do not place it in your normal waste receptacles and do not vacuum the particles up. Because the substance is toxic, it should be disposed of separately in a plastic bag.   Some newer high efficiency bulbs are being made without mercury, but you should still consult your local lighting and waste removal representatives so you are familiar with proper disposal techniques in your area. (BBC News)

Quick Statistics

Here are some interesting statistics provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about light bulbs and their Energy Star rated products.

Potential Savings:  Each high efficiency light bulb can save approximately $6 a year in electricity costs and more than $40 during its lifetime.

Energy Efficiency: Low wattage light bulbs will on average use 75% less energy and last 6 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulb.

Heat Reduction: High efficiency light bulbs give off 75% less heat than incandescent bulbs and can help reduce the costs necessary to cool a home.

 

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