Energy Guide: Lighting Your Home Efficiently
With a multitude of different light bulbs out on the market, homeowners are often left in the dark on what their best choices are. I will try to solve this issue for you so when you need to make an upgrade on your lighting the choice will be easy.
Essentially there are three main types of light bulbs: incandescent, compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), and light emitting diode (LED). First off, we are going to take incandescent bulbs out of the equation as they are almost completely off the market ever since CFLs and LEDs put them to shame. Incandescent bulbs are inefficient and outdated technology. You can find much more efficient options and not much higher of a price point.
Due to the long lifespan of LED bulbs compared to both incandescent bulbs and CFLs, LEDs save you money in the long run. Looking at upfront costs, an incandescent bulb costs, on average, only $1 and lasts 1,000 years. A LED bulb costs, on average, $4, but lasts 25,000 hours. That means that it would take 25 incandescent bulbs, or $25, to power 25,000 hours, or one $4 bulb. Over the course of the LED lifespan, that’s a savings of $21 –> and that’s not factoring in the energy savings!
Let’s break down a few differences between CFLs and LEDs. CFLs cost less than LEDs but do not last as long. LEDs on the other hand cost a little bit more, but last much longer. Fortunately, the price of LEDs has decreased drastically. To put things in perspective, a standard CFL that’s a 60W equivalent would cost $3 and an LED would cost $4, not much higher! CFLs do not turn instantly on, meaning that once the light is on, it will take a minute or two to get to full brightness. LEDs do turn instantly on. Additionally, CFLs traditionally do not work on dimmer switches and thet contain Mercury. Due to the Mercury, CFLs cannot be thrown in the trash or even recycle. They are considered hazardous waste and must be disposed of as other hazardous waste.
All in all, it is your choice, but taking into account the efficiency and benefits, LEDs are the clear choice when aiming to light your home.