Everyone wants to save money. With the economy, still slow and unemployment high, family and business budgets are tight. Thus, we’re all looking for ways to lower our bills, and there aren’t many bills more devastating to budgets than the electric bill. Not to mention those bills during a brutal Texas summer.
At the same time, people are finally beginning to understand that the damage we do to our environment is harmful in the long run, and are trying to find a way to reduce our impact on the planet. A lot of the time it seems like we must choose between saving money and helping the earth. That is simply not the case when we’re talking about options for lighting your home or business. The employees of my Plano electrical service tell you that you can actually do both at the same time, and that it‘s as simple as changing a light bulb!
Light bulb shopping has changed a lot in the last ten years. Our choices are no longer limited to the incandescent (and sometimes halogen) bulbs we all grew up with. Today fluorescent CFL lights are available in almost every store, and LED lights are starting to become more widely available as well. These bulbs use far less energy to create the same amount of light, which ultimately means less energy you have to pay for. The savings can be seen with a single bulb.
For example, if you replace just one 60-watt incandescent bulb you use four hours each day with a 12-watt LED equivalent, you’ll wind up saving almost $10 a year on average! These bulbs can save you money and hassle in ways you might not think of at first. For instance, LED and CFL bulbs produce very little heat when compared to an incandescent bulb which means that they don’t attract insects, and that your air conditioner doesn’t have another heat source in your house to cool down.
There are electrical benefits to having cooler bulbs too: less heat being generated by light bulbs means that there’s less heat stress being placed on the sockets and fixtures they’re attached to. Less stress on the fixtures means that they have a much longer life, and that you’re saving money you’d otherwise have to spend on repairing or replacing them.
All these choices beg the question of which type of bulb is better. From an electrician’s view, they’re both superior to the old kind of bulbs. Personally, I think LED lights are superior to fluorescent CFL lights right now. The technology that makes CFL bulbs work is still primitive. Think of what cell phones looked like in the 1980‘s compared to today; right now, the CFL bulbs you can buy are the fluorescent bulb version of those old brick phones. LED lights have very distinct advantages:
- LED lights don’t need time to warm up like CFL bulbs do.
- Dimmer switches don’t work with CFL lights, but LEDs dim just like an incandescent bulb.
- Probably the biggest issue I have with CFL bulbs right now is their impact on the environment. They’re full of toxic mercury and lead compounds which can be very hazardous to the water supply, which means you can’t just throw them away.
- Fluorescents can’t be changed while warm, either. They’ll break off at the base, and cleaning up a broken CFL bulb can be a nightmare, with the potential threat of mercury poisoning of you and your loved ones if you’re not careful.
These reasons are why I generally recommend LED bulbs; they’re more earth-friendly, easy to dispose of, use less energy than even CFL bulbs, and last a very long time. They can be more expensive than other bulbs, but you’ll save enough money on your power bills in the long run to come out well ahead!
For Plano, electrical service or questions about what type of lights are best for your needs you can trust ElectricMan to help and get the job done right. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call!