Saving Energy, One Light Bulb At A Time
How many light bulbs have you changed in your lifetime? It’s a simple action, and often one that we don’t put much thought into, but what if the simple act of changing a light bulb could make a profound impact on the environment, and the well-being of future generations? As experienced Plano Electricians, we at ElectricMan Inc. have made it our mission to help bring knowledge of alternative lighting solutions, electrical efficiency, and environmental responsibility to the forefront of everyone’s minds. The reality is that even small changes can yield huge benefits when it comes to energy savings.
Alternative Lighting Solutions
According to www.EnergyStar.gov:“If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that’s earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars.”
Think about the changes that you can make by simply replacing the outdated incandescent bulbs in your home as they burn out with one of the alternative lighting solutions below.
Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)
Modern CFL bulbs for use in homes consist of a curved fluorescent tube and electronic ballast in a single unit, designed as a direct replacement for standard blubs. They use 3-4 times less power than comparable incandescent bulbs. These are great options to replace your standard light bulbs, but they do have a few small drawbacks.
According to an article by PopularMechanics.com:
- While CFL’s do have a much longer lifespan than standard bulbs, they often lose some of their brightness long before their expected lifespan is up, and this is increased in fixtures that don’t allow for efficient cooling of the ballast located in the base of the bulb.
- Another documented fact about CFL bulbs is that they do contain mercury, which means that they must be disposed of properly by taking them your local approved recycling center. You wouldn’t throw a battery out with the daily trash, would you? So you shouldn’t throw these out either.
Light Emitting Diodes (LED)
LED’s are a form of “solid-state” lighting that has become available recently to homeowners as an incandescent and CFL replacement.
- Using small light-emitting diodes mounted directly to circuit boards, these are highly efficient, and have fewer parts prone to failure, allowing for an expected realistic lifespan of 20,000 to 30,000 hours, when operated at recommended temperatures.
- While initial costs for these bulbs are higher than incandescent and CFL options, long term energy savings are where this alternative lighting option truly shines, with the average LED bulb using approximately 12-17% of the energy that it takes to run an incandescent bulb of similar output, the end result is a bulb that costs drastically less to power over time.
Changes in Lighting Technology
Lighting technology has changed a lot in the past decade, and it is pretty amazing to see what could be on the horizon for future lighting innovations. Take this for example. While most homes will never need this amount of output, it’s pretty impressive to see that something the size of a Christmas tree light, like this plasma bulb, can put out more light, more efficiently, than the giant bulbs that we use in street lamps!
The great thing about these changes is that they aren’t something that requires a huge change in your lifestyle, so they are some of the easiest ways possible to help the environment and lower electric bills while you are at it!
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