Choosing the Right Light Bulb
June 29, 2017
Walk into any home-improvement store and you’ll likely be bewildered by the light bulb aisle.
The world of lightbulbs changed dramatically in 2007 when the federal government decided that lightbulbs had to be about 25% more efficient. These new efficiency standards were phased in from 2012 to 2014.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the new efficiency standards require light bulbs to consume less electricity (watts) for the amount of light produced (lumens). For example, if you are replacing a traditional 100-watt bulb, a good rule of thumb is to look for a bulb that gives you 1600 lumens for no more than 72 watts.
Today, common light bulbs sold in the U.S. typically use about 25% to 80% less energy than the traditional incandescent bulbs sold before the legislation passed. The new energy-saving light bulbs save you about $50 a year if you replace 15 inefficient incandescent bulbs in your house, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates.
But it’s likely you are already experiencing the benefits of the legislation. That’s because traditional incandescent bulbs are no longer manufactured.
Lighting options multiply
You have many choices in energy-efficient lighting today. The most popular light bulbs available are compact fluorescent lamps and light-emitting diodes.
- Compact fluorescent lamps(CFLs) are popular because they can fit into household fixtures. They use 25% to 35% of the energy used by incandescent bulbs with a similar amount of light and they last as much as 15 times longer. These bulbs are most cost-effective where the lights are turned on for long periods of time and they’re ideal for hard-to-reach places because they don’t need to be replaced often. They’re available in a variety of shapes and sizes and compatible with lighting-control systems for dimming. It’s important to recycle these bulbs at your neighborhood home improvement store because they contain a small amount of mercury to make the lamp work properly and efficiently (for more information about recycling or cleaning up a broken bulb, visit https://www.epa.gov/cfl).
- Light-emitting diodes(LEDs) use semiconductors to convert electricity into light. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED bulbs can be seven times more efficient than conventional incandescent lights and can last 25 times longer. A LED light can last more than three years running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. LEDs contain no mercury, so they have a smaller environmental impact compared with CFLs. Because LEDs are small and directional, they are ideal for kitchens, for example.
Helping you choose
Stop scratching your head in the light bulb aisle of your neighborhood hardware store. The trained staff at Empowered Global can help you choose the right types of light bulbs for your home or business.
Empowered Global can do much more than help you select the right lightbulbs. We can help you switch from regular lighting to LED lighting, install recessed lighting, flexible track lighting, landscape lighting, and even holiday lighting. Call us at 239-947-2375 to schedule a service appointment to discuss your lighting needs.