How Important Are Energy-efficient Light Bulbs?
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
One of the most crucial attempts to reduce energy costs and expenses is making use of energy-efficient light bulbs, which is significantly important to the environment as well. A better understanding has gained during recent decades that a considerable amount of energy is saved by taking minor steps such as changing light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs have recently been replaced by compact fluorescent light bulbs or CFLs in most of the European countries and some American ones such as Canada. As it is believed by the Eco-design Regulatory Committee, in this way almost 40 TWh a year is saved; it is worth saying that a TWh is equal to 114 million watts.
Lumens vs. Watts
First and foremost, it is required to clear up some confusion on Lumens and Watts. Watts measures how much electricity a bulb needs while Lumens gives information on the produced energy amount of a bulb. When the priority is to save energy, Watts should be taken into consideration; and when the brightness of the room's light is an important factor to you, Lumens need to be considered.
Different Types of Light Bulbs
LEDs or light-emitting diodes are basically known to be the most energy-efficient light bulb. These bulbs work more efficiently than previous incandescent bulbs. Although they are expensive, their life span is longer since they are not vulnerable. They also use up the least electricity while producing the least amount of heat and the highest amount of light; that is why they are commonly used in TVs, CCTVs, traffic lights, and smartphone cameras. LEDs are environmentally friendly and mostly recyclable. Another important factor about them is that they are not made with harmful chemicals. Limited color options and some malfunction while installed sideways or exposed to heat can be their other disadvantages along with their high upfront cost.
CFLs or compact fluorescent lamps work the same as traditional tubular fluorescents bulbs, yet they are more compact and more efficient. They are also less energy-consuming than incandescent bulbs, however, LEDs are the best in this aspect. CFLs are almost as cheap to run as LEDs and typically have a lower upfront cost. However, they have a shorter lifespan of about half the lifespan of LEDs. CFLs might not work in low temperatures and take time to warm up for full brightness. Unfortunately, they fade over time and as they age produce less brightness. Note that they should be disposed of very carefully due to the existence of mercury inside of them.
Also known as "tungsten halogen lamps", these bulbs work like incandescent bulbs, they use less electricity and emit more light, though. Halogen bulbs are cheap to buy, but they cost more than other bulbs, have a shorter lifespan, and are less energy-efficient than LEDs and CFLs. In general, halogens would not be recommended to save more electricity.
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