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Why You Need To Know About Low Energy Light Bulbs
Let’s get something straight first. You really do need to know about low energy light bulbs. This is not optional, and if you don’t find out what you need to know about low energy light bulbs and all that goes with them, then you will shortly suffer the traditional consequences of ignorance.
Why? Because conventional filament lighting using GLS (General Lighting Service) light bulbs is being phased out in short order and pretty soon you won’t be able to buy these traditional light bulbs at all. Which means that this is an issue you cannot afford to ignore and, like I said, knowing at least the basic facts about low energy lighting is something you need to assimilate, since real soon now low energy light bulbs (also called energy saving light bulbs) will be all that is on offer.
Think I’m making this up? Check out the worldwide schedule for phasing out incandescent bulbs – some countries have already eliminated all GLS bulbs and many others, including the USA, are now part way through and aim to complete the eradication of incandescent bulbs within the next couple of years.
Before we get much further into this, be aware that the subject of domestic lighting in general and “green lighting” in particular is littered with its own frequently confusing terminology.
You already met GLS which sometimes morphs into GSL for General Service Lamp where lamp is the word used in the lighting industry for what most ordinary folk call a light bulb, which they would fit into for example a table lamp which insiders would term a luminaire.
You will encounter terms such as “low energy light bulb” and “energy saving light bulb” which are completely interchangeable terms; if a light bulb is low energy then it will obviously use less energy and thus result in an energy saving. However, not all low energy or energy saving light bulbs are equal…
The Different Types of Low Energy Lighting
Discounting high intensity discharge lamps since these aren’t really practical for most domestic lighting (HID lamps are commonly used for lighting large public spaces – sodium vapour streetlights are a common example) there are presently only three alternative technologies to conventional incandescent lighting that are considered to provide a viable domestic energy saving lighting solution.
To be considered a viable low energy domestic lighting solution, the alternative technology must be compatible with existing light fittings and provide equivalent light levels (luminosity) and light quality (an area known as “light color”), as well as using considerably less energy to produce the light (or put another way, converting more electricity into light, rather than wasting it as heat).
Let’s take a look at the available options…
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