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The Main Energy Saving Light Bulb Options
It might or might not be news to you, but it is nevertheless a fact that for the past few years now most industrialized countries have been phasing out traditional incandescent light bulbs.
In many places all incandescent bulbs of 60 watts and above are already unavailable as governments quietly enact legislation to enforce low energy lighting as part of a package of measures aimed at reducing global warming.
So then, whether or not you take global warming seriously, your government certainly does and consequently you will henceforth be required to light your own patch of darkness with low energy light bulbs. So what should you be looking for as you poke around the lighting shelves and find them now devoid of the old familiar light bulbs of yore?
For a start, low energy light bulbs currently come in two main forms: the fairly common CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) which has been around a few years already; and the, as yet, less well known LED (Light Emitting Diode).
A Tale Of Two Technologies
In terms of purchase price and availability, CFLs are the cheaper option and having been around longer are more plentiful. Compared to incandescent bulbs, CFL are about 4 times cheaper to run and last longer, but given that they are also presently twice as expensive to buy, many wonder at the true savings to be had with CFLs.
At present LEDs cost at least twice as much again as CFLs and are still something of a novelty in lighting, though this is set to change and fast. Many DIY and general hardware stores only offer low power LED spot lights and color changing bulbs, which serve adequately for ambient and mood lighting, but are not realistic as replacements for much existing incandescent lighting.
However, high quality LED light bulbs are easily available from specialist lighting stockists and online, and these really are more than capable of replacing halogen lamps and conventional incandescent light bulbs. For example, the Cree EvoLux LED globe is available with preset dimmer settings to emulate general service lighting ranging from 40w through 60w and right upto 100w, which is plenty bright enough for most folk. And for spotlights you’re pretty much spoiled for choice these days.
The principal difference between an LED spotlight and say an equivalent halogen spot is energy consumption, or more precisely energy wastage through heat. Some 90% of the energy used to run a conventional light bulb disappears as heat; barely 10% goes towards the very job it is supposed to do, which is produce light. As you can see, the world’s electricity bill (of which 20% is accounted for by lighting) represents wasted money and resources, not to mention environmental harm, on a staggering scale.
This also brings us to a crucial point when considering the cost of electric lighting…
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