What Are Your Lightbulbs Costing You?
As the years roll on, technology continues to advance rapidly. Even in the most mundane objects, technology seems to always throw out new twists on the product. With the push toward conservation of energy, many homes are becoming more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. These changes can be seen in large projects, such as solar panels being installed on roofs, and in simple changes, like switching out which types of lightbulbs you use.
Lightbulbs, although simple, can create a huge economic impact and resource impact. Depending on which model of bulb you choose, you could be saving yourself considerable money over the next decade. The cost to change out your old lightbulbs is so low that there is a great incentive to do it now! Years ago, as consumers, we had only one choice when bulbs failed us: go to the store to pick up some new incandescent bulbs to replace them.
However, today we have the option of purchasing technology that is the latest and greatest. That includes LED bulbs or CFL bulbs, specifically. These bulbs will last you much longer than your old, outdated incandescent bulbs will.
In past years, LED and CFL bulbs were relatively pricey options compared with the good ol' incandescent bulbs. This fact alone prompted consumers to continue buying incandescent bulbs as replacements. However, now you can buy LED and CFL bulbs that have come down in price. Incandescent bulbs are biting the dust soon, since there was a ban placed on their sale. They are not very energy-efficient and will be completely phased out by 2020 in a new initiative to save energy.
What is the difference between a CFL bulb and an LED bulb? The CFLs drive an electric current through a tube that contains argon and mercury vapor. This creates ultraviolet light that quickly transitions into visible light. This is different from the incandescent bulb, which gives off a warm glow from its wire filament. The CFLs will last 70 percent longer than an average incandescent bulb.
The only downsides to these bulbs is that they are not at full brightness right when you flip the light switch, because they take a little while to warm up, and they are not ideal for use with a dimmer switch. Also, if broken, these CFL bulbs need to be cleaned up and disposed of carefully since they contain mercury, which can be harmful.
LED bulbs work by using positive and negative charges in unison to create energy that results in a bright light. This light is instantaneous and can be used with a dimmer switch. LED bulbs can last five times longer than the average incandescent bulb. LEDs are a bit more expensive than CFLs, however.
Look around your house and think of all the bulbs you're using. It's time for change!