Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Energy Efficient Lighting

Electric lighting burns up to 25% of the average home energy budget. The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5 to 10 times the original purchase price of the bulb itself.

Additionally, the heat created by incandescent lighting adds to the latent heat-load and requires the air-conditioning system to work harder to remove it. This is especially an issue in the southern home.

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs have revolutionized energy-efficient lighting.

CFLs are simply miniature versions of full-sized fluorescent lights. They screw into standard lamp sockets, and give off light that looks similar to the common incandescent bulbs - not like the fluorescent lighting we associate with factories and schools.

LEDs are small, very efficient solid bulbs. New LED bulbs are grouped in clusters with diffuser lenses which have broadened the applications for LED use in the home. LED technology is advancing rapidly, with many new bulb styles available. Initially more expensive than CFLs, LEDs bring more value since they last longer. Also, the price of LED bulbs is going down each year as the manufacturing technology continues to improve.