Energy Saving Lamps – Illumination Without The High Cost

Energy conservation and efficient use of energy are very difficult to implement and yet are very important to reduce electricity costs. In this contest, it is better to start reducing energy consumption by switching over to a more efficient energy saving bulbs and focus on those light-fittings that are lit most often and for longer durations.

Energy saving bulbs, technically called Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) is a fluorescent lamp designed as a substitute for an incandescent lamp. Some of these lamps will fit into light fixtures earlier used for incandescent lamps. As compared to regular incandescent lamps, for emitting the same amount of light, CFLs use much less electric power and have a longer life.

Although a CFL is much more expensive than an incandescent lamp, it can save much more than its purchase price over its life-span through substantial reduction in costs Green or environmentally-friendly light bulbs reduce energy consumption: CFLs are available in as many patterns as indoor lights and are used mainly for security lighting, ‘accent lighting’ and ‘convenience lighting’ and in many instances one light-fixture is used for different purposes.

Enormous savings not only in energy costs but also in minimizing harmful carbon emissions are achieved by installing energy-saving light bulbs in any light- fixtures that are lit for the whole night but they are not regulated by any ‘motion sensor’. The examples of such light fixtures are a floodlight over the driveway or rear deck or ornamental lanterns on both sides of the front entrance.

Energy saving bulb is also used as lamp post lights that are generally lit the whole night. While selecting energy-saving light bulbs, it is important to keep in mind that maximum efficiency rated bulbs only will help in reducing energy consumption substantially and also have profound ecological effect.

For example, at 60 watts and 850 lumens, the efficiency of incandescent bulb would be mere 14 lumens per watt, with an annual usage of 2,920 hours or 8hours/ day. The annual cost of lighting with an incandescent bulb is around $20, with a carbon dioxide emission level of around 349lbs. Let us now consider a 15 watt energy-efficient bulb.

Although it has a lower-wattage and utilizes less power, the output of the light is identical. Similarly, even though the lumens are lower at 825, the efficiency is higher at 55 lumens per watt as compared to 14 lumen per watt in respect of incandescent bulb.

The annual cost of lighting also reduces to $15 and carbon dioxide emissions are almost three-fourths lower. With $15 saving annually per socket, there is enough justification to change the light- fittings to energy saving bulbs to decrease overall energy consumption and the investment on energy efficient lamps will be recovered within a year due to reduced power costs.

Energy saving lamps or CFLs is ideal for lighting at home. These types of lamps are available in extensive range of wattages, shapes, sizes and colors and have a very long life of more than 8000 hours. However, one disadvantage with energy saving light bulbs is that surrounding temperatures cause adverse effects on these types of bulbs.

For those living in a colder climate, it is advisable to purchase CFLs with ‘amalgam’ technology for outstanding performance or purchase energy-efficient bulbs with the next corresponding wattage of traditional bulbs. For instance, if one is trying to replace a 60 watt incandescent bulb, it is better if he purchases a CFL corresponding to a75 watt bulb.

It is important to make sure that the fixture one intends to purchase is weather proof and if it is not, it is essential to choose a bulb rated for use in damp places. Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps are very popular these days for their outstanding potential to minimize energy consumption and very long life-span. Surprisingly, LEDs do not emit ultraviolet light and do not attract insects. For a light-fixture near a door during nights, an LED is a very good substitute to ‘yellow bug lamp’.

Those buying LEDs should ask for only UL listed LEDS for good protection. Energy-saving light bulbs for Motion Sensors and Electronic Timers: For several reasons, energy-saving light bulbs or CFLs are not suitable for fixtures that emit light automatically by ‘motion sensors’.

These are basically utilized for security lighting, but are also useful as garage door openers. CFLs are not designed to emit sudden bursts of light and therefore, a conventional incandescent bulb is a better choice. When the present bulb fuses out, it is advisable to purchase a highly efficient halogen lamp to decrease power consumption.

The energy saving bulbs available at present is 30 to 40% more efficient in energy usage than the conventional incandescent lights and the producers of light fittings are constantly striving to enhance the technology of halogen bulbs in order to meet more stringent requirements of lighting efficiency that will take effect later in 2012.

While LEDs attain maximum glow immediately on switching on, they are still very expensive and therefore, they are not preferred for the short spurts of light produced by motion control sensors. However, with the increase in popularity and consequently the demand, the prices are expected to fall.

It is, therefore better to wait for sometime before buying LEDs. Some people depend on electronic timers to turn on external lights at nightfall. However, CFLs are not suitable for this purpose. This is because once the light is on; it will remain lit throughout the night.

LEDs, which normally function with ‘electric eyes’, are a perfect choice to minimize energy consumption and ensuring long life as compared to incandescent lamps.

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