Posted by: lcowie | November 16, 2010

Energy Efficient Lighting

I’ve heard much debate over whether or not one should use incandescent light bulbs or compact fluorescent light bulbs. Honestly, I’m not sure what the controversy is about. Compact fluorescent light (CFL ) bulbs seem like the obvious choice for me.

CFL bulbs are at least 75 percent more energy efficient that incandescent light bulbs, and they last 10,000 hours. The only problem with CFL bulbs is that they contain mercury, so you have to be very careful with them. But shouldn’t you be careful around light bulbs anyway? They’re delicate and fragile as it is! You’ll have to recycle and clean the light bulbs, but I don’t really think that’s a negative. Also, CFL light bulbs are a higher cost initially, but I think you definitely get your return on investment.

Most of the light emitted from an incandescent light bulb comes out in the infrared spectrum, in the form of heat. Even though you can’t see the light, it is out there and around you in the form of heat, which isn’t exactly helpful.

Based on what I’ve learned about lighting, it seems as though compact fluorescent light bulbs win the contest. I saw a diagram that depicted the equivalency between each type of bulbs, and the diagram showed one CFL light bulb for 9 incandescent bulbs. I think the CFL is a better buy. What do you think?

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