|Replace Your Old Light Bulbs This Earth Day|
(StatePoint) The way you light your home could be putting a needless strain on your pocketbook and the planet.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, if every household replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light three million homes for a year, trim $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent nine billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions yearly. And just think how much you can save if you swapped all your old incandescent light bulbs for new, energy-efficient ones.
If you’ve heard the terms CFL, halogen and LED, you know you have options when it comes to efficient lighting. But if you’re unsure what’s right for you, spend this Earth Day, April 22, brushing up on the different types of bulbs and where they work best in your home:
Unlike incandescent bulbs, CFLs contain minute amounts of mercury gas which produce invisible ultraviolet (UV) light. When the UV light hits the white coating inside the fluorescent bulb, it changes into the light you see.
CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescents and last up to 10 times longer. But because they operate with a delayed start, they can take up to three minutes to reach full light output. Opt for CFLs anywhere full-brightness isn’t immediately needed, like bedrooms and common areas. For enhanced ambiance and energy savings, try a dimmable bulb like GE’s new Energy Smart Dimmable Spiral CFL, which allows you to dim your lights down to five percent.
Halogen bulbs have a tungsten filament just like standard incandescents, but use 28 percent less energy. When lit, tungsten from the filament evaporates into the bulb’s gas, providing illumination.
Halogen bulbs are traditionally used for high-intensity reading lamps, outdoor lighting, and display lighting, but are now commonly used for general purposes too.
For the energy-savings of CFLs, but the look, and instant brightness of incandescents, try a hybrid. For example, GE Lighting’s Bright From the Start Energy Smart CFL, an ENERGY STAR qualified Bulb, is housed in an incandescent-shaped bulb and hides an instant-on halogen capsule inside the swirl of a CFL.
LEDs are small light sources illuminated by movement of electrons through semiconductor material. Though still considered an expensive option, this technology will pay for itself. LEDs last more than two decades, as much as 25 times longer than incandescents and halogens, and up to three times longer than CFLs.
LEDs allow for compact, design-forward fixtures and are ideal for illuminating areas where homeowners don’t have to worry about changing the bulb often. Opt for a design like GE’s Energy Smart LED bulbs, which allow light to be directed all around, not just in one direction like most LEDs, and have incandescent-like dimming capabilities.
More information on energy efficient lighting, including an energy savings calculator, can be found at www.gelighting.com/lighttransforms.
This Earth Day, make a big impact with small actions.