Do you feel like you’ve been left in the dark when it comes to new light bulb technology?
Due to their inefficiency, incandescent light bulbs are being phased out of sale, at least for home use. You can still find some varieties, but unless you are replacing a specific bulb (such as an oven light), you’ll be better off going for its similar but more efficient counterpart, the halogen.
The halogen bulb functions the same as the traditional incandescent, but contains a small amount of halogen gas around the light filament. This greatly improves the light bulb’s life span. They have a life span of around 1000 hours, a warm yellow colour light and are slightly more energy efficient than the traditional incandescent.
Over the past decade, compact fluorescent lamps are likely to be the energy-saving bulbs that you’ve come to know. They are very energy efficient, typically produce a bluish-white coloured light, and are usually quite affordable too. But cheaper models are not likely to live out their estimated life span, so it might be worth investing in a more expensive model. While they have a lifespan of approximately 10,000 hours, using the bulbs for short durations will reduce their lifespan. They will also produce less light in very cold temperatures, sometimes not turning on at all. Most CFL bulbs are not dimmable and will take a bit of time after turning on to reach their maximum brightness.
Light emitting diodes are the little indicator lights you’ve probably seen on anything electronic since the 1980s, usually appearing as a small red or green light to tell you whether or not a device is turned on. Your TV or computer probably has a few installed for this purpose. Recent breakthroughs in technology and significant drops in price have introduced the humble LED into home light bulbs, and it is looking as if they will be the number one choice in the coming years. This is due to their incredible life spans (with some models having life expectancies of 25,000 hours), and energy efficiency that typically trumps that of the CFL.
LED bulbs are available in a variety of colour temperatures and some models come with warranties lasting up to 10 years. The high initial cost has shied customers away in the past, but as prices are continuing to drop, these bulbs should pay for themselves many times over.
Do you have energy-efficient bulbs installed in your house? Or do you prefer traditional lighting with its high CRI and warm colour?
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