$$ To Save Money or just being green - Should I make a choice between Light Bulbs, Compact Fluorescent or Leds?
Tuesday, January 11 2011 @ 01:20 PM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
To better understand making a change, lets further explore these bulbs. CLFs bulbs are the squirrelly bulbs we are most familiar with and use approximately 70% less electricity than the incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer. CLFs are more expensive than the traditional bulbs and can cost from $4-$15, but the cost is returned daily because they uses much less energy and can last up to 10,000 hours, which is about a year and one month. They use to only have one bright white color, but, now are available in several color temperatures for that “soft” look you want eating dinner. The cons with CLFs bulbs is that they still contain mercury and gas so although they are much better choice than an incandescent bulb, they still are not as green as we would like them to be and proper disposal is a concern.
Led light bulbs are super efficient and use almost no electricity. They generate no heat and last approximately an astonishing 60000 hours guaranteed - that is nine to thirteen years of not changing light bulbs. “WOW” The price range typically is from $24.00 to $100.00. As you can see they are more expensive than the CLFs bulbs but again overtime the energy savings are tremendous and easily offset the upfront costs in high use areas. The most significant advancement of LED is that fixtures needed to be changed when LEDs were added, whereby; today, simply screwing in the replacement and flipping the switch is the only labor necessary. The cons; the price of this product is still generally more than any other light and to locate the right type of LED bulb for your application is not an easy task. As recent as 2010, lumens or light output for the LED product far exceed the output of conventional incandescent bulbs and the cost has come down tremendously, making it a very affordable choice for the higher “draw” or use areas of your home or business.
Generally speaking the choice comes down to your lighting needs. Obviously when lighting use or up front outflow is examined, some will choose CLFs ,and some will choose the Led bulbs and then, some are unfortunately stuck in the dark ages and are still using the inefficient incandescent bulbs, waiting for another alternative. It is definitely worthwhile examining the savings by yourself if it is a few lights for your household or with a consultant when it comes to larger draws for larger homes, warehousing, parking, streets, retail stores, hospitals and airports.
In summary, there are a number of reasons why you may want to install LEDs in your home or your business:
- Much longer life – up to 15/20 years or more for LEDs!
- As a result, low-maintenance and far less changing of light bulbs
- Double the efficiency of compact florescent bulbs and up to 90% more than incandescent lighting
- Ability to use LEDs with dimmer switches (you can’t do that compact fluorescents)
- LEDs are mercury and gas free, and otherwise non-toxic, allowing for easy disposal 15– 22 years from now!
- Ability to cut CO2 emissions significantly, as six percent of all U.S. energy use is due to lighting
- Estimates are that we could achieve a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity used for lighting our lives within 20 years, if we replaced all light bulbs with LEDs
- LED lights are being installed all over the world! From Europe to the Far East, Northern and Southern America…….in several U.S. cities where LEDs are the choice for most commercial buildings, bridges, roads and street lighting – Starbucks, Macy’s department store, Adobe, Microsoft, Dell and US Federal Buildings – not because they are big, but they are big into saving money
If you have questions, need a consultant to give you a free energy evaluation on how your location can start saving money today or just are looking for more information on lighting and energy conservation, please contact Daniel Diaz, (507) 300-3800 at Supro.