CFLs are simply miniature versions of fulld fluorescents. They screw into standard lamp sockets, and give off light that looks similar to the common incandescent bulbs not like the fluorescent lighting we associate with ctories and schools.
The screwin torpedoshape and the smallbase of this bulb is designed for smaller light fixtures throughout the house, from chandeliers to sconces. To use a smaller candelabrabased bulb in a regular socket, you can use a socket reducer.
Many people like blue light because it feels easy on the eyes, but research indicates that some lights in the blue spectrum can affect human circadian rhythms and therefore, sleep. Scientists now recommend against using objects lit with blue light hours before bedtime.
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LED amber bulbs do not attract flying insects like ordinary white bulbs. Amber LEDs are used outdoors in areas such as patios and decks where insects flying around lights are a nuisance.
LED light bulbs use only watts of electricity /rd to /th of Incandescent or CFL. LED bulbs used in fixtures inside the home save electricity, remain cool, and save money on replacement costs since LED bulbs last so long. Small LED flashlight bulbs will extend battery life to times longer than incandescent bulbs.
Lumens indicate the amount of light being generated. Wattage is a measure of energy use, not light strength. Lumen output is printed on the bulb package or on the bulb product if purchasing bulbs online.
As noted above, low temperatures usually reduce light levels in CFLs temporarily because it takes them some time to heat up to their full capacity. For this reason, most CFLs arent the best choice for cold basements or outdoor walkways in northern climates.
The Energy star certification means that the bulb has met the specifications for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
CFLs contain small amounts of mercury, which is a toxic metal. This metal may be released if the bulb is broken or during disposal. For more information about mercury and CFLs, see below.
LEDs are now available for standard recessed lighting pots and housings. They range from . to watts, with beam widths from PAR to PAR. Several models are dimmable. Also, because they are more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last times longer than CFLs, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.
Approx. K Cool White white/blue, bright light
Some LED bulbs are now available as dimmable bulbs. They will work with any standard dimmer switch.
Why were incandescent bulbs phased out? Learn more in this post.
Approx. K Warm White looks just like incandescent
The European counterpart to UL, CE stands forConformit Europenne, and is used to certify safety of a range of products.
Dont buy cheap bulbs from eBay or discounters. They are inexpensive because the bulbs use a lowquality chip, which ils easily. Many cheaper varieties also dont work inside enclosed light fixtures see below and will burn out within a year or less as they heat up.
LEDs have mechanisms to dissipate heat buildup, but these require more airflow than many common light fixtures permit. Bulbs designed for enclosed fixtures will last longer than standard LEDs. Look for explicit statements saying that a bulb works inside enclosed light fixtures.
LED Christmas Lights and Other Energy Efficient Decorations
CFLs are available in a variety of shapes to fit a range of lamps and lighting fixtures. See below on this for the most popular CFL shapes.
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According to the US Department of energy, rapid adoption of LED bulbs would save hundreds of millions of tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.
Design Lights Consortium DLC certification is similar to Energy Star, but DLC focuses exclusively on energyefficient lighting for commercial applications.
Ready to get started with energyefficient LEDs? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Many different models and s of LED bulbs are emerging in todays marketplace. When choosing a bulb, keep in mind the following
The principal reason for reduced lifespan of CFLs is heat. CFLs exhibit shorter lifespans in light fixtures and sockets where there is low airflow and high heat buildup such as recessed lighting. For these s of sockets its recommended to use specially designed CFLs for recessed lighting orLEDs. Another main reason for reduced lifespan of CFLs is toofrequent on/off cycling. These bulbs should be used where they will be left on for steady periods without being flicked on and off.
LED bulbs last up to times longer than compact fluorescents, and times longer than typical incandescent bulbs.
CFLs are four times more efficient and last up to times longer than incandescents. A watt CFL has about the same light output as a watt incandescent. CFLs use less energy than incandescents.
When buying a light bulb, look for bulbs that produce more light but consume less energy.
Red is the traditional for maintaining night vision. Some LED headlamps and flashlights have the option of switching to red light for use at night.
These are regular CFL spiral lamps which are placed inside a dome cover and fitted with a standard base which fits common lamp sockets. They are designed to give the appearance of the traditional light bulb for consumers looking for the more miliar light bulb appearance. The glass diffuser provides a quality of light similar to the softwhite of incandescent bulbs.
We have discontinued sales of CFL bulbs because we are concerned about the inconsistent quality standards among overseas manucturers of CFL bulbs, and the use of mercury in these bulbs.
This shape is commonly used in bathroom vanity mirrors or open hanging lamps, and bare bulb applications. Bathroom vanities usually require multiple bulbs, which generate radiant heat. The CFL globe will reduce this heat buildup while saving energy. The glass diffuser provides a softwhite light.
Call your local recycling center to see if they accept this material. If not, and youre located in the U.S., review the list of companies accepting CFLs by mail maintained by theEnvironmental Protection Agency.
Available in MR pin base, LEDs are ideal for track lighting. LEDs do not contribute to heat build up in a room because no matter how long they remain on, they do not get hot to the touch. Also, because they are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and last times longer than CFLs, the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.
These CFLs have more tubing in a smaller area, which generates even more light in a shorter bulb. They pack high light output into a very small space and can be used in fixtures designed for incandescent bulbs, such as le lamps, reading lamps, open hanging lamps, and bare bulb applications.
New LED bulbs are available in cool white light, which is ideal for task lighting, and warm light commonly used for accent or small area lighting.
The most popular of the LED s. It produces a soft white light, without harsh reflection, glare or shadows.
These bulbs are designed as a continuous tube in a spiral shape which has similar outside shape and light casting qualities to a standard incandescent bulb. Spiral CFL bulbs are made in several s to fit most common fixtures.
The mercury in compact fluorescent bulbs poses no threat while in the bulb, but if you break one
The high cost of producing LEDs has been a roadblock to widespread use. However, researchers at Purdue University havedevelopeda process for using inexpensive silicon wafers to replace the expensive sapphirebased technology. This has rapidly brought LEDs into competitive pricing with CFLs and incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs are now the standard for most lighting needs.
No mercury is used in the manucturing of LEDs.
Dimmable CFLs are available for lights using a dimmer switch, but check the package; not all CFLs can be used on dimmer switches. Using a regular CFL with a dimmer can shorten the bulb life span.
The flow of light measured in lumens. With light bulbs, it provides an estimate of the apparent amount of light the bulb will produce. Depending on the application, much of an incandescent bulbs light is wasted because its emitted in every direction. LED bulbs, on the other hand, put out directional light, sending all of the light exactly where its needed.
Most commonly used for the winter holidays, replacing a string of incandescent holiday lights with LEDs can cut holiday lighting costs by more than ! Plus they can last for decades, them an even more budgetfriendly choice. For more information about energy efficient holiday lighting read our articleLED Christmas Lights and Other Energy Efficient Decorations
CFL bulbs have a Kelvin or K number listed on the packaging. CFLs with K numbers between give off a soft bright light like incandescents. CFLs with K numbers between give off a bright light. As you go up the K number scale the light gets bluish and closer to daylight.
Use a wet rag to clean it up and put all of the pieces, and the rag, into a plastic bag.
Most LED bulbs used today are clear or white bulbs, commonly available in cool or warm white light. But LEDs are also available in s and used as inidual bulbs, or in clusters, for special applications.
LEDs can help slash the energy used by your holiday decorations. Find out more about energyefficient holiday decor in this post.
Although initially more expensive, you save money in the long run because CFLs use / the electricity and last up to times as long as incandescents. A single watt CFL used in place of a watt incandescent will save about kWh over its lifetime. At cents per kWh, that equates to a savings.
CFLs are sensitive to frequent on/off cycling. Their rated lifetimes of , hours are reduced in applications where the light is switched on and off very often. Closets and other places where lights are needed for brief illumination should use incandescent or LED bulbs.
LED panel lights come in a variety of s and can replace overhead tube lighting in both commercial and residential applications.
Did you know that watts dont tell you how bright a light will be?
LEDs can contain small amounts of heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and nickel, so its best to handle with care. Treat any broken bulb as hazardous waste, which means wearing gloves and a mask and cleaning the area thoroughly. Double bag the bulb fragments and any cleaning tools used and contact your local hazardous waste site for instructions on their preferred method of disposal. Many will likely have you simply throw it in the trash, while others will ask that you bring it to the hazardous waste collection site.
While LEDs are recyclable, recycling programs are few and r between. Call your local recycling collection center to find out if LED bulb recycling is available in your area. You can also try searching atRecycle Nationfor a recycling cility that accepts LED bulbs near you.
To compare different light bulbs, you need to know about lumens. Lumens, not watts, tell you how bright a light bulb is, no matter the of bulb. The more lumens, the brighter the light. Beginning in , labels on the front of light bulb packages now state a bulbs brightness in lumens, instead of the bulbs energy usage in watts.
Burned out CFLs can be dropped off at Home Depot and Ikea stores.
Although CFLs are an excellent source of energyefficient lighting, they are not always the best choice for all lighting applications. Here are a few limitations to consider
Read the package to choose desired brightness level. You can use wattage to compare bulb illumination. For example,Energy E led lights fficient Lighting a watt W LED is equivalent in output to a W incandescent. However, wattage measures energy used, not the light output. The new method for comparing bulbs is lumens. Lumens is the measure of perceived brightness, and the higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb. Bulbs with similar wattage may vary in lumens. The FTC has mandated that all light bulb packages lumens as the primary measure for comparing bulbs. For more information about lumens, see LED Terminology further down this .
UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, a thirdparty American safety testing organization. The UL label indicates the product has met with electrical safety standards.
Because of the low power requirement for LEDs, using solar panels becomes more practical and less expensive than running an electric line or using a generator for lighting in remote or offgrid areas. LED light bulbs are also ideal for use with small porle generators which homeowners use for backup power in emergencies.
Be sure to check the diameter of the bulb youre considering against that of the can youre filling. Your existing bulbs should say whether they are R, BR, or BR. Look for these same numbers on the LEDs youre purchasing. Because heat can also be an issue with recessed lighting, look for a description that indicates its suiility for recessed fixtures.
CFLs can be applied nearly anywhere that incandescent lights are used. Energyefficient CFLs can be used in recessed fixtures, le lamps, track lighting, ceiling fixtures and porch lights. Threeway CFLs are also now available for lamps with way settings. Dimmable CFLs are also available for lights using a dimmer switch.
Comparing the Cost/Benefits of LED vs CFL vs Incandescent Light Bulbs With all the light bulb options out there, it can be hard to choose. Heres more info on features of the different s available and the costs over the life of the bulb.
The rapid development of LED bulb technology has brought newer LED bulbs to the marketplace which are safer, longer lasting, and more energy efficient than todays CFL bulbs. The price of LED bulbs now delivers the best costsavings over the life of the bulb when compared to CFLs or any other light bulb available today.
In , the U.S. set new energy efficiency guidelines for all bulbs, which effectively phased out the least efficient incandescent bulbs. Incandescents are now available only if they meet the new energy standard.
Designed for bathroom vanities or anywhere a globe bulb is required, these bulbs produce light equivalent to a watt incandescent bulb, yet only consume watts of power. Dimmable from to , these bulbs have a degree beam angle to cast light in a wide area.
RoHS restricts amounts of certain substances commonly used in electronic equipment, including lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers PBDE.
LEDs are available in several s of pin sockets or the standard screwEdison bases for recessed or track lighting.
Green is now the preferred light for pilots and the military. The green is also great for retaining night vision, and it doesnt erase or render invisible the red markings on maps and charts.
When to turn off your lights The operating life of a bulb is affected by how many times the light is switched on and off. Here are some guidelines to help you get the peak benefit from your light bulbs.
Place all materials in a second sealed plastic bag.
CFLs come in many shapes and s. When purchasing CFLs, consult the seller for recommendations and consider the following
Since LEDs do not have a filament, they are not damaged under circumstances when a regular incandescent bulb would be broken. Because they are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring and bumping.
LED Bulbs are Ready to Light Your Home Tips You Should Know
T is the measure used to describe the relative appearance of a white light source. T indicates whether a light source appears more yellow/gold/orange or more blue, in terms of the range of available shades of white. T is given in kelvins unit of absolute temperature. K is warm and K is cool. The typical light we are used to in indoor home lighting is warm, K.
An F symbol indicates that the bulbs electromagnetic interference lls below limits set by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
The cost of new LED bulbs has gone down considerably in the last few years and is continuing to go down. To see a cost comparison between the different s of energy saving light bulbs, see ourLight Bulb Comparison Charts.
CFLs can be used outdoors, but should be covered or shaded from the elements. Low temperatures may reduce light levels check the package label to see if the bulb is suited for outdoor use.
While lumens are the best measurement of comparative lighting among the various bulbs, they are not always a perfect measure. Some floodlights use an internal reflector in the bulb to send the light cing downward. When shopping for light bulbs, note that bulbs equipped with reflectors will deliver increased directional light.
These lamps are designed to be ideal for recessed and track lighting fixtures, indoors and outdoors. They provide diffused, soft, white light, and generate less heat than will an incandescent flood or a halogen bulb. CFL flood lamps are available in varying s and wattages.
CFLs are available in a variety of s or shapes. Some have two, four, or six tubes. Older models, and specialty models, have separate tubes and ballasts. Some CFLs have the tubes and ballast permanently connected. This allows you to change the tubes without changing the ballast. Others have circular or spiralshaped tubes. In general, the or total suce area of the tube determines how much light the bulb produces.
With a burgeoning supply of r more efficient light bulb options, the EU began a phased ban of incandescents in . Canada followed suit banning the manucture and import of higher wattage incandescent bulbs beginning in .
For more information on CFL disposal or recycling, you can contact your local municipality.
Newer CFLs give a warm, inviting light instead of the cool white light of older fluorescents. They use rare earth phosphors for excellent and warmth. New electronically ballasted CFLs dont flicker or hum.
Mercury is a toxic metal associated with contamination of water, fish, and food supplies, and can lead to adverse health effects. A CFL bulb generally contains an average of mg of mercury about onefifth of that found in the average watch battery, and less than /th of the mercury found in an amalgam dental filling. A power plant will emit mg of mercury to produce the electricity to run an incandescent bulb compared to only .mg of mercury to run a CFL for the same time. The net benefit of using the more energy efficient lamp is positive, and this is especially true if the mercury in the fluorescent lamp is kept out of the waste stream when the lamp expires.
Manucturers have expanded the application of LEDs by clustering the small bulbs. The first clustered bulbs were used for batterypowered items such as flashlights and headlamps. Today, LED bulbs are made using as many as bulbs per cluster, and encased in diffuser lenses, which spread the light in wider beams. Now available with standard bases that fit common household light fixtures, LEDs are the next generation in home lighting.
Open a window and leave the room for minutes or more.
The following CFL bulb models come with standard sockets for easy installation in most common household applications.
Another solution is to save spent CFLs for a community household hazardous waste collection, which would then send the bulbs to cilities capable of treating, recovering or recycling them.
CFLs are not spotlights. Retail store lighting usually requires narrow focus beams for stronger spot lighting. CFLs are better for area lighting.
Designed to replace incandescent candelabra bulbs, these flame tip LEDs deliver the equivalent light of a watt incandescent while only drawing . watts of electricity. Because of the heat sink in the base, light doesnt disperse downwards as much as a typical incandescent candelabra bulb.
If youre replacing floodlights, spotlights, or accent lighting, be sure to consider whether you want the light to be diffused or focused. Omnidirectional bulbs will cast light over a wide area, while spotlights and floodlights will have a narrower band of illumination.
A unit of standard measurement that is used to describe the amount of light contained in an area as perceived by the human eye. The more lumens, the brighter the light. You can use lumens to compare the brightness of any bulb, regardless of the technology behind it, and regardless of whether its incandescent, CFL or LED.
LEDs are small, very efficient solid bulbs. New LED bulbs are grouped in clusters with diffuser lenses, which have broadened the applications for LED use in the home. LED technology is advancing rapidly, with many new bulb s available. Initially more expensive than CFLs, LEDs now bring more value since they last longer.
New LED bulbs are available as combination threeway bulbs. These replace , and watt incandescent bulbs, while consuming less power than an incandescent bulb.
Replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL will keep a halfton of CO out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb. If everyone in the U.S. used energyefficient lighting, we could retire average power plants. Saving electricity reduces CO emissions, sulfur oxide and highlevel nuclear waste.
How to navigate the rapidly changing world of residential lighting choices.
Light Emitting Diode LEDandCompact Fluorescent Lights CFLbulbs have revolutionized energyefficient lighting.
In practical application, when buying a light bulb, look for bulbs that produce more light but consume less energy. Understanding lumens as a measure of brightness makes it easier to select the most efficient bulb for your application.
Designed to replace fluorescent tube bulbs, these LED tubes are available in and watts, which replace traditional watt and watt T/T/T fluorescent tubes. Because fluorescent lights are often installed in high ceilings in commercial sites, there are additional savings because the frequency of changing bulbs is greatly reduced.
Australia, China, and numerous countries in Asia and Latin America have likewise phased out or banned incandescent bulbs. These changes are estimated to save each country that switches to energy efficient bulbs millions of dollars annually.
These bulbs do not cause heat buildup; LEDs produce . btus/hour, compared to for incandescent bulbs. Common incandescent bulbs get hot and contribute to heat buildup in a room. LEDs prevent this heat buildup, thereby helping to reduce air conditioning costs in the home.
LEDs Light Emitting Diodes are solid light bulbs that are extremely energyefficient. When first developed, LEDs were limited to singlebulb use in applications such as instrument panels, electronics, pen lights and, more recently, strings of indoor and outdoor Christmas lights.
In this LED bulb, clusters of LEDs are covered by a dimpled lens which spreads the light out over a wider area. Available in standard Edison bases, these bulbs have many uses, such as area lighting for rooms, porches, reading lamps, accent lamps, hallways and lowlight applications where lights remain on for extended periods.
CRI represents the quality of light and its ithfulness to render s correctly, that is, to enable us to perceive s as we know them. The ideal CRI is , and some incandescent bulbs approach this level. LEDs and CFLs use different design components in trying to equal the CRI of incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs CRI ratings range from to , and the best CFLs have ratings in the mid s. The LED CREE CR bulb, for example, features a CRI of Warm White it one of the highest in the industry.
According to the US Department of energy, rapid adoption of LED bulbs would collectively save billion over the next years. This switch would also help eliminate the need to build new power plants and save hundreds of millions of tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.
A significant feature of LEDs is that the light is directional, as opposed to incandescent bulbs, which spread the light more spherically. This is an advantage with recessed lighting or undercabinet lighting, but it is a disadvantage for le lamps. New LED bulb designs address this directional limitation by using diffuser lenses and reflectors to disperse the light more like an incandescent bulb.
The chart below shows the amount of brightness in lumens you can expect from different wattage light bulbs. The LED bulbs require much less wattage than the CFL or Incandescent light bulbs, which is why LED bulbs are more energyefficient and long lasting than the other s of bulb.