Save money on your lighting costs

Read an overview of the various types of lighting types and learn which type is most energy efficient.

Posted by Guest Blogger on March 1, 2013

Did you know the standard incandescent light bulb only uses 10-20 percent of the energy it consumes for light? The rest of the energy it uses is given off as heat. 

The incandescent light bulb was great breakthrough technology at the time it was invented – in 1879. However, just as computers have made typewriters obsolete, these bulbs have passed their prime. There are better lighting options that last longer and are much more efficient. The incandescent may be the cheapest lighting option to purchase initially, but spending a little extra money up front for a more efficient bulb may save you money in the long run. 

Compact fluorescent light (CFLs)

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) use 75 percent less energy than regular bulbs, last 10 times longer and generate 70 percent less heat. Today's CFLs deliver warm, inviting light and come in all shapes and sizes to match your existing fixtures - indoors and out.

CFLs are filled with mercury, which causes the bulb to create more light and less heat than halogen and incandescent bulbs. This material also helps CFLs last longer. However, if a CFL breaks or goes out, special precautions need to be taken because of this substance. If you happen to break a CFL, you should use a damp paper towel to pick up the remnants. When your CFLs go out, don’t throw them away – they need to be recycled. Recycling CFLs is fairly simple, as there are many places that will do this for a small fee, including Wright Hennepin.

An example of the savings using a 100 watt light bulb for 24 hours a day for 30 days at a cost of .10 per kilowatt hour (kWh)

100 watts x 24 hours = 2.472 kWh per day

2.472 kWh x 30 days = 74.16  kWh for 30 days

74.16 kWh x $.10 = $7.42 (cost for using a 100 watt light bulb for one month)

Using a CFL bulb would cost:

23 watts x 24 hours = 552 kWh or 0.552 kWh per day

.0552 kWh x 30 days = 16.56 kWh for 30 days

16. 56 kWH x $.10 = $1.66 (cost for using a CFL for one month)

This is a savings of $5.76 for the 30 days of operation of the  light.

 For more information on CFLs check out this page.

Light emitting diodes (LEDs)

Last, and certainly not least, is the light emitting diode – or LED bulb. LEDs use significantly less energy and last much longer than the bulbs mentioned above. Additionally, these bulbs do not create the higher amount of heat that the other bulbs do.

The actual light emitting diode (from which the bulb gets its name) inside the light bulb looks like a small microchip. Several of these small LEDs are grouped together creating a cluster, each shining in a different direction.  

LEDS are extremely efficient, last a very long time and are made up of safe materials. They cost more initially, but are the most energy efficient of the three types of bulbs.

For more information on energy saving go to our energy saving page.


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