Best High Efficiency Bulbs for Home Use

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Published: 02nd May 2013
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Making your home more energy efficient doesn’t have to involve having new siding installed or adding insulation to the attic. Small changes can make a big difference. Simply swapping out your existing bulbs for more energy efficient options will help you save money on replacement bulbs and enjoy lower electric bills.

Incandescent Bulbs are on the Way Out

The cheapest bulbs to purchase cost the most to operate. They also have the shortest life and are slowly being phased out as more efficient options become available. If you are still buying and using incandescent bulbs around the home, it’s time to consider a change.

Fluorescent Bulbs are Still Energy Savers

Traditionally fashioned into long-tubes, fluorescent bulbs have traditionally had a very commercial feeling to them. Commonly used in large office buildings, they have a utilitarian feel to them that doesn’t always work in the home. However, they are still an excellent choice for your unfinished basement, garage or kitchen.

Traditional fluorescent bulbs require a special type of housing known as a ballast, so count on having to change the entire fixture if you want to replace your incandescent lamps with fluorescents.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs for Looks and Energy Efficiency

Compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, allow consumers to enjoy the energy efficiency of fluorescent lighting while using their existing fixtures. The tube is spun into a compact shape, and the light bulbs are designed to fit your table lamps, overhead fixtures and even ceiling fans.

The first CFLs on the market left the tube exposed, and some homeowners didn’t like how that looked in ceiling fans or other fixtures where the bulb is visible. Manufacturers once again responded to the criticism by offering something new. CFLs now come with globe coverings so they closely resemble traditional light bulbs.

LED Lights are the Most Energy Efficient Choice

Light emitting diodes, or LED bulbs, are the most durable options on the market. Original models did not provide much light, but there have been major improvements over the last few years. Newer models cluster LEDs together to increase the light output while ensuring that you benefit from lower energy usage levels. They last the longest and use the least amount of energy.

The Top Three Options

When it’s time to buy new lights, look for these specific models to save money and be more energy efficient.

• Philips’ Energy Saver Mini Twister 13 W – At a cost of only $8 for four bulbs, these are affordable and energy efficient with a lifespan of more than 10,000 hours. The bulb can take a full two minutes to warm up and reach full brightness levels, but your patience is well worth the cost and energy effectiveness of this bulb.

• Philips’ Ambient LED A 19 – At a price of $25, this bulb is a little more costly, but it will practically last forever with a lifespan of 25,000 hours. It can be used with dimmer switches and provides a soft glow.

• EcoSmart LED A 19 13W – This bulb also has a higher price of $25, but with the 25,000-hour lifespan, you can expect it to last nearly 23 years. It’s one of the most efficient options, and homeowners appreciate its even lighting.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on new appliances or siding. New fluorescent bulbs and LED options are more efficient and will pay for themselves over time. Stop changing out the bulbs and save money with more durable, long-lasting, energy efficient bulbs. Have questions? Call your local electrician for advice on more energy saving practices for your home.

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