In modern lighting systems, eco-friendly compact fluorescent light (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) are rapidly growing energy efficient solutions that have almost completely replaced the classic incandescent bulbs, which consume significantly higher energies, in almost every aspect of lighting applications.
Aside from energy efficiency, CFL and LED bulbs are also more versatile in terms of design and structure making these lighting technologies ideal for different building interiors. Respectively, CFL and LED lifetimes are also known to last up to ten and twenty-five times longer than the incandescent bulb.
Quick Steps for Choosing Right Lighting
A number of choices abound for those who are looking for efficient lighting that consume up to 75 percent less energy. Nonetheless, these eco friendly light bulbs are generally grouped into two technology categories: CFL and LED. For a quick lighting guide, it is best to base your choice on your need for brightness, a basic lighting property measured in lumens.
Higher lumen values correspond to brighter light. Typically, small room sizes require about 450 lumens. While incandescent lighting consumes on average $4.82 per year of energy cost, CFLs and LEDs amount to $1.08 and $0.96 per year, respectively. These figures show about 80% of energy savings.
Other standard lumen values for CFLs and LEDs are 800, 1100, and 1600 lumens. For special applications, higher values are also available. Energy cost per year can be found in relevant sources and it is best to check for the most energy efficient bulb. Although the most energy efficient product would cost more, the savings earned from trimming down the energy cost per year would offset the initial investment. Finally, other features such as lifetime and bulb design can be decided.
CFL Technology Today
CFLs have been available since the 1980s since this is based on the more popular fluorescent lighting that rivaled the incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent lamps, however, require externally exposed components such as ballast and starter switch making these more fragile. CFL, on the other hand, is designed to be compact without the fragile features of its predecessors.
See also: Are CFLs Dimmable?
LED Technology Today
LEDs may have comparable efficiency compared to CFLs; however, LEDs have significantly longer lifetimes averaging about twenty-five times longer than incandescent bulbs. Furthermore, LEDs do not contain mercury unlike CFLs. Thus, LEDs dismiss the issue of safe disposal. Low power consumption and durability of LEDs make these products suitable for use with solar chargers that are exposed to intense conditions.
Whichever lighting technology is chosen, it is important to check for Energy Star service mark that certifies the efficiency, lifetime, and quality of CFLs and LEDs.