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Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Attribution: Title: Energy Efficient Light Bulbs | Author: Public Domain Pictures | Licence: CC0 Public Domain

Energy efficient light bulbs came into the market when new lighting standards were introduced by Congress under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

Ever since then, gone were the days of the incandescent light bulbs as the new law were designed to usher in a new era of long lasting, cost efficient and greener bulbs.

The light bulb industry has gone through a huge transformation with the old incandescent bulbs being replaced by so many energy saving bulbs. The mixture of old and new bulbs in the market has made shoppers confused with too many options. So let’s take a look at the two energy saving light bulbs and differentiate them to make choices easier.

LED Bulbs

LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes uses only a fraction of the wattage used to power an incandescent bulb making LEDs much more cost effective in the long run. LEDs are expensive to buy but uses 90% less energy and could last up to 25 years making them the cheapest option as they pay for themselves several times over before replacing them.

According to Energy Star and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES),

LED lights don’t burn out that way incandescent do. Instead, they undergo ‘lumen depreciation’, gradually growing dimmer and dimmer over time. The test that the IES uses to determine a bulb’s longevity is known as the LM80, and it calculates how long it will take for an LED to fade noticeably. Engineers run the bulb for nine months in order to get an accurate read of the light’s rate of decay, and using those figures, they can calculate the point at which the light will have faded to 70 percent of its original brightness. This point, known as L70, is the current standard in LED longevity. If an LED says it will last 25,000 hours, it is really saying that it will take the bulb 25,000 hours to fade down to 70 percent brightness.

Fluorescent Bulbs

CFLs or Compact Fluorescent Lights are cheap and has been in the market for a while but after the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, technology of these bulbs has been improved with more colour options to choose from. Some older CFLs took time to light up but there are now dimmable CFLs and ‘instant on’ CFL bulbs.

According to the Energy Saving Trust,

CFLs use about 75 to 80 per cent less electricity than an equivalent traditional bulb and can last up to 10 times longer. They are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and ranges of colour rendering capacity. CFLs are great for replacing standard home light fittings.

Energy Saving Bulbs Compared to other Lighting Technologies

Brightness

220+

400+

700+

900+

1300+

LED

4W

6W

10W

13W

18W

CFL

6W

9W

12W

15W

20W

Halogen

18W

28W

42W

53W

70W

Standard

25W

40W

60W

75W

100W

Source: http://www.which.co.uk

Luminous Efficacy Comparison Chart

Type of Bulb

Luminous Efficacy (in lm/W)

LED A19 lamp (warm white)

94

LED PAR38 lamp (warm white)

78

LED troffer 2’x4′ (warm white)

131

LED high/low-bay fixture (warm white)

119

High intensity discharge system (high watt)

115

Linear fluorescent system

108

High intensity discharge system (low watt)

104

Compact fluorescent lamp

73

Halogen

20

Incandescent

15

Source: 2014 DOE SSL Multi-Year Program Plan


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