An old habit is hard to break. That might be why so many Colorado households are still using inefficient light bulbs.
Most of us grew up with incandescent lighting. You know, the old-fashioned light bulb with the wire filament inside.
Looking back, the whole concept seems so old school. Basically, we pumped that filament with so much energy that the heat produced a bright, blaring light. 90% of the energy expended on each light bulb was just to produce heat. Those lamps aren’t around much anymore, but halogen bulbs still use a similar system.
There’s a better way today… several better ways, in fact.
One such “new and improved” lighting technology is the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulb. It looks a lot like the old incandescent bulb you’re used to, costs only slightly more (a few bucks a bulb), and is readily available in stores.
CFLs are significantly more energy-efficient than the old incandescent bulbs. But they still aren’t as smart a choice as today’s other leading lighting technology: the light-emitting diode (LED) bulb.
If you’re like a lot of Colorado families, you’ve sided with CFL. That’s a step in the right direction, but in this article, we’re going to tell you why LED is an even better choice.
How LED Bulbs Are Different from CFL Bulbs (In Simple Terms)
The specifics of light production within an LED and CFL bulb can get fairly technical, but this page is designed to make the distinction quick and easy to understand.
CFL bulbs have a small tube within them. That tube has special gases inside it, and the tube is connected to an electrode on either end of the bulb. When you plug the bulb in, electricity runs between the electrodes. When that happens, it reacts with the gas inside the tube. The byproduct is ultraviolet (UV) light. The interior of the CFL bulb is coated with phosphor, and when UV meets phosphor, it produces visible “white” light. Pretty neat stuff!
But UV light isn’t just light. It’s also heat. And it flows out in every direction. In other words, it isn’t super energy efficient. (More efficient than the old incandescent bulbs, mind you, but still far from ideal.)
LED light bulbs are different. For starters, LED lighting does not radiate heat in the same way that these other bulbs do. In fact, LED bulbs contain a “heat sink” that absorbs the incoming heat’s electricity and redistributes it away from the LEDs and dissipates it back into the environment.
LED bulbs are also directional, meaning they don’t waste extra energy by casting heat and light where you don’t need them.
The Many Benefits of Using LED Lights in Your Home or Business
- Longer Life — Unlike most other bulbs, LED lights don’t “burn out.” Instead, they slowly lose luminescence over a long period of time. Accordingly, you only need to replace your bulbs after they’ve diminished by 30%. With average use, many LED bulbs can last ten to twenty years!
- Reduced energy costs — Compared to incandescent bulbs, an LED saves $1.23 for a half-hour of operation. (That’s per bulb!) That can add up to hundreds of dollars in energy savings each year.
- Safer Bulbs — LED bulbs do not use mercury or other toxic chemicals.
- White Light, Green Life — While LED bulbs can produce many different colors, you’ll always live the “green life” with these lights installed! They’re recyclable and completely free of eco-damaging materials. And because they’re energy-efficient and last a long time, it doesn’t take as much energy to manufacture or operate them.
- No UV Emissions — UV and infrared lights pose certain safety concerns, but most LED bulbs are 99 to 100% UV-emissions free.
- Versatility — LED bulbs are more durable, less breakable, more adaptable to being turned on and off frequently, and more compatible with cold-weather temperatures (an important consideration here in Colorado!)
But Don’t LED Bulbs Cost More?
If there’s a downside to LED bulbs, it’s that they initially cost more. But when you consider how infrequently you’ll have to replace them — and how much they’ll impact your energy bill — the math really speaks for itself.
Many families who switch to LED lighting in their home see the savings in two years or less. Businesses see it even faster.
Talk to Us About Your Home Energy Efficiency in Denver, CO
At REenergizeCO, we specialize in smarter, greener, more affordable home energy efficiency. There are just so many ways to save. LED lighting is a great first step.
Take your next step into 21st century living. Call REenergize CO and ask about more home energy efficiency in Denver. We offer a whole suite of services, including Denver LED lighting.
We’re here to help Colorado businesses and families make the most of today’s technology.