What are the Most Energy Efficient Light Bulbs?

energy efficient light bulbsThe two main types of energy efficient light bulbs are compact fluorescent lamps (CFL’s) and light emitting diodes (LED’s).   They are both more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and there is enough variety commercially to find practical uses for them at home.  To determine which light bulb is the most energy efficient, one has to look at the amount illumination level produced in lumens per energy consumed in watts.

Between LED, CFL and incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs are the most energy-efficient.  On average, LED bulbs produce 90 to 112 lumens per watt, CFL’s produce 40 to 70 lumens per watt, and incandescent bulbs produce 10 to 17 lumens per watt.

How do Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Work?

Energy efficient light bulbs work by using different technologies to produce illumination.  Fluorescent lamps are made up of a glass that is filled with mercury in vapor form.  When the light is switched, the mercury gives off an ultraviolet light, which incites a phosphorus coating inside the glass that emits photons in the visible light range.

LED’s are a semiconductor light source that use optimized diodes to give off light e as electricity is passed through them.  Connecting the diode to an electrical current excites the electrons within the diode, making them release photons in the visible light spectrum. The color of the light is a result of the energy gap in the semiconductor of the diode.

How much do Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Cost and Save

In order from highest to lowest cost, LED’s cost more, then CFL’s and then incandescent.  As far as energy savings, the order is reversed.  So which one give the best savings for the money?  Use our lighting energy cost calculator to determine which bulbs will be a better return for your investment.

Proper Disposal of Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs are made with a small amount of mercury, which is a poisonous gas. This does not present a problem when the light bulb is used but it must be disposed of properly.  The discarded light bulb should not end up in a landfill. It is best to find a recycling facility so that mercury inside each lamp is removed and then reused.  Places that recycle light bulbs include your municipal government, retailers, your local garbage service and earth911.com.

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