The standard incandescent light bulb has been lighting up our kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms for years. But they aren’t energy-efficient. Only five percent to 8 percent of the energy they require produces light with the rest being dissipated as heat.
Reduced-wattage incandescent bulbs are slightly more energy-efficient than standard incandescents. They save energy by producing slightly less light at a lower wattage. Tungsten-halogen incandescent lamps have a similar light output as standard incandescents but use 40 percent less energy and last four times longer.
The most energy-efficient light for home use is the compact fluorescent lamp. But compacts are having a hard time turning on consumers. Most people associate fluorescent lights with the blue, humming, flickering tubes found in office buildings and schools. Fluorescents also suffer from the perception that they don’t provide the same quality of lighting as incandescents. This was true a few years back, but not today.
Compact fluorescent lamps use 67 percent to 75 percent less energy to produce the same light output as a standard bulb, and they last about 10,000 hours–almost 9,000 hours longer than a standard incandescent.
Fluorescent lamps today also have a high colour rendering index (CRI), which means they show colours well. And electronic ballasts are quiet and don’t flicker like the old fluorescent magnetic ballasts, making the complaints of yesterday irrelevant today. Compact fluorescents can also be installed in many standard light sockets and fixtures.
Standard incandescent bulbs are cheaper to buy than compact fluorescent lamps, but the long-term electricity costs associated with incandescents and their short lifetime make incandescents more costly over time. With the choice of energy- efficient lighting available today, it’s possible for consumers to increase the quality of lighting in their homes while cutting energy costs and safeguarding the environment.
Visit http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca for more information on energy-efficient lighting products. – (NC)
– From News Canada
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