According to the Department of Energy, lighting accounts for 15% of the electrical energy your home consumes. The average household can save an estimated $225 per year by investing in energy-efficient bulbs. Here is how upgrading your lighting can save you on energy bills.
Why Are Incandescent Lights Inefficient?
An incandescent bulb is the oldest lighting technology. It is still popular, a century after its invention. It generates light through incandescent, that is, heating a filament to emit light. The bulb’s glass assembly is an enclosure with an inert gas that prevents the filament from evaporating.
Incandescent lights have numerous advantages. Their low production cost makes them an affordable option for many residential applications. You can integrate an incandescent lamp with different models of dimmers and control switches. They are common for residential and commercial applications, such as headlights, decorative lamps, and flashlights.
Although the incandescent bulb has been around for 100 years, many policymakers propose phasing out production. Its primary disadvantage is that it consumes a lot of energy to heat the filament to emit light.
Incandescent generates more heat than light, with 90% of the energy wasted as heat. The heat is an inconvenience in the summer when you need cooling. The bulb can force your AC to work overtime, further raising your energy bills. Despite the bulb’s low production costs, its disadvantages outweigh its merits.
Are Fluorescent and CFL Lighting Options Better?
A fluorescent lamp produces light through fluorescence and is more efficient than an incandescent bulb. Fluorescence is a property in certain materials to generate light after exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
An electric current excites the mercury in the bulb to create short-wave electromagnetic waves. Then the light hits the phosphor, producing light in the visible spectrum. The process is more efficient than incandescent light and produces less heat.
Lumens are a measure that determines the intensity of visible light. The output of a light fixture is usually lumens per watt. For example, an incandescent bulb has an output of 16 lumens per watt. On the other hand, the value is 50 to 100 lumens per watt for fluorescent bulbs.
A fluorescent lamp is more expensive than a traditional filament bulb. The savings in utility bills can feasibly offset the initial costs of replacements.
The lamp is also versatile, making it suitable for many residential and commercial applications. The bulbs are durable and often the preferred option for outdoor signage.
CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) refers to a bulb design that can fit into a regular screw-in lighting fixture. CFL bulbs do not require the fixture installations that traditional fluorescent bulbs need.
One disadvantage of fluorescent lamps is mercury, which poses a waste hazard issue. If the bulb cracks, the vapor can escape into the room’s atmosphere, exposing you to the toxin.
Different fluorescent bulb models have varying features that can influence your lighting choice. Fluorescent lamps can be ideal replacements for your incandescent lamps, but LED lights are usually the best option for energy savings. If you need indoor lighting solutions in South Carolina or Atlanta, you can call the award-winning team at Arc Angel Electric for exceptional services.
Go for LED Lights for Optimum Energy Savings
A light-emitting diode is a semiconductor that emits light with the flow of current. An LED bulb can produce different wavelengths of light depending on the energy of electrons crossing the semiconductor bandgap.
In short, an LED bulb can produce light more efficiently than other alternatives in the market. They also generate wavelengths of varying patterns, making the lamp ideal for many display applications. You can choose an LED lamp that matches the light from your incandescent bulb.
LED lamps are the best options for managing your energy bills. LED has an efficiency of up to 200 lumens per watt. Its durability makes it ideal for heavy-duty applications. It can last for 30 years or up to 25 times the lifespan of a conventional incandescent bulb.
One drawback of LED lights is that they can be expensive, but the popularity of LED lights in recent years has seen a sharp drop in prices. Additionally, its durability and energy efficiency makes LED feasible in the long term.
Another potential challenge is that LED lights require a circuit to regulate the current, amongst other functions. For that reason, it may be incompatible with specialized switches and different dimmers.
An incandescent bulb does not require such complex circuitry to work with dimmers. Therefore, take note of compatibility issues when replacing the bulb. Arc Angel Electric electricians in Atlanta can provide dependable lighting replacement and electrical solutions.
Choosing Lighting to Enhance the Room’s Ambience and Aesthetics
Choosing a bulb is more complicated than simply going for the brightest lamp. The right choice of lighting can enhance your home’s ambiance and indoor comfort. Some bulbs generate soft, comfortable light suitable for the bedroom and lounging areas. Bright, clean light is recommended for task lighting in the office.
The color temperature determines the amount of blue or yellow wavelengths. The lower the value, the yellower or warmer it is. Incandescent lights have a color temperature of 2700 Kelvins, meaning they produce a soft and warm illumination.
Incandescent bulbs produce warm light that is perfect for rooms serving as indoor sanctuaries. Amber LED light may be a better option if aiming for yellow light illumination with less energy consumption. Also, consider a mid-range lumens rating to avoid dazzling brightness that can ruin the ambiance in lounging areas.
Bright, cold light is the best choice for your home office, workshop, or garage. This type of light mimics daylight, keeping you awake and alert. The color temperature range for crisp and clean illumination is 5,000 to 6,000 Kelvins. LED bulbs have the brightness, color temperature, and energy efficiency suitable for such applications.
Use Control Devices to Manage Consumption
One way to reduce your home’s energy bills is to invest in fluorescent or incandescent bulbs. You can also manage your consumption by using lighting controls and devices.
Smart devices can control the bulb through its internal circuitry. You can configure a timer to switch on the lights at specific times when you get home. Bulbs can work with your home automation system to turn on the lights when you walk into the room.
By using dimmers and Smart controls, you can minimize energy wastage in your household. The installation of control systems may require the expertise of a certified electrician. A professional can detect compatibility issues that may lead to additional expenses.
Do You Need to Consult a Professional?
You can buy LED or fluorescent bulbs to replace your current incandescent lighting. Such tasks are easy and do not require the skills of an expert.
However, you may consult certified electricians for rewiring and installation tasks. Tinkering with the electrical system can be dangerous unless you have the training. Additionally, a professional can install a system that meets your local code and building regulations.
Arc Angel Electric is an award-winning electrical company serving residents of Atlanta. As a full-service electrical company, we can boast of our A+ BBB rating and Angie’s List Best of the Best award. You can trust our IEC-recognized staff for lighting and outlet replacements, rewiring, surge protection, and generators. We also offer smart home automation and electrical panel upgrades. Contact our helpdesk for more information about our services.