Tips and Advice
The following is some very helpful information about the benefits of LED and Fluorescent lighting. If you need additional information regarding efficient lighting or how you can make your home or office more eco-friendly please contact us.
The light-emitting diode (LED) is currently one of the most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies. LED light bulbs tend to last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of bulbs.
LED is an energy efficient lighting technology that has the potential to significantly change the future of lighting in America. Residential LEDs, which are ENERGY STAR rated uses at least 75% less energy, and last about 25 times longer, than traditional incandescent lighting.
Widespread conversion of LED lighting has the greatest potential for energy savings in America. Total conversion to LED by 2027 can lead to total savings of more than $30 billion at current electricity prices.
What Makes LEDs Different?
Key differences compared to incandescent bulbs and CFLs:
- Light Source: LEDs are the size of a fleck of pepper, and a mix of red, green, and blue LEDs is typically used to make white light.
- Direction: LEDs emit light in a specific direction, which reduces the requirement for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light. This makes LEDs more efficient for many uses such as recessed downlights. With other types of lighting, the light must be reflected to the desired direction which prevents more than half of the light from ever leaving the fixture.
- Heat: LEDs tend to emit very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat and CFLs release about 80% of their energy as heat.
Different Ways and Settings to Use LED Technology
Industrial and Commercial Lighting
The high efficiency and directional nature of LEDs makes them perfect for many industrial uses. LEDs are increasingly common in street lights, parking garage lighting, walkway and other outdoor area lighting, modular lighting, and task lighting.
Kitchen Under-Cabinet Lighting
Since LEDS are small and directional, they are perfect in the kitchen settings. They can be used for lighting countertops for cooking and reading recipes. However, because the color of an LED can appear cooler or blue than is typically desired in a kitchen settings, and coupled with some excessive shadowing in some fixtures, it is important to compare products to find the best fixture in this setting.
Recessed downlights are commonly used in residential hallways, kitchens and bathrooms, and also in a number of office and commercial settings. According to estimates of the Department of Energy (DOE), there are at least 500 million recessed downlights installed in U.S. homes, and more than 20 million are sold each year. Both CFL and LED technology can decrease downlight wattage by 75% or more.
LED Replacement Bulbs
With performance improvements and continuous price reductions, LED lamps can replace 40, 60, and 75 Watt incandescent bulbs. Please read the Lighting Facts Label to make sure the product is the correct brightness and color for the intended setting.
Due to the efficiency of LEDs compared to traditional bulbs, significant savings is available when purchasing decorative LED light strings such as Christmas tree lights. Other benefits include:
- Safer : LEDs are much cooler than incandescent lights, reducing the risk of combustion or burn accidents.
- Sturdier : LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, not glass, and are much more resistant to cracks.
- Longer lasting : The same LED string could still be used for up to 40 holiday seasons.
- Installation Advantages : Up to about 25 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket.
Fluorescent lightbulbs use 25%-35% of the energy used by incandescent bulbs to provide the same amount of light. They also tend to last about 10 times longer (7,000-24,000 hours).
The two general types of fluorescent lightbulbs are:
- Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) - a type of screw-in bulb which is used in common household fixtures.
- Fluorescent tube and circline bulbs - typically used for task lighting such as garages and undercabinet fixtures, and for lighting large areas in commercial buildings.
CFLs combine the energy efficiency of fluorescent lighting with the convenience and popularity of incandescent fixtures. CFLs are compatible with most fixtures designed for incandescent bulbs and use about 75% less energy compared to traditional bulbs.
Although CFLs cost a bit more than comparable incandescent bulbs, they last 6-15 times as long (6,000-15,000 hours).
CFLs are most cost-effective and efficient in areas where lights are on for long periods of time. You'll experience a slower payback in areas where lights are turned on for short periods of time, such as in closets and pantries. Because CFLs do not need to be changed often, they are ideal for hard-to-reach areas.
CFLs are available in a variety of styles or shapes, and each is designed for a specific purpose. The size or total surface area of the tube(s) determines how much light it produces. Many models are dimmable, as indicated on the package, and are and compatible with other lighting controls.
Cleanup and Disposal
CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, which is essential in conducting electricity in this type of bulb. Mercury can be hazardous to the environment, so it is important to recycle your used CFL bulbs rather than throw them away. Many hardware and other retail stores will recycle used CFL bulbs - contact a local retailer to find out.
If a CFL bulb breaks, it can release some of its mercury as vapor. Therefore, you must follow specific cleanup steps to avoid coming in contact with the mercury.
Fluorescent Tube and Circline Lighting
Fluorescent tubes, the next most popular type of fluorescent lighting are more energy efficient than standard incandescent bulbs.
The traditional tube-type fluorescent lights are usually identified as T12 or T8 (12/8 or 8/8 of an inch tube diameter, respectively). They are installed in dedicated fixtures with built-in ballasts. The two most common types are 40-watt, 4-foot (1.2-meter) lamps, and 75-watt, 8-foot (2.4-meter) lamps.
Tubular fluorescent fixtures and bulbs are often used for ambient lighting in large indoor areas. In these areas, their low brightness creates less direct glare than incandescent bulbs.
Circular, tube-type fluorescent bulbs are called circline bulbs. They are commonly used for portable task lighting.