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  • 3 Types of Light Bulbs (and Their Energy Efficiency)

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  • 3 Types of Light Bulbs (and Their Energy Efficiency)

    May 10, 2018

    Not all light bulbs are made the same. And when choosing the right lighting for your Carson City home, you’ll want to have an idea of the three major types: incandescent, fluorescent, and LED. While there are countless variations of these three types, it is important you first know their general differences.

    The Happy Outlet would like to discuss the 3 major types of light bulbs available for your home, as well as their energy efficiency.

    Incandescent

    Being the oldest of the three, the incandescent light bulb has been around since the late 1800s. These light bulbs consist of a glass case, with a filament inside. This filament channels the electrical current, using the energy to heat up and provide light. This bulb is notable for being extremely hot to the touch when left on for a long period of time.

    The incandescent bulb has the shortest lifespan of the three bulbs. Their lifespan is a measly 1,000 hours of light, which is a fraction compared to the other bulbs. However, they are the least expensive, and come in a variety of sizes and colors. They have the benefit of turning on instantly, and they provide a warm, comforting light with good color and contrast.

    Energy Efficiency: Incandescent light bulbs are the least energy efficient of the three major bulbs. Since they utilize heat to provide light, they burn through energy more fiercely than their other counterparts. In general, if you would like to remain energy efficient, consider using the other two light bulb types.

    CFL

    CFL (Compact fluorescent lamps) have been available since the early-to-mid 1900s. They work by ionizing mercury vapor, which emits electrons in a gas. This then creates an ultraviolet light, further causing the bulb to glow.

    CFLs have a much longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs. They last 6-15 times as long (6,000-15,000 hours) due to their more efficient electricity usage.  However, their initial cost is more expensive. Therefore, you’ll want to use CFLs for when you plan on lighting areas for long periods of time.

    Energy Efficiency: Thanks to their innovative way to provide light, CFLs are more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. They use about 75% less energy, while having a much longer lifespan.

    LED

    LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are the most recently invented type of bulb, made in the 1970s. They emit light by releasing energy in the form of photons, filling little holes in the LED. These holes work in conjunction to give the bulb light.

    LEDs are the longest lasting of the three bulbs. Their lifespan is measured differently from incandescent and CFL bulbs, as LEDs don’t burn out. Instead, they slowly dim over time. Overall, you can expect an LED to last about 50,000 hours before the light output is severely decreased. However, even when LEDs are at full power, they are not as bright as the other bulbs. Their initial cost is also the most expensive.

    Energy Efficiency: Aside from being the longest lasting, LEDs are also the most energy efficient light bulbs! They use 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and are Energy Star certified for purchase.

    When finding the right lighting for your home, be sure you know the three main types. And when you are ready to install new lighting in your home, contact The Happy Outlet for our affordable electrical services. Contact us at 775-841-9473 to speak with Carson City’s electrical experts.