13 Dec 2015

Energy efficiency is more important now than ever. One fast and easy place to increase energy efficiency is in your lighting. Lighting consumes about 5% of your energy bill. Although this is not a large portion, updating your lighting is a low-cost method to save money immediately, and it all adds up.

The older incandescent light bulbs lost 90% of their energy to heat, and are no longer manufactured. New lighting standards took effect in 2012, and there are now three types of Energy Star rated bulbs that can be used to replace your existing bulbs. The new options are Halogen Incandescents, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL), and Light Emitting Diodes (LED).



Halogen incandescents come in a large variety of shades and colors and are compatible with almost all dimmer controls. They meet the federal minimum energy standards. Halogens increase energy efficiency by encasing the filament in a capsule of gas. Although they meet the minimum standards, there are now more efficient options available.



Compact Fluorescent Lamps use twenty-five percent less energy, and can last up to ten times longer than their traditional incandescent counterparts. They also use only about one third of the energy of halogen incandescent bulbs. They are similar to the long fluorescent tubes used in many offices and businesses, but they are smaller and spiral shaped.  CFL’s normally pay for themselves within the first year of use.



Light Emitting Diodes are different than standard light bulbs. They are solid-state semiconductors.   These bulbs have most commonly been used as traffic lights and dashboard indicator lights. LED’s are one of the most energy efficient options available; this is a new and rapidly growing technology. Not only do they use seventy-five percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, but they can last up to twenty-five times longer. They come in a variety of colors and some are dimmable.   They are durable and excellent for outdoor environments and cold weather.

There are additional ways to save money. Lights can be automatically turned of when not in use via controls such as timers and photocells.   Just make sure whichever automatic controls you select will be compatible with types of bulbs you are using. Need help? Call the experts at Pike’s Electric.