Light Bulbs
Littman Bros Lighting |  December 23, 2013

Which Light Bulbs are best for your Home?

Light Bulbs

The question is brought up more and more as light bulbs change with the times and growing technology; which light bulbs are best for my home? Picking out the best light bulb for your home begins here:

Incandescent bulbs have been used in our homes since the 1800s and they have changed very little since then – they produce a nice, warm light that we have come to recognize with a cozy and inviting home. However, they are very inefficient; 90 percent of the energy they produce escapes as heat and only 10 percent of the energy consumed actually emits light. They are inexpensive but only have a life span of 1 thousand hours. The competition for incandescent bulbs is slowly creeping up and their lack of evolvement is leading to extinction.

CFL and LED bulbs are becoming increasingly popular as their color temperature lowers into the 2700k to 3000k range and they slowly have become more affordable. What is the difference between these two types of bulbs? And what is best for your home?

Compact Fluorescents or CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power and last eight to 15 times longer when compared to their incandescent equivalent. Their lifespan is significantly shortened when they are turned off within 5 minutes of turning them on. CFLs are more expensive than incandescent bulbs but can save an average five times their purchase price through their life span. These bulbs are now available in 2700k to 3000k ranges but are typically non-dimmable. LED bulbs on the other hand are usually made dimmable and are also found in the 2700k to 3000k color range. They are made of light emitting diodes or computer chips instead of mercury like CFLs. They also have a lifespan of 30 thousand to 50 thousand hours, or approximately 25 years regular usage, making LEDs a better environmental decision. LEDs are far more efficient than incandescent bulbs; 1 watt from an LED is approximately seven to 10 watts of a standard bulb. They are however much more expensive; a 13.5 watt LED bulb, which is equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent, sells for $28 versus $1 for the incandescent. It typically takes three years to recover the cost of the bulb in energy savings. Both LEDs and fluorescents will save you a significant amount on your energy bill – LEDs have a bigger upfront cost but will save you more in the long run and will not need to be replaced. They are also perfect for those hard to reach fixtures.