Thursday, 27 October 2011
Three Energy Saving Bulbs
Helping the environment is something that every home owner is happy to be a part of. This explains in part the reason for the rapid growth of energy saving bulbs on the market, a lighting option that drastically reduces the amount of electricity consumed in the home, and therefore the energy drained from the environment around us all.
The energy saving option is so popular, in fact, that the simple household light bulb seems to be fading away. Instead, bulbs for cluster lamps, colour alternating LED lights and the intriguingly named dusk to dawn bulbs have found their way onto the modern houseware shopping list.
Of course, the advantages of all energy saving lights is easy to imagine, but for a variety of reasons, modern home owners have their favourites. We have compiled a list of three of the most popular and more advanced types available on the market, namely LED bulbs, CFLs, and sensor light bulbs.
When it comes to lighting efficiency, it is difficult to beat LED lights. This is because the energy consumption of these bulbs is exceptionally low, with the life span of a typical LED as much as 100,000 hours. That is as much as 20 times the life of a regular household incandescent light. In fact, it is likely that if an LED light is turned on and never turned off, a new born baby will have completed primary school before the light dies. For this reason, LED bulbs are preferred for jobs where a light is expected to be on most, if not all, of the time. Their energy efficiency rate is 80 per cent, which means that 80 per cent of the electricity consumed is turned to light, and only 20 per cent lost. An incandescent light, however, is the other way around, with 20 per cent converted into light.
As a result, LED bulbs are preferred where the sheer number of lights would otherwise mean an exceptionally large electricity bill, such as multi storey office buildings, even large hotels where the corridor lights must be on every night. In the home, they are often used in security lights.
However, the most effective low energy bulbs are compact fluorescent lamp bulbs, or CFLs as they are commonly abbreviated to. They are basically fluorescent bulbs, but with a greater degree of energy efficiency and a greater versatility in terms of the applications they can be used in. The tube, for example, can only be placed in a dedicated fixture.
The key element to CFL bulbs is the small amount of mercury vapour that is contained within the glass. This vapour glows when electricity runs through it, giving off an ultraviolet light that we cannot see, but which actually stimulates the phosphorous coating that ultimately produces the light.
The important factor is that stimulating the phosphorous coating in this way requires less electrical energy than other lighting methods. In fact, CFLs use around 25 per cent of the energy that incandescent bulbs use, and have a life span 15 times that of the traditional incandescent option.
Sensor Light Bulbs
One of the most impressive advances in lighting technology has been the development of sensor bulbs, which are CFL bulbs that can switch on when daylight has receded and switch off when daylight is restored. The sensor simply reads the degree of natural daylight that exists, and reacts accordingly.
This kind of bulb is generally used in places where light is required 24 hours a day, like an alleyway or a loading bay in a busy warehouse facility, perhaps. However, they are available too in household versions that are small but bright and perfect for use over a backdoor or over the back garden patio for security purposes. These bulbs, often available in a spiral design, can provide 100 watts of light from just 20 watts of power, making them effective energy saving options.
Understandably, these bulbs are more commonly known as dusk to dawn light bulbs, obviously because they turn on automatically at dusk and stay on until automatically switching off at dawn. Still, they play no small role in reducing electricity consumption, like every other light bulb design with the environment in mind. The growth in popularity of energy saving bulbs cannot be considered a major surprise, given the awareness people generally have of the world around them. And, we can be certain that as the decades go by, even greater energy saving technologies will be incorporated into the lights we use at home.