I walked into Home Depot the other day and went to pick out some light bulbs. I saw the giant wall of all the different types and was intimidated. I am not a complete idiot, I knew that the twisty ones were better than the regular ones and that LED are the best. But beyond that…. nuttin’. So I decided that if I was a little lost by it all, maybe some of you were too. I took it upon myself to do a little research and figure it all out. And because I found it interesting and learned some cool things, I thought I would share it today.
I know, I know. A post on light bulbs is not ubber exciting and I highly doubt this bugger will go viral. But I think it can help and it is somewhat DIY related. Maybe I should have turned it into a rap…… Anyway, here we go.
A real quick run down…..
INCANDESCENT BULBS: The standard light bulb that you think of when you you of light bulbs. Pro: They are dirt cheap Con: They consume energy about as fast as I consume potato chips and Utah Truffles on a Friday night. And they get really hot to the touch. They also do not have a long life.
FLUORESCENT: These light are really bright and are typically used in work spaces where you need to see well. Pro: They don’t get as hot as a incandescent and they have a longer life. Con: The light is not very flattering. The are long and straight and are not used in lamps or many other light fixtures.
COMPACT FLUORESCENT: The “twisty” ones :) It is just like its name suggests… compact. They took the long straight fluorescent one and twisted them into a shape that is compact and able to be used in more household light fixtures. Pros: They are 75% more energy efficient than a standard incandescent light bulb and lives up to 9 years longer!!! Cons: Sometimes when you turn on a light they take a sec to turn on. They flicker or slowly get brighter until they are all the way on. Ummm *cough* They are not super attractive. This one is obviously my opinion. But I am not a fan of how they look in light fixtures. BUT I learned during my little research that they now have other looks. We will get to that later in the post :)
LED: The gold standard of light bulbs. They have no filament. They have light emitting diodes. Basically that means they don’t get hot. Okay so there’s a little more to it than that but I figured if you really wanted to know the deets you could google it. Pros: Like I said, they don’t get hot. Which comes in handy if you have little kids and lamps. Or is it only MY kids that touch everything…..? They use the least amount of energy to run out of all the light bulbs. They use 85% less energy than an incandescent light bulb and live 20 years longer. 20 YEARS!!! Dude. They also turn on instantly. They don’t have the flicker problems most Compact Fluorescent bulbs do. Con: They are the best but they also cost the most. But it could be argued than since they save you so much and last so much longer that it SAVES you money. It is an upfront cost you will get back. But it still makes it hard to hand over your card.
I thought That when it came to Compact Fluorescent bulbs that there was only the twisty kind. But I found that they have all sorts of shapes and looks. There are even more than I have pictured here. There are globe, flood, candelabra, oblong, etc. If you look closer you can see the coils on the inside of the ones that look “normal”.
There are lots of options with LED as well. In fact there are more options than the Compact Fluorescent bulbs. I have the one that is yellow. I am not a fan of its look but the company says the reason it is yellow is so it will have a more flattering light. It is meant to mimic the light of the incandescent bulbs.
Things to look for when shopping for a light bulb:
*The Lumen count. The bigger the lumen number the brighter the light.
*The type of light (soft light, bright light, daylight, white light, etc) This it a matter of personal preference.
*The life of the bulb
*The energy cost per year
And finally, some fascinating fact about energy efficient bulbs.
Residential lighting uses 12% of a homes energy use. That is more than the refrigerator, dishwasher, and laundry combined.
Energy Star Christmas lights use 65% less energy than traditional incandescent ones.
By replacing your home’s 5 most used lights you could save $75 per year!
(This information is from The Home Depot’s website. They have a TON of information about all things energy efficient.)
TO SUM IT ALL UP…….
Here is my take on the matter. I have replaced the lamps in my front room with LED because of the fact that they do not get hot (kid safety) and they get used the most out of all our lamps. I will eventually replace all the lamps with LED. I have replaced all my other bulbs with the compact fluorescent. I do have two new light fixtures that are clear. I decided to add clear bulbs to those. They are not as energy efficient but since I changed all the other ones, I figured it was alright.
SO what are your thoughts??? Have you made the switch?
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