Your Guide to Energy Efficient Lighting

When you think of energy efficient lighting, what most likely comes to mind is that iconic green bulb known as the compact fluorescent lamp, or CFL. But CFLs are just part of the larger spectrum of energy efficient lighting choices available today, which include LEDs, halogen lamps, and newer, more efficient and/or lower wattage versions of those familiar fluorescents and incandescents.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, artificial lighting is responsible for nearly 15% of all residential electricity use–a figure that can be cut by 50-70% by adopting new, energy efficient lighting technologies. In an effort to tighten the nation’s energy budget and cut carbon emissions, the government has passed legislation on a new set of efficiency regulations for the lighting industry, starting in 2012. Under the new regulations, a number of different incandescent bulbs will be phased out and replaced by lower wattage versions, such as the 100 bulb, which will reduce its wattage to 72.

GE clean-energy investment

image via GE

According to Larry Lauck, Vice President of Communications for the American Lighting Association, these regulations are ushering in more types of light bulb technologies for the consumer. “There is a bit of a learning process for the consumer for the first time since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb,” he told us. “The good news is that these new bulbs will last many years so you can replace a bulb and forget about it for years.” He said the key is knowing what type of bulb will work best for its desired application in the home.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

    • Dan

      While the articles I find on earthtechling are generally informative and interesting, I have a couple of gripes:
      1. Too short. They seem to be more blurbs that articles and it would be nice if they at least linked to more substantive technological information.

      2. Contradictive. In ways that should be very easy to prevent, articles contradict each other:
      At the link “Are LED Lights Hazardous To Your Health?” above, the article states:
      “But all of the light-emitting diodes (LEDs) tested by UC Irvine scientists were brimming with toxins – lead, arsenic and many other potentially hazardous substances…”

      Yet, in the article on this page entitled “Your Guide to Energy Efficient Lighting,” it clearly states that: “LEDs also have the advantage of being completely recyclable and containing no toxic chemicals or metals.”

      I like LEDs, and if I have to take them to Home Depot or someplace to dispose of them that is OK, but I want to know that up front. And I want everyone else to know it too.