By Kathy Knopp, CLC (Certified Lighting Consultant), C Lighting
To help cut down on carbon emissions and save energy, you can extend the life of bulbs by using dimmers on existing light fixtures such as recessed lighting, table lamps and chandeliers. This usually saves the life of the bulbs by 4 to 5 times and cuts back on heat dissipation from the bulb. Also know that compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are 4 times more efficient than incandescent and contain less mercury (which is not harmful to humans), have better color rendering index (usually 80 CRI is best) and are closer to the color of incandescents than ever before.
Sticker shock in LED prices will get better with time, just like everything else. Although these are not LED, notice the beautiful lighting provided by halogen festoon lamps in the picture below, which are still very energy efficient. These provide up to 10,000 hour life and continue to put out similar to incandescent colors.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) provide up to 100,000 hours of life because they do not produce heat, they are mainly a solid state semiconductor that tiny light bulbs fit easily into electrical current, which are mounted on a circuit board. Research is now producing better color rendering in LED. Usually up to 4000 degree Kelvin, is typical, great for under counter lighting, however, there are many options to produce colors closer to incandescent for all projects.
Incandescent bulbs are inefficient and only use 10% of electrical energy to produce light. 90% is emitted in the form of heat! This 140 year old technology is being transformed into new lumens and better wattage by new methods.
Check out the September issue of Atlanta Home Improvement for more ideas and advice on energy-efficient lighting.