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For more than a century, Americans have used electricity to light their homes. And that meant a recurring purchase: light bulbs. But if you still use incandescent bulbs in your home, it’s time for an update. Today there are new options that save energy. And even if you don’t care about your power usage, you’ll want to know this: These new bulbs can save you money in two ways. First, your minimized electricity usage means you get lower utility bills. Second, they last longer, so you’re not using new bulbs as often.
Do you think that some bulbs here and there are not a big problem? Think again. ENERGY STAR reports that the average American household is 70 (count them, 70!) light bulbs. And all that lighting can consume more energy than your refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine combined.
So, what are you waiting for? Use this light bulb guide to find out which energy and money saving option is best for your home.
Let’s start with the most basic light bulb: incandescent ones. These have been very useful in the last twelve decades. But they have served their purpose and it is time to put them to bed.
Why? ENERGY STAR Dear New ENERGY STAR-rated bulbs use 70 to 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. But wait, there’s more! They also last at least 15 times longer. All of this averages about $ 55 in savings per bulb.
Still not convinced to stay away from incandescent ones? We understand. Incandescent alternatives used to be known for their cold, harsh light. And here at Freshome, we know that lighting is important. But even our team is moving towards other types of bulbs. No, we are not just sacrificing form for function. Turns out, you’re not the only one who hated that bright, cool light, and the makers listened. Today, there are tons of warm white and soft white incandescent alternatives. Are even dimmable!
So get on board. There is no time like the present, especially considering that the sale of incandescent bulbs for residential use will be practically complete. prohibited by 2020.
Fear not! You have a couple of other great options.
Light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs are the leading incandescent replacement. They started out quite expensive (we’re talking three figures), but now you can grab an LED bulb that puts out the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb for just a couple of dollars. And you’ll get a lot for that money, considering that LED bulbs typically last 20,000-50,000 hours. That means they will last for decades in the average home.
Another advantage of LEDs: they do not emit heat. So you can safely touch them without hurting yourself and your air conditioner won’t have to work overtime to keep your house cool. It might not sound like a lot, but again, we’re talking about 70 bulbs per house on average. That radiant heat adds up.
If you want an LED that really maximizes your savings, look for ENERGY STAR rated LED bulbs. The package will be marked with your blue square logo.
LEDs certainly have their advantages, but they come at a price. If you’re looking for a more comparable incandescent price, compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, might be for you. In the days of expensive LEDs, these were preferred by people looking to choose more energy efficient lighting. But they are also to blame for the association of non-incandescent bulbs and hard white light. Because yes, they are fluorescent. And some people didn’t like the idea of their sterile office lighting following them home.
Fortunately, like their energy efficient ally, LEDs, CFLs have changed. You can now Find them in warm white and soft white. CFLs generally last around 10,000 hours (still pretty impressive) and have a characteristic spiral shape.
The future is now
Why stop there? With its long history of innovation, now that the light bulb has solved its energy use problem, it moves on to bigger and better things. Today, you can get voice-activated light bulbs that your digital assistant (e.g. Alexa, Google Home) can turn on and off for you. No more getting out of bed to turn off the light at night. If that’s not luxury, we don’t know what it is.
There are also more. You can get LEDs that change colors with a few presses of a button. Mood lighting, anyone?
When it comes to choosing the perfect light bulb for your home and your wallet, you have options. Stay away from those pesky incandescent lights, look for an ENERGY STAR logo, and you’ll get some savings while doing your part for the environment.
Now that you know which bulbs to use, you can get to work on the fun part – choosing accessories and locations for them. You can even do it yourself if you’re feeling crafty. After all, you’ll have all those energy savings in your pocket to spend on supplies. Let there be light (energy efficient)!