Using an Energy-efficient Lighting
With countries all over the world beginning to phase out energy-guzzling incandescent lights, now is a
fantastic time to invest in energy-efficient lights and save on your power expenses. At present, you have
three choices for energy-wise low energy lighting: fluorescent, compact fluorescent and LED (light-
Fluorescent tubes are 3-5 times more efficient than incandescent lights and can last up to 6-30 times
One option to consider is to buy an industrial-grade electronic ballast; most of these can accept any
tube. And electronic ballasts, unlike magnetic ones, don't make a lot of flickering or noise.
Then you have to figure out what correlated colour temperature (CCT) you want, which is the tube's
colour temperature. Tubes with "cool" light have a high CCT (5000-6500 K) and a bluish-white tint, while
"warm" tubes have a low CCT (2700-3000 K) and a yellowish colour.
Incandescent light is warm, so if you'd like to match that colour, or if you'll be mixing incandescent and
fluorescent lights in the same room, you'll probably want to get warm fluorescent tubes. For a slightly
whiter look, pick medium tubes (3500-4100 K), which work nicely for workspaces and kitchens.
For an illumination more like natural daylight, choose halogen bulbs marked 5000-6500 K. These are
perfect for close work like reading. Some people find this light is more wholesome and natural. It even
has been used to treat light disorders.
Your next choice when replacing a tube is to decide the colour rendering index (CRI) you'd like. The
codes range from 1 to 100, with the upper level numbers signifying light that makes object look more
vivid and lively.
Compact Fluorescent (CFL)
Compact fluorescent's are beginning to dislodge the old-style, bulky fluorescent fixtures. This is partly
because CFLs are smaller and will screw into standard lamps.
1 EnergySavingLightBulbsUK.com (c) 2011
In terms of usage, energy-efficiency and quality of light, CFLs are quite similar to regular fluorescent
lights. But you have several varieties of CFL bulbs to choose from, and each type performs a specific
LED (Light-emitting Diode) Lights
In some ways, LED lights are better than fluorescent lighting. Unlike fluorescent lights, LED's contain no
mercury, a dangerous poison that fluorescent tubes will give off if they're shattered. LED lights are far
less likely to shatter than fluorescent tubes, and they have a much longer lifespan.
LED's reach full brightness immediately when you turn them on, and they work a lot better in cool
places than fluorescent lights do. You can turn LED lights on and off as often as you like without
impacting their lifespan, unlike fluorescent's. And LED lights are even more energy-efficient than
There are some applications where LED's are clearly better than incandescent and fluorescent lights.
LED's are great for flashlights because the energy saving bulbs last a very long time and they drain
batteries much more slowly than incandescents. LED flashlights work well in cool temperatures, and
they focus light quite well. LED flashlights are reliable for transporting since they don't shatter when you
drop them, nor do they burn out suddenly, the way incandescent bulbs do.
LED's work nicely for coloured lights, since they don't require coloured filters the way incandescent or
fluorescent light bulbs do. That, in combination with their low heat output and small size, is why LED's
are so popular for Christmas lights or indicator lights.
The drawbacks to LED lighting are its high initial cost and the low quality of light.
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2 EnergySavingLightBulbsUK.com (c) 2011