High-Efficiency Lighting

Why should you replace your incandescent bulbs? Check out the benefits of replacing inefficient incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs as we discuss the issue with Steve Sheinkopf the CEO of Yale Appliance and Lighting.

Lighting technology has progressed rapidly over the past few years, driven by increased interest in energy-efficiency and federal legislation which mandates that bulbs being produced must meet certain efficiency standards. These new bulbs not only reduce emissions, but save consumers money too. Perhaps it’s not surprising that consumer habits have not progressed as fast as lighting technology, as there is a lot of misinformation and out-dated information available about newer lighting technologies.

LED– Not just for Flashlights

led bulbTake, for example, LED bulbs. LED’s (light-emitting diodes) are used for hundreds of different things, but many people think that they are too expensive to use in your home, and don’t emit the same quality of light as incandescent bulbs. Both of those are no longer true. Cree produces a 40 watt equivalent for $10 that uses about 15% of the energy of a 40 watt incandescent. Affordable, right? Not to mention, LED bulbs last about 25 times as long as incandescent bulbs. That is a lot of money you could be saving.

If you haven’t already left to go buy some LED lights, there are a few more features they have that we haven’t touched on yet. You can get certain bulbs that you can control from your smart phone. Not only can you turn them on and off, but you can control their brightness and program them from your phone to do things like strobe. Oh, and there are color-changing bulbs available, too, which of course you can control from your phone, as well.

LED’s vs. CFL’s

Over the past few years, CFL’s (compact fluorescent lamps) have been LED bulbs’ main competitor, as they are also much more efficient than incandescent bulbs. Many people chose them because they are cheaper, though not significantly so anymore. While CFL’s have also gotten much better than when they were first being produced, they still have some disadvantages when compared with LED’s.  First, CFL’s are efficient, but not as efficient as LED’s, and if you’re going to be investing in a energy-efficient bulbs it makes sense to get the most efficient bulbs available. Probably more inconvenient is the fact that CFL’s contain mercury, so you have to be careful when you’re getting rid of or break them to make sure they don’t end up with the rest of your trash. While some rubbish collection and recycling agencies collect used CFL bulbs, your best bet is generally to take them back to the store where you bought them, as many home improvement stores recycle them for free.

Bulb Wattage  Replaces Best Use
Energetic 7.5w Tulip LED A19 7.5w 40w Incandescent Indoor lights (not dimmable)
TCP LED PAR30 14w 40w Incandescent Brightly lit areas (dimmable)
GE Energy Smart® PAR38 20w 40w Incandescent Outdoor overhead lighting
Philips EnduraLED ½ Flame Tip 3.5w 40w Incandescent Decorative

The table above shows some LED bulbs and how they compare to their incandescent counterparts. In the end, LED bulbs are the best lighting choice for most situations, and as the technology progresses they are only getting better and more versatile.

Behind the Walls
Innovation Center
One Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142