Electrician in Annapolis, J.M. Mullen Electric
Written by John Mullen

Common Light Bulbs And Their Efficiency

There are four types of light bulbs that are often bought by consumers: incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL), Halogen, and light-emitting diode (LED). While they all provide the light, they each are different in the way that they provide that light.

The most common type of bulb among the four is the incandescent light. While they are more cost effective than the other options, they are not energy efficient. Incandescent bulbs give off a warm light. Typically used with a dimmer-style appliance, they can last upwards of one year. In 2007 however, Congress passed a law requiring the use of more energy-efficient basic bulbs. While all of the incandescent standard bulbs are being taken out of production, incandescent chandelier bulbs will still be available .

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs are more energy efficient than an incandescent bulb and last upwards of 50,000 hours. Commonly used for television sets or flashlights, these bulbs do not contain mercury therefore they don’t produce any heat. Fixtures in hard to reach places as well as focus points benefit greatly from an LED. These bulbs have the most potential for saving energy, with some brands using 75 percent less energy with a lifespan that is 25 times longer than that of an incandescent bulb.

Also energy efficient is the compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb. These are the bulbs used to display different colors as well as change colors. Perfect for large spaces, they cost less than an LED and last longer than an incandescent light. Even though they contain mercury and should be handled with care, they are recyclable once they burn out. Wait for the bulb to warm up to experience a brighter bulb.

Halogen bulbs, unlike the others, become warm and should be kept away from fire hazards. They also have the shortest usage hours compared to the other three. However they are a great bulb for recessed and under cabinet lighting. Emitting a white light (by using a filament that is heated to the point of glowing), this dimmable energy mimics that of high-noon daylight. Of all the bulbs, this is the least energy efficient bulb.

In addition to figuring out what type of bulb to purchase, you must also take into account how much light is emitted from a bulb. This value is noted on the packaging in lumens or watts. A 100 watt bulb will produce around 1600 lumens of light. The lower wattage bulb will be the least energy producing bulb with the results being a lower energy bill. In contrast CFLs and LEDs will lead to a lower energy bill while having a lower wattage while having the same light output.

Contact J.M. Mullen for all of your electrical lighting needs.  We will be glad to assist you!