What Are The Most Efficient Bulbs to Use With Lamps and Lighting?
The answer to that really depends on what you mean by efficient. If you are looking for a bulb that will give you long life and also be extremely cost effective then the quick answer is go LED or CFL.
LED stands for light emitting diode and these bulbs are now widely available in a huge range of colours and styles that will allow you to replace all your existing bulbs easily. An LED light bulb will probably be more expensive initially than the old traditional incandescent bulb, some of which you may still have around the house, but because an LED bulb can use up to 25% less energy than the old style bulbs and lasts up to 25 times longer, then they will have paid for themselves in just a few months and will continue to save you money because their life span is so much longer.
Another choice to be considered and widely available now is CFL bulbs. This stands for compact fluorescent lamp and these basically are a smaller curly version of the long fluorescent tube lights that you may have in your kitchen or garage. CFL bulbs can use around ¼ – 1/3 less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb and last around 10 times longer, so again they will have paid for themselves in a short space of time.
Something else to consider is whether your choice of light fitting and bulb has a dimmer feature as this can give potentially huge savings. When lights are dimmed they use a proportionate amount of power and this can save you a considerable amount over time whilst allowing you to achieve an ambient light.
Another thing to consider is solar power and many outside lights are powered by sunshine these days. Obviously the cost here is simply the original purchase as the sunshine needed for them to work is free to use, and so these lamps will pay for themselves very quickly.
Consider also light sensitive cells for outdoor and even indoor lighting. These lamps will only illuminate when the surrounding light reaches a set stage of darkness. This means that you need not leave your lights on all the time as they will come on when need on their own and go off again when the light reaches a certain level.
New regulations brought in in 2012 means that now all light bulbs come with a 'lighting facts' label somewhere on the packaging. This label, by law, must give all the facts pertaining to the light bulb inside. Information like style, type of fitting i.e. bayonet or screw in, light given in lumen, and style of light i.e. bright white, blue or yellow. It will also give a comparison chart against the old incandescent bulb for light given and power consumed so that you can achieve the same amount of light from your new bulb. There must also be an estimated life expectancy for the bulb that will allow you to compare like for like and choose the one most suitable for your needs.
There are choices when it comes to choosing the most efficient bulbs to use with lamps and lighting, all of which are replacements for incandescent bulbs that will save you money and are kinder to the planet.