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Energy Saving Light Bulbs

Energy Saving Light Bulbs 

Energy saving light bulbs or compact fluorescent light bulbs are a better alternative to incandescent light bulbs.  It can be a bit overwhelming since many bulb shapes aren’t exactly the same.  They may similar but because of the technology that is used, the bulb often looks different than what we’re use to. 

Create a warm and inviting atmosphere, while keeping money in your pocket.  Here I’ll outline the different types of compact fluorescent light bulbs.  Then I’ll wrap up with giving you a thumb nail reference of knowing what the best wattages are for you based on what incandescent wattages you currently use. 

Decorative Twisters
Decorative twister light bulbs have a similar light output as standard incandescent light bulbs.  They are compact in size and fit many small fixtures.  Mostly you will use these in table lamps but can also put them in wall sconces and open overhead light fixtures.  Many styles now have an “instant on” feature and you don’t have to wait for the bulb to warm up to become as bright as it is capable.   

A reputable brand will give you around 8000 to 10,000 hours of usage compared to only 1000 in incandescent.  These are terrific energy savers.  You may save up to $103 over the life of the light bulb!   

Universal & 3-Way
Universal & 3-Way light bulbs provide a soft, white light.  Their length of life can be 12,000 to 15,000 hours from a reputable manufacturer.  Again, energy savings can be up to $112 over the life of the lamp.   

3-Ways have adjustable light levels.  A 34/26/18 would be equivalent to a 150/100/50 watt 3-Way incandescent light bulb.  They are limited to use in table and floor lamps.   

Universals, on the other hand, are useful in a large number of applications:  table and floor lamps, outdoor light posts, wall sconces, reading lamps, outdoor border lights, recessed fixtures and open hanging fixtures. 

Reflector Floods
Reflector Flood light bulbs have a similar look and light output as incandescent reflector flood lamps.  They can be used indoors or out of doors when the light is pointing downward.  When the light is pointing upward, they need to be in enclosed fixtures if out of doors.  Some brands can be used in cold weather down to -10 degrees F.  Below that the manufacturers can’t guarantee that the light bulb will head up enough to actually come on.  You can see Energy Savings of up to $50 over the life of the light bulb.   

Dimmable Reflector Flood light bulbs are available and seem to be very popular amongst folks with homes that have ceilings resembling swiss cheese.  Reflector Floods are used in recessed fixtures and open hanging fixtures.   

Standard Incandescent Shape
There are compact fluorescent light bulbs that are shaped like your standard A19 light bulb.  These provide a soft white light and are ideal for table lamps, floor lamps and open ceiling fixtures.  Their life span is the same as a deco twister and may save up to $36 over the life of your light bulb. 

Candle Lamps
Candle lamps are useful in outdoor lamp posts, wall sconces, decorative chandeliers, fans and some reading lamps. They often come with two base(the part that screws into the socket) sizes.  These sizes are called a medium base (larger of the two) and a candelabra base (fits mostly chandeliers and some sconces).  Candle lamps provide a warm and inviting soft white light and last 6000 to 8000 hours.   

Globes are ideal for use in vanity strips and open lighting fixtures.  These can save you up to $64 for the life of the light bulb assuming a .10 country average of electrical costs per KW/h.  (All figures above are also based on this amount.  And the life spans are based on Philips Products life spans) Globes look like regular incandescent globes and are pretty easy to identify. 

Outdoor & Bug A Way
Outdoor and Bug A Way light bulbs are most popular in the summer for obvious reasons.  Rather than zapping those bugs, discourage them from coming around in the first place.  These light bulbs provide a soft white light, ideal for light posts.  They are shatter-resistant and because of the translucent cover the glare is reduced which helps to protect the light bulb.  Outdoor compact fluorescents can save you up to $36 per light bulb over its life which is about 8000 hours. 

Basic Wattage Equivalents
Without going into too much detail….wattage equivalents are based on similar lumen output which is the brightness of your light bulb.  The following are general equivalents between compact fluorescent light bulbs and incandescent light bulbs.  5 watt CFL=25 watt Incan.  9 & 11 watt CFL=40 watt Incan.  13 watt CFL=60 watt Incan.  19 & 20 watt CFL=75 watt Incan.  23 & 27 watt CFL=100 watt Incan.  32 watt CFL=135 watt Incan.  42 watt CFL=150 watt Incan.   

By using these basic guidelines, I hope I’ve made it easier for you to be able to choose the correct compact fluorescent light bulbs for your own home or office.  Take advantage of the huge energy savings that will follow.

-written by Holly Eddins


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