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How-To's & Tips - Lighting: CFL

Lighting: CFL Page 2

Posted on April 25, 2015 by Ed L | 0 comments
If every American replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for an entire year, save more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.

ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and typically last up to 10 times longer. Save $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime.

Produce about 75 percent less heat, so they're safer to operate and can cut energy costs associated with home cooling. CFLs are available in different sizes and shapes to fit in almost any fixture, for indoors and outdoors.

How to Choose and Use CFLs

ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs provide the greatest savings in fixtures that are on for a substantial amount of time each day. At a minimum, ENERGY STAR recommends installing qualified CFLs in fixtures that are used at least 15 minutes at a time or several hours per day. The best fixtures to use qualified CFLs in are usually found in the following areas of your home:

  • family and living rooms
  • kitchen
  • dining room
  • bedrooms
  • outdoors

How to Choose the Right Light

Matching the right CFL to the right kind of fixture helps ensure that it will perform properly and last a long time.

CFLs perform best in open fixtures that allow airflow, such as table and floor lamps, wall sconces, pendants, and outdoor fixtures. For recessed fixtures, it is better to use a reflector CFL than a spiral CFL since the design of the reflector evenly distributes the light down to your task area.

If a light fixture is connected to a dimmer or three-way socket fixture, you'll need to use a special ENERGY STAR qualified CFL designed to work in these applications. Make sure to look for CFLs that specify use with dimmers or three-way fixtures.

Choose a qualified CFL that offers a shade of white light that works best for you. For example, while most CFLs provide warm or soft white light for your home, you could choose a cooler color for task lighting.

To choose the ENERGY STAR qualified CFL with the right amount of light, find a qualified CFL that is labeled as equivalent to the incandescent bulb you are replacing. Light bulb manufacturers include this information right on the product packaging to make it easy for consumers to choose the equivalent bulb. Common terms include "Soft White 60" or "60 Watt Replacement."

You should also check the lumen rating to find the right CFL. The higher the lumen rating, the greater the light output. Consult the above chart to determine what CFL wattage is best to replace your incandescent light bulb.

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Did You Know? 
The lighting industry is in the midst of an exciting and dramatic revolution. This revolution will see the phasing out of energy hogging incandescent light bulbs & the rise of the compact fluorescent bulb. New possibilities in light technology are opening up. Full Spectrum lighting mimics the beneficial aspects of sunlight for better quality, cleaner and potentially more healthy light.
Light Therapy involves the use of light to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and other human conditions related to lack of sunlight. Light therapy can also be useful in balancing ones body clock (circadian rhythm).
Energy Star rated light fixtures are optimized to use dramatically less energy.
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