Are you maximizing your household lighting efficiency? If not, you’re inevitably paying higher than necessary annual energy costs, and if you’re like most homeowners, you will welcome a break.
At Harrison Electric, it’s our goal to help Twin Cities homeowners maximize the safety, efficiency, and functionality of their electrical systems. And, even without the expertise of a licensed residential electrician, there’s a straightforward tweak you can make to help increase the energy efficiency of your home.
What Is Lighting Efficiency?
The term energy efficiency gets tossed around often concerning household appliances and electronics, but how often do you hear the term lighting efficiency? Before getting into the various light bulbs and how they function to make your home more (or less) energy-efficient, let’s talk about lighting efficiency.
Lighting efficiency is the ratio between the light (lumens) emitted by a bulb and the total amount of power the bulb consumes to produce that light. Essentially, it compares the amount of “work” the bulb produces to the amount of energy (watts) necessary to make that “work.” The more lumens a bulb emits while using fewer watts, the more efficient the bulb is at performing its job.
What Are Your Lightbulb Options?
There are plenty to choose from when it comes to lightbulb options, but that doesn’t mean they’re all created equal. Certain bulbs are far superior to others in terms of efficiency, which we’ll expand on below.
This is your run-of-the-mill lightbulb. Generally, it remains functional for 700-1000 hours of operation, after which the tungsten filament within the bulb burns out. While these are the most common type of lightbulb in residential applications, they’re far from efficient. Most homeowners opt for this type of bulb simply because it’s well known and generally more affordable than its more energy-efficient counterparts.
These bulbs will reach scorching-hot levels when left on long enough, so avoid touching a bulb with your bare hand as it could burn it. Incandescent bulbs produce a warmer light while giving off up to 800 lumens. While these lightbulbs are cheaper to purchase upfront, they waste a significant amount of energy over time.
Fluorescent or Compact Fluorescent Lamps
Fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps consume approximately 25% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, making them considerably more energy efficient. On average, these bulbs have a functional lifespan of up to 10,000 hours; however, their coils contain mercury, making safe disposal a challenge.
Fluorescent bulbs give off a cool, bright light that produces 3,000 lumens. Fluorescent bulbs are great for gardening, as they make efficient grow lights. One drawback to fluorescent lights is that it contains mercury, which is difficult to dispose of safely.
These bulbs are essentially an upgrade to traditional incandescent bulbs. They contain halogen gas, which increases the luminosity and lifespan of the bulb, thereby improving its efficiency. On average, halogen lamps have a lifespan that’s twice that of an incandescent bulb.
Some Halogen bulbs are built with reflective cups to increase luminosity without sacrificing energy consumption. Halogen bulbs, on average, produce almost 2000 lumens while costing 25% less to run than incandescent bulbs.
Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
LEDs boast the highest efficiency of any bulb, consuming approximately 75-80% less energy than their incandescent or halogen counterparts. They typically have a lifespan of 25 times that of a standard lightbulb, which makes them far more cost-effective than all other bulb options, despite their higher initial price tag.
LEDs may cost more upfront than most other lightbulbs, but their price over time becomes more reasonable with each passing year. In addition, LEDs are proving to be highly customizable. Some LED brands offer dimmable features and options to change the hue and color to set the mood accurately!
Lastly, LEDs are some of the most durable light bulbs you can get as they are able to work inside and outside in even the coldest conditions!
Consult An Electrician
Not sure which type of lightbulb is best for your needs? Consult a residential electrician who can recommend appropriate options based on your current lighting scheme and energy efficiency requirements.
If you’re working toward greater overall household energy efficiency, your electrician can also help you determine whether your current fixtures are appropriate for your goals. Depending on your current wiring setup, installing light fixtures that are more energy efficient (and combining those fixtures with efficient bulbs) can reduce your energy costs considerably over the long run.
Need a Twin Cities Residential Electrician? Contact Harrison Electric Today
Ready to improve your household energy efficiency? Then it’s time to get in touch with our team at Harrison Electric. Whether you are thinking about installing light fixtures or you’re planning a more comprehensive rewiring project, our licensed residential electricians are here to serve you.
We do everything from installing a light switch to replacing old electrical panel wiring, and we’ve been proudly serving the Twin Cities area since 1985. When you need an experienced team you know you can trust, make us your first call!
To learn more about our electrical services or to request your service quote, give our team a call at 763-544-3300. You can also get in touch with us via our contact form, and a member of our team will reach out to you promptly!