Sure, your heating and cooling costs account for the majority of your home’s electric bill. Lighting and the type of bulbs, however, take up a large chunk of your energy expenditure too. If you’re looking for ways to save money on utilities and eliminate excess heat inside the office, making the switch from incandescent bulbs to a more energy-efficient alternative can be a smart choice.
However, today’s low-energy light bulb options are wider than ever. You may not know all of the available options or understand the differences between them. Your local Fox Commercial Electrician, however, does and will help you to choose the right solution for your business lighting needs.
Two of the most popular options on the market today are LED (light emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs. There are advantages and drawbacks to each option, so reviewing the differences can help you to make the right choice.
As the name suggests, compact fluorescent bulbs are the same as any other type of fluorescent light. However, instead of being shaped into long tubes, they are coiled into a shape similar to a standard light bulb.
A CFL is about four times as efficient as an incandescent bulb and lasts about 10 times longer. It uses up to 80 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb. This means that, while the initial purchase price is higher, a CFL saves money in the long run.
There are, however, a few drawbacks:
- They are sensitive to on/off cycling, and their lifespans will reduce if they’re turned on and off frequently. They’re best and most efficient when left on for extended periods.
- Many CFLs are not dimmable, and a dimmer also reduces the lifespan of the bulb.
- CFLs do not stand up well to outdoor weather conditions.
- CFLs contain mercury, which is toxic. This requires them to be disposed of carefully, and they can be dangerous if broken.
LED bulbs utilize clusters of smaller bulbs housed in a diffuser lens, providing wider beams of directional light. They have long been used in car headlights and instrument panels, but are quickly coming to the forefront in residential and commercial applications.
LEDs are extremely long-lasting, with lifespans up to 10 times the length of a CFL bulb. They’re also highly durable and run without any heat build up. There is no mercury inside, making them safer than CFLs in that regard, and they utilize less energy than a CFL.
When LED bulbs first came on the market, they were very expensive when compared to other types of light bulbs. Today, LED are very competitively priced and affordable. Outfitting your office in LED may be a slightly larger investment, but will greatly decrease maintenance and utility expense.
Ultimately, the decision between CFL and LED comes down to cost versus convenience. Whichever you choose, you will find that upgrading your household lights to energy-efficient bulbs to be a smart choice for your pocketbook and your carbon footprint.
For more information about ways to save money on household utilities, contact Fox Commercial Services, a local contractor with experience in energy-efficient solutions. We’ll be happy to help you review your options and find ways to cut down on energy expenses in your cooling, heating, plumbing, and fixtures.