The darkest days of the year are the best time to think about light – light bulbs, that is.
As of January 1, 2014, the 40-w and 60-w incandescent will be phased out, following the elimination of the 75-w and 100-w bulbs last year. Many people have already started using compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). CFLs are the spiral-shaped bulbs that we’ve been using in our fixtures. They can be awkward to use in existing fixtures with their unusual shape and cheaper models can have a delay in turning on once the switch is flipped. What is not commonly known is that most CFLs also contain toxic mercury and must be disposed of carefully. But they do offer excellent longevity and light for a lot less wattage. And this means savings!
But are these the only options out there?
You have probably seen the super-efficient light-emitting diodes (LED) Christmas lights on homes and trees in your neighbourhood. These lights are now available, in warm white, for use in light fixtures throughout your home. LEDs are uber-efficient, offering a lifespan of more than five times that of even CFLs and producing twice as much light for your wattage as well. Even better? They contain no toxic chemicals, produce almost no heat and turn on instantly. However, LED light tends to be somewhat narrow and directed instead of a warm glow. Because of this, LEDs are fantastic for task lighting and also pot lights. They excel outdoors as they aren’t affected by heat or moisture. They would also be a great idea for high ceilings where replacing a bulb is challenging. Some LEDs can last upwards of 45 years with regular usage!
Incandescent – Lifespan: 1,200 hours Cost: Low Wattage: Up to 100watts
CFLs – Lifespan: 8,000 hours Cost: Medium Wattage: 12–15 watts
LED – Lifespan: 50,000 hours Cost: High Wattage: 6 – 8 watts
Whichever bulb you reach for the next time you need to replace one, you have options that suit every situation.