One way to reduce your energy bills is to install more efficient light bulbs. Instead of using standard incandescent bulbs, consider using either fluorescent or tungsten halogen bulbs.
High-efficiency fluorescent lighting can reduce lighting energy costs by up to 75%. In addition, fluorescents last about eight times as long as incandescents, for a double benefit.
Today's fluorescent lamps come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit many different applications. They are ideal for use in basements, workshops, garages, kitchens (especially under counters and over sinks) and laundry rooms.
The newest development in fluorescent lighting is low-wattage lamps in shapes and sizes similar to incandescent. These lamps are referred to as "twin tube", Biax, compact or circline fluorescents and are ideal for use in recessed lighting, table lamps and fixture-free sockets in garages, porches, basements and workrooms.
Fluorescent lamps with incandescent-type screw-in bases or adapters will fit into many incandescent fixtures. Several types are available. The "twin-tube" or Biax lamps come in 5 to 32 watt sizes and plug into reusable screw-in ballast/adapters. These ballasts have a rated life of 45,000 to 50,000 hours. Direct-wire adapters also are available.
Some compact fluorescent lamps come as a complete lamp/ballast unit. When the lamps burn out, the ballast must also be replaced. However, these lamps will last about 7 to 10 times as long as standard incandescent lamps and are available in 15- to 28-Watt sizes. They are typically used to replace 60-watt to 100-watt incandescent lamps.
Circline lamps are fluorescent tubes formed into a circle and designed as direct replacements for incandescents. Some models have ballasts built into the lamp base; others come with two circular tubes – one within the other – offering a wider selection of wattages. A 27-watt circline lamp provides the same amount of light as a 150-watt incandescent, for one-fifth the energy cost.
The following table shows a few typical incandescent lamps and the appropriate fluorescent replacements.
|* A-19 is a designation for the standard incandescent lamp shape.|
- Screw-in fluorescents, which are somewhat larger than incandescents, come in a variety of sizes and shapes including globe, tube, and circle styles.
- Today's compact fluorescents have much-improved colour rendition and a "warmer" light than standard fluorescents.
- Some fluorescents are heavier than traditional bulbs because they require a ballast.
- Measure a fixture before buying compact fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescents are larger and don't always fit traditional fixtures. Harp adapters can often remedy this problem.
- Most fluorescent lamps cannot be dimmed and are not recommended for enclosed fixtures. Fluorescents also require a special ballast for operation in outdoor settings because of sensitivity to low temperatures.
- Many fixture manufacturers are now making fixtures especially for these high-efficiency lamps. When buying new lighting fixtures, ask for ones designed to accept compact fluorescents.
Tungsten halogen lamps
Tungsten halogen (or quartz) lamps are more efficient, provide longer life and give a whiter light than standard incandescent bulbs. Depending on the application, energy savings can be significant. Halogens are suitable in applications like track or spot lighting, where they are often dimmed, and for use with motion sensors (for example, outdoor security/convenience lights), where they frequently cycle on and off. Halogen lamps typically last twice as long as standard incandescent lamps.
We encourage customers to get rid of their old halogen torchieres for a number of reasons. Firstly, the lamps are inefficient in their delivery of light, relying on the ceiling to reflect light back to where it is needed. Secondly, torchiere lamps typically use 300-watt bulbs which can become a fire hazard because of the extremely high temperatures they reach. Consequently, the CFL torchiere is a very good substitute.
A recent development in halogen technology is the halogen infrared (HIR) lamp. HIR technology focuses much of the lamp's heat onto the filament, resulting in more light output and significantly less waste heat for the same energy use. A 55-watt HIR lamp will provide the same light output as a 90-watt standard halogen lamp.
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