Jan 28th – Go through your home and change or confirm that all lights are LED or CFL bulbs.

Over time, I have changed most all of my light bulbs to energy efficient ones, but I have not bothered to get on a ladder to check some of the hard to reach ones (outdoor lights count as well), so today is my day to check.

First of all, what is the difference between LED and CFL (compact florescent lights)?  Both are a big improvement for energy efficiency over an incandescent bulb (and will save you money in your electric bill!), but there are two glaring differences… LED costs more, but last significantly longer (though the price continues to come down); CFL, which is really just a miniature version of full sized fluorescents, are less expensive, but have a considerably shorter life than LED.

Over time, incandescent will most likely no longer be available, which is not a bad thing.  While CFL’s got a bad wrap initially with it’s unappealing glow and flickering, technology has come a long way and made improvements, and CFL can fit nearly anywhere incandescent lights are used, including dimmers.  The cost of LED’s has improved and continues to go down, actually making them more attractive to CFL when comparing price over their lifetimes… and LED does not contain mercury. If you have a hard to reach light, you may want to consider LED so you don’t have to change as often.

This is a quick, down-and-dirty explanation of the energy efficient bulbs, but Eartheasy.com has an excellent, full-length explanation on energy efficient lighting  if you would like to read more.  Check out http://eartheasy.com/live_energyeff_lighting.htm#1c

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