CenterPoint Home Energy Program


Lighting

Lighting is a major user of electricity. It also generates heat, contributing to cooling loads that are generally met by using more electricity for air conditioning. Thus, improving the energy efficiency of lighting has benefits that go beyond the direct electricity savings by the lighting products.

According to the EPA; By replacing your 60-watt incandescent bulbs with 13-watt energy efficient CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $680 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars. The cost savings are also impressive, you only pay for 13 watts of energy usage per bulb instead of 60, while getting the same amount of light. A household that invests $90 in CFLs (changing 30 fixtures) will save between $440 and $1500 over the next 5 years.

Two of the main sources of light are:

Fluorescent lamps are three to four times more efficient than incandescent lamps. Quality fluorescent lamps today provide far better light quality than the older lamps that often produced a bluish cast. Electronically ballasted fluorescent lighting also doesn't generate the hum and flicker that many people find objectionable in older, magnetically ballasted fluorescent lighting. Both straight-tube fluorescent and compact-fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are widely available. In general, thinner-diameter fluorescent lamps offer higher efficacy (lumens per watt) than larger-diameter lamps. Mercury is an essential element in the operation of fluorescent lighting; it allows the bulbs to be an efficient light source. Because CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury, it is important to educate yourself on proper use, recycling and disposal of these products.

LED lights (light-emitting diode) are semiconductor devices that produce visible light when an electrical current is passed through them. LEDs are a type of Solid State Lighting (SSL), as are organic light–emitting diodes (OLEDs) and light–emitting polymers (LEPs). LED lighting differs from incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting in several ways. When designed well, LED lighting can be more efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting. Unlike fluorescent, metal halide, sodium, and other high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, LEDs do not contain mercury. Using LED replacement lamps has the potential to save enormous amounts of energy. Some of these lamps now have efficacies over 70 lumens per watt (lpw), more than three times that of incandescent and halogen lamps, and service lives (or "lumen maintenance") of over 25,000 hours. LEDs are available with color temperatures ranging from a warm-white 2700K to a cool-blue 5000K and above to match end uses.

Sources:

epa.gov
energystar.gov
greenbuildingadvisor.com

Lighting Suppliers

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