One of the easiest changes a person can make to become more environmentally friendly is a simple change in the light bulbs used in their home. Changing from the use of incandescent bulbs to green light bulbs is a great way to save energy and save money. If you are still using incandescent bulbs in every light in your home then you are missing the boat on some great eco-friendly light bulbs. Here is how to go green with environmentally friendly light bulbs. Whether by green you mean to go green environmentally or to save some green financially, new light bulb technologies will do both. Here are some green indoor lighting tips for you.
The compact fluorescent light bulb (or CFL) is the most common green light bulbs. The compact fluorescent bulb is generally a normal sized bulb that is made up of a small tube that runs in a corkscrew pattern. The CFL will cost a good bit more than a normal incandescent bulb but will save a homeowner a lot of money over its lifetime. The US Department of Energy estimates that each CFL will save the homeowner about $30 over the life of the bulb. The US Department of Energy states that the CFL will use 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb and will last 10 times longer. (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls) The eco-friendly light bulbs will cost you about $2 for each bulb.
Another option for green light bulbs is the Light Emitting Diode (or LED). The LED can be purchased in bulbs that will fit a traditional light socket and new light sockets can be made installed to use LED bulbs. LED bulbs as of this writing are still very expensive but the prices are coming down. The advantages of LED are a long life (longer even than CFL bulbs), are instant on bulbs, emit very little heat, and they can be more energy efficient than even the CFL bulb. For those who are remodeling their homes or building a new home, LED fixtures should be something that they explore. The LED may well be the eco-friendly light bulbs of the future but for many the time has not yet come.
For those who are wondering how to go green with eco-friendly light bulbs, a good place to start at this time is with the CFL bulb. The CFL bulbs are sold everywhere from large retailers to corner stores. In my experience, the best place for a homeowner to try the new CFL bulbs is in fixtures that are difficult to reach and bulbs that are left on a lot. Due to the long life of the CFL bulbs these two locations are ideal to give them a try. One place that I would not recommend placing the CFL bulbs is in a child's bedroom or playroom. The CFL bulb does contain a small amount of mercury that could be released if the bulb became broken. In my experience however, the CFL bulbs are less likely to break than an incandescent bulb.
Remember that the most eco-friendly light bulb is the sun. Opening drapes and blinds, considering the installation of skylights, or solar light tubes and letting the sun do the work is the greenest indoor lighting source. But for our purposes the CFL is the most green light bulb.