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Sunday, April 11, 2010

What?s the Difference between the Energy Saving Light Bulbs? | My Efficient Planet

What?s the Difference between the Energy Saving Light Bulbs? | My Efficient Planet

From 1 September 2009 the EU decided to ban the import and stocking of 100 watt and frosted incandescent light bulbs. The landmark decision will help consumers reduce their gas and electricity bills significantly with energy efficient bulb replacements.

However, with a plethora of bulb options available on the market for you to purchase in place of the humble incandescent filament bulb, choosing which bulb is the best for you can be tricky. The two main types of energy efficient bulbs are halogen and florescent lighting. This handy guide will help you to navigate your way through the various lighting options.

Halogen bulbs are not too dissimilar to standard incandescent bulbs in that they also require a tungsten filament to be heated in order to emit light. The halogen lamp differs because it contains a gas from the halogen group, typically iodine gas, which combines with the tungsten vapour at a high temperature to produce light.

Halogen bulbs are able to ‘recycle’ themselves by redepositing tungsten atoms on to the filament as part of the chemical reaction which goes on inside the bulb. This allows the halogen bulb to last much longer than its incandescent predecessor. As halogen bulbs can achieve much higher temperatures for the same amount of energy, this makes them more efficient than incandescent bulbs also, reducing the amount of gas and electricity you use.

The problem with halogen bulbs, as with incandescent bulbs is that ultimately they rely on heating a filament to a high temperature in order to achieve light. This wastes gas and electricity in heat energy radiated from the bulb. Fluorescent lights on the other hand, use a totally different method in order to produce light.

Fluorescent lights give energy to mercury atoms, which gets them excited and causes them to ‘jump’. As the excited atoms fall back down they give off a flare of ultraviolet light, which is converted to visible light through a phosphorous coating. This method does not rely on heat at all, which makes Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) between four and six times more efficient than incandescent filament bulbs, drastically reducing the amount of gas and electricity used.

As CFLs have no filament to burn out, they tend to last much longer as well, up to 10 times the length of the best incandescent bulbs. With greater energy efficiency and longer lasting bulbs, CFLs are the best way to reduce your gas and electricity consumption for lighting purposes.

Kim has done alot of research into price comparisons for customers and how to get the best deal on many household products including Gas and Electricity. She enjoys writing articles to share this knowledge.


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