One way to reduce your energy bills is to install more efficient lighting. Instead of using standard incandescent bulbs, consider using either fluorescent or tungsten halogen lamps.
High-efficiency fluorescent lighting can reduce lighting energy costs by up to 75%. In addition, fluorescents last almost 10 times as long as incandescents, saving on replacement costs as well.
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 the low wattage compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), available in shapes and sizes similar to incandescent bulbs. These lamps are available in various designs for different applications and are ideal for use in recessed lighting, table lamps and fixture-free sockets in garages, porches, basements and workrooms.
Compact 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. They are available in 15- to 28-Watt sizes and 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.
Tungsten Halogen Lamps
Tungsten halogen lamps have higher efficiency, longer life and whiter light than standard incandescent lamps. They are available in most of the common incandescent lamp shapes and are ideal for use in track, recessed and spot lighting, and in outdoor security and flood lighting. A 150-Watt lamp can be replaced with a 90-Watt halogen flood lamp that gives the same usable light. The halogen lamp also lasts up to three times as long as the standard lamp. Similarly, a 75-Watt flood lamp can be replaced with a 45-Watt halogen flood lamp. Halogen A-line lamps (the classic light-bulb shape) use about 30% less energy than standard lamps.
One popular type of halogen lighting fixture is the "torchiere", a floor
lamp which directs the light upward toward the ceiling. This type of lamp
uses a high-wattage bulb (300-500 Watts) and is not very efficient. These
lamps can also be a potential hazard due to their high operating temperature.
Be sure to keep these lamps away from curtains, drapes or any other combustible
materials. A better option would be a compact fluorescent torchiere, which
uses much less energy and generates less heat.
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