Are you guilty of buying the cheapest light bulbs for your home? Conventional wisdom may lead you to believe this is a great way to save money on your monthly electric bills. However, it could end up costing you even more in the long run. When choosing light bulbs for your home, there are several things to consider, including energy efficiency. So, what's the best type of light bulb to use?
Incandescent bulbs are the standard light bulbs found at most hardware stores. They live up to their namesake by using incandescence to produce light, which basically means they heat a filament. Incandescent bulbs are available in a variety of sizes, voltages and wattages. Unfortunately, though, they are the least energy efficient and have shortest lifespan. Therefore, you should choose a different type of bulb to illuminate your home.
Compact Fluorescent Lamp
A second, more energy-efficient type of light bulb, is compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). Also known as compact fluorescent tubes, CFLs don't feature the characteristic wire filament found in incandescent bulbs. Instead, they use electrons bound to mercury to generate light. Technical jargon aside, CFLs last longer and consume less energy than incandescent bulbs, making them a viable alternative.
Perhaps the best all-around type of light bulb to use in the home is light-emitting diode (LED). Statistics show that LED bulbs have a lifespan of roughly 50,000 hours. To put that number into perspective, an incandescent bulb will last for just 1,000 hours before burning out. As you can see, LEDs last significantly longer. Furthermore, LED bulbs consume less energy than both CFL and incandescent bulbs.
The only downside to using LED bulbs is the cost. When compared to CFLs and incandescent bulbs, you can expect to pay more for LEDs. With that said, however, it's a smart investment that will usually pay off later down the road. Because of their long lifespan and energy-efficient properties, the additional money you spend on LEDs will be returned. It may take several months or even a year, but LEDs are a smart investment for the home.