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Selecting Energy-Efficient Lighting for Your Home

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on August 24, 2010 with No Comments

CFLs 101

Selecting energy-efficient lighting for your home just got easier.

More Americans are flipping the switch on their lighting choices to save energy. A recent GE Lighting study found that 82 percent of homeowners have already reported using energy-efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Take GE’s quick course on CFLs to better understand the facts, myths and more, and to learn how smart lighting choices can be one of the easiest ways to save on energy costs.

Lesson one: The basics

CFLs produce less heat and have a longer life than standard incandescent bulbs. CFLs have come a long way. Unlike the first models, modern CFLs do not produce flickering, humming or dim light when initially turned on. While a regular incandescent uses heat to produce light, a CFL creates light using an entirely different method that is about four times more efficient.

Lesson two: The types

CFLs are ideal for everyday lighting and are available in 3-way bulbs for adjustable light levels. Common varieties are floodlights, decorative, ceiling fans, globes, corkscrew-shaped and even outdoor post lights. One newer option is a covered bulb, such as GE’s Energy Smart glass covered CFL, meaning that a corkscrew-shaped bulb is covered with glass to give the appearance of a traditional incandescent-shaped bulb.

Lesson three: The applications

There are three main applications of lighting: ambient or general overhead, task and accent or decorative. CFL bulbs can be used for all of these functions to set the mood while offering significant energy savings. Color is also key in home design, and GE offers Reveal CFL bulbs, providing distinct lighting that filters out dull yellow rays and makes colors “pop” to bring out patterns that may go unnoticed under ordinary incandescent light.

Lesson four: The myths

CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury. Research indicates that there is no immediate health risk should a CFL bulb break in the home if it is cleaned up properly. In fact, the lower energy use of CFLs presents an opportunity to reduce mercury emissions from electricity production at coal-fired power plants.

Lesson five: The disposal

Like paint, batteries or other hazardous household items, CFLs should be disposed of properly. Find out your local disposal options by visiting Earth911.com, calling 1.800.CLEANUP, or contacting your local waste management agency. If no disposal options are available, place the CFL in a plastic bag and seal it before putting it in the trash.

Lesson six: The legislation

To help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, federal legislation will begin phasing out standard incandescent bulbs in 2012. CFLs are an energy-efficient alternative that meet government standards and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. For more information, visit GELighting.com/2012.

The tutorial doesn’t end here. There is much more you can learn about CFLs or lighting design by visiting Whatsyourlightingstyle.com. The biggest lesson you can learn about CFLs is that they offer up to 75 percent energy savings compared to incandescent bulbs, last up to 10 times longer and come in a variety of styles to fit your needs and preferences. Class dismissed!

This article was supplied by David Schueller of GE Lighting. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Chronicle staff.

For questions, please contact David Schuellerman, david.schuellerman@ge.com or 216-266-9702.

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