Seeing the Light. A Simple Guide to New Light Bulbs ...

January 3, 2012 scroll to read ...
I thought that this article by Gene was very good in informing us about the new lighting we will be finding in the aisles of the stores shortly.   Thanks, Gene! Via Gene Mundt Mortgage Lender Chicagoland Mortgage Lending (815.277.4036 www.gen...

I thought that this article by Gene was very good in informing us about the new lighting we will be finding in the aisles of the stores shortly.   

Thanks, Gene!Calf's Pasture in Norwalk CT

Via Gene Mundt Mortgage Lender Chicagoland Mortgage Lending (815.277.4036


Seeing the Light ... a Simple Guide to
New Light Bulbs 

     Back in 2007, a new law entitled, "The Energy Independence and Security Act" was signed.  It was expanded upon in 2010.  As a result, new requirements and efficiency standards were placed in line for the common light bulb.

     Well, I walked down the light bulb aisle at Home Depot about a week ago and Wow!  Talk about confusing!  So over this  weekend, I did a little reading ... and I thought I'd share what I found.  Hopefully it will prove beneficial to you and the links provided will serve as some guide when you're shopping for light bulbs next time.

    First: The bulbs that are being phased-out are the four most common incandescent bulbs used ... the 40-watt, 60-watt, 75-watt, and 100-watt bulbs.  Sales and supplies of these bulbs will not automatically cease upon the implementation date of the new standards.  Stores will be able to sell their existing supply of 100-watt incandescent bulbs until they're out of stock.  Manufacturers will not be able to produce any more of the bulbs, based on their old energy-emitting standards beyond the law's implementation date.

      It's estimated that as much as 90% of the energy emitted from the old traditional incandescent bulb is wasted as heat, not light.  90%!  The newer, more energy-efficient CFL's (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and LED's  (Light-emitting Diode) can produce the same amount of light while using far less energy.

    Second:  Forget the old standard terminology.  What you need to know and understand now is "lumens".  New light bulb packaging will be required to display "LIGHTING FACTS".  This should be helpful to you while trying to make a comparison of products and buying.   Here's a handy guide that will help you replace your old wattage bulbs with those rated on lumens:

  • To replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb, look for a bulb that gives you about 1600 lumens. If you want something dimmer, go for less lumens; if you prefer brighter light, look for more lumens.
  • Replace a 75W bulb with an energy-saving bulb that gives you about 1100 lumens
  • Replace a 60W bulb with an energy-saving bulb that gives you about 800 lumens
  • Replace a 40W bulb with an energy-saving bulb that gives you about 450 lumens.

    Third:  Other terminology that will now become important refer to the bulbs appearance as "warm" or "cool".  The bulb you choose for a specific location will most likely be based upon your personal taste for these conditions of lighting.

Fourth:  You DO stand to save energy and money through replacement of your old bulbs with the new.  But how much? 
     Below is a rule-of-thumb guide, as to those savings:

  • Energy Saving Incandescents — about 25% energy savings
  • CFLs — about 75% energy savings
  • LEDs — about 75% – 80% energy savings

     It's estimated that  an ENERGY STAR  CFL bulb typically lasts up to 10 times longer than your old traditional bulbs.  And ENERGY STAR qualified LED bulbs do even better,  lasting as much as 25 times longer.

     Yes, these new more energy-efficient bulbs cost more initially.  That can't be argued.  But if you truly realize the savings predicted above over the life of your new bulbs ... you'll be hearing "cha-ching"!

    Fifth:  So you make the decision to replace your old bulbs and invest in new, more energy-efficient ones.  What other information regarding the new bulbs will be helpful moving forward?

     Because CFL's (Compact Fluorescent Lights) contain a small amount ofmercury  within them, at the end of their lifespan, these bulbs should be recycled.  That recycling can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but below are your most convenient and accessible.  

     Just a note too ... ENERGY STAR -qualified bulbs earn a ENERGY STAR label by meeting the energy efficiency requirements set forth in ENERGY STAR specifications. ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.  They provide a replacement program to protect your purchase, should the bulb you buy not work.  This is a feature that could be very helpful and cost-wise, given the upfront expense of the new bulbs. 

     Also, please note that not all bulbs are being phased out.  Be aware that the following are not effected by the new law.  The Energy Security Act focuses primarily on "general service light bulbs."  A long list of specialty light bulbs, including plant lights, bug lights, appliance bulbs (such as refrigerator lights), colored "party" bulbs, rough service, 3-way incandescent, and candelabra base bulbs are presently on the exemption list.   Some of exceptions will be reassessed in 2020.

     I hope the above information "sheds some light" on the topic of the new federal standards surrounding light bulbs for you.
     * Taking steps to save money is always wise.  Why not see if you can save money within your present home by refinancing ... or buying a home VS renting.  It costs you nothing to inquire and get the answers you need. Contact me today!  I'll be happy to talk over your personal financial scenario and seek a money-saving solution for you.
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