If you haven’t heard, the US government in 2007 and again in 2009 put into place a phase out of several types of light bulbs or lamps in an effort to lower green house gas emissions and energy use. This includes most lights that you and I use in our homes every day and begins July 14th. The most popular that will be phased out will be the incandescent light bulbs, T12 fluorescent tubes and Halogen PAR light bulbs. So now what? Well, there are several great choice replacements on the market today. I’m sure if you’ve bought light bulbs in the last five years, you have seen the funky curly-Q compact fluorescent lights that replace the 60 watt incandescent with 15 watts and still just as bright. A newer technology on the market today includes LED lights or Light Emitting Diodes. A 6 watt LED is equal to a 60 watt incandescent light bulb and yet still produce virtually no heat.
In my house, I use a variety of light bulbs including incandescent, fluorescent and LEDs. However, each have negative sides. The incandescent light produce a lot of heat. The brighter the light, the hotter it gets where as the fluorescent produces a considerably less amount of heat, it still gets warm. It also has traces of mercury inside so if one breaks, use gloves, a mask and eye protection at the least to clean it up. Also because of the mercury, these light bulbs should not be thrown in the trash, but rather taken to a recycling center that deals in fluorescent lights. LEDs are a great investment, however still can be a bit expensive and the technology still needs to develop further.
Halogen PAR lamps (PAR20, PAR30 and PAR38) lamps will begin to also phase out July 14. These style lights are most commonly found in outdoor lighting and track lighting and will affect most lamps between 40 watts and 205 watts. The plus side to this is that there is a new lamp on the market, an IR Halogen lamp. An IR Halogen has a special infrared coating on the capsule that redirects heat inward, thus increasing the efficiency of the lamp.
When choosing your light bulbs, I always recommend finding the packages with the Energy Star on it. This will ensure you are buying a quality product and not a knock off. If you have further questions about the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 or questions about lighting for your house, feel free to contact me at 205-281-6077
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