How do you choose between halogen, CFL and LED lights?

A guide to the most efficient home lighting options

In the end, a light bulb is just a bulb, right? Wrong! Not all bulbs are the same. Let’s look at some important differences between your main lighting options.

Energy use for household lighting in Australia has significantly increased over the past decade. This is mainly because of the construction of large homes and the installation of more light fittings per building. According to Australian Government statistics, nowadays lighting takes up around 10% of the average household electricity budget. It may seem just a drop in the ocean but it all adds up eventually to your electricity bill!

That is why it is important to pay attention to what lighting system you are using. Is it energy efficient, cost-effective or bright enough for you? Here is a comparative analysis of the most common light bulbs you’ll find on the market today.

Incandescent and halogen light

It was all thanks to the famous American inventor Thomas Edison who created incandescent lights. Dating back to 1800s, they were the original type of lighting solution.

Technically, incandescent lights work by heating a filament wire inside the lamp, using an electric current. The glow from the wire generates the light source but, at the same time, dangerous amounts of heat. Actually, around 95% of the energy converts into heat, rather than light.

Not only that it creates waste, but it only exceeds the safe level of heat around the home or office. For this reason, Australian Government has recently phased out traditional and inefficient incandescent lights.

Similarly, the halogen lights also work on a “heat” principle. They are slightly more efficient and have a longer lifespan than traditional incandescent lamps. However, they cannot compete with CFLs or LEDs for efficiency or lifespan. Plus, halogen lights can also compromise your insulation performance. Over time, the least energy efficient ones will probably fall out of use, too.

CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light)

A Compact Fluorescent Lamp – or Compact Fluorescent Light – is another popular lighting solution. Not so long ago, it had quite a bad reputation for providing a hostile, unpleasant light with occasional flicker. However, manufacturers have significantly improved CFL technology during the past few years.

Nowadays, they are amongst the most efficient lamps available. Suitable for most light fittings, including older style incandescent fittings, these lights will provide you with comfortable and energy-efficient lighting. In fact, CFLs feature lifespans of up to 10,000 hours, which is between 4 and 10 times longer than the traditional bulbs.  Plus, CFLs only use around 20% of the energy to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent light.

On the negative side, this technology is quite far from being environmentally friendly. Like all fluorescent lamps, CFLs contain toxic mercury, which complicates their disposal. That is why the states environment agencies have created special collection systems to increase users’ safety.

In general, a CFL costs slightly more than an incandescent lamp but it can save up to 5 times its investment in electricity over its lifetime.

LED (Light Emitting Diode)

Last but definitely not least are the Light Emitting Diodes. The LED technology is what we like to call the highlight of home and commercial lighting. That is because of the many advantages it has in comparison to other lighting options available on the market today.

LED lighting is generally the most efficient lighting technology you can buy for your home or business. It can also provide outstanding illumination in a range of household situations. Being highly compact, they prove to be very useful in small places. Plus, you can easily change their colour.

Above all, LED’s stand out from the crowd thanks to their energy efficiency and lifespan. LEDs are actually 4 to 7 times more efficient than the regular incandescent or halogen equivalent. Also, the bulbs last up to 50,000 hours, making them even 5 times more durable than CFLs.

The downside, however, is their upfront cost. Initially, LEDs were greatly more expensive than other lighting options, with as much as $50 to $100 per globe. In recent years, however, due to intense manufacturers’ competition and technology improvement, a LED can cost as little as $8.

Make the switch to efficient home lighting with Jaric Electrical

No matter your requirements, we are ready to design, install and maintain any lighting system that best suits your home. Our friendly team of qualified electricians and lighting specialists will light up the way to your new project!

Call Jaric Electrical at 1300 452 742 today and actually see the (lighting) difference!