Tag Archives: CFLs

Low-Energy Lamps: What’s Right, What’s Wrong?

When it comes to low-energy lamps, it is often confusing to know what’s right and what’s wrong: too much irritating advertising, sometimes unwarranted claims of “eco-friendliness”, price wars that can distort the picture. In order for you to make informed decisions, we would like to help you educate yourself about energy-saving lamps.

First of all, it is important to point out that CFLs are NOT the way to go: every tube including the ones contained in CFLs leave poisenuos heavy metals when discarded (like mercury contaminating drinking water supplies). CFLs also have a high-current “ignition” unit that emits Electromagnetic Fields or EMFs that are potentially harmful to your health. Also, CFLs are roughly 30% less energy-efficient than their more recent LED counterparts. The last point alone partly defies the idea of “eneergz efficiency” for CFLs.

LED (light-emitting diodes) have entered the race for lighting our buildings a lot later but have been around for some time now. Even if their price tag usually shows higher upfront prices, these are amortized by LED-based lamps’ better efficiency. An old 60 W light bulb can be replaced with LED lams of just 4 W, therefore using just 1/15th of power. So it’s a good idea to pay a few pennies more upfront and get LED lamps right away that last longer (25-30 years, almost like a good mini wind turbine). The bottom line is that LED lamps surpass those low-energy CFLs and can total 90%-94% in energy savings and pay for themselves many times over, despite their higher initial purchasing cost.

Also, LEDs don’t wear out from heavy turning on and off and are thus suitable for all kinds of rooms including the ones you enter for just a few moments before switching the light off again. Remember, those strobe lights for bikes use LEDs without any wear and tear.

Add to this the absence of any harmful EMFs and the peace of mind that you may use them even at less than 5 ft from your head, and the LED is the clear overall winner for your lighting needs.