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December 05, 2016
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Everything is illuminated; Watts up with light bulbs?

An LED light bulb
Contributed photos

By Isabel Braverman

Sustainable light bulbs bring up a lot of questions: which one to use, how sustainable are they, and what will the cost savings be? It could leave your head spinning, but worry no more. The River Reporter is here to shed some light on the world of light bulbs. The two types of sustainable light bulbs are LEDs and CFLs. Below, we break down the benefits of making the switch from incandescent bulbs (the “normal” type of bulb we all grew up with) to one of these two options.

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes)

  • Long-lasting: LED bulbs last up to 10 times as long as compact fluorescents, and far longer than typical incandescents.
  • Durable: Since LEDs do not have a filament, they are not damaged under circumstances when a regular incandescent bulb might be broken. Because they are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring and bumping.
  • Cool: These bulbs do not cause heat build-up; LEDs produce 3.4 btu’s/hour, compared to 85 for incandescent bulbs.
  • Mercury-free: No mercury is used in the manufacturing of LEDs, as opposed to incandescent and CFL bulbs.
  • More efficient: LED light bulbs use only 2 to 17 watts of electricity (1/3 to 1/30 of incandescent or CFL).
  • Cost-effective: Although LEDs are initially expensive, the cost is reimbursed over time. The cost of new LED bulbs has gone down considerably in the last few years and continues to go down.

CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp)