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    Compact Flourescents, LEDs, and the Search for Greener Lighting


    Recently great progress has been made in the development of environmentally friendly and efficient light bulbs to replace the traditional incandescent bulb. The compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) and the LED represent two of the most the common green bulbs being used in the home, office, automobile, and airplane, and other areas. Though CFL bulbs are very durable, lasting 8 to 15 times longer than the typical incandescent bulb, they contain mercury and pose a risk to the environment upon their disposal. The LED bulb is therefore a more environmentally friendly alternative to the CFL.

    LED bulbs are particularly environmentally friendly because they do not contain any toxic chemicals. The most notable feature of the LED is its long-lasting light. The LED bulb can shine for more than 100,000 hours before its light dims. The outstanding lifespan of the LED is clear in comparison to the 6,000 to 15,000 hour lifespan of the compact fluorescent bulb. In addition to its shine, the LED bulb’s lack of a filament and strong construction guarantee a long life. Furthermore, LEDs produce lots of light using a very little wattage, making them energy efficient while cutting your energy bill. Whereas a 60-100 Watt incandescent bulb produces roughly 15 lumens per Watt, a 5 Watt LED can produce up to 18-22 lumens per Watt. The LED bulb’s capacity to produce large amounts of light by using minimal amounts of electricity is extremely promising.

    LED bulbs can be found in nearly all lighting areas. LED PAR cans such as those by American DJ, Chauvet, and Optima can be found colorfully lighting up theatres and concert venues. The controllability and wide color spectrum possible with LEDs makes them a great choice for DJs and clubs. LED lighting is also common light sources in kitchens, candelabras, and flood lights. LEDs are currently found in most lighting applications and will likely expand into others soon. The only immediate difficulty with LED bulbs is their price. LED candelabra bulbs, for example, range from $18.06 compared to $5.89-$13.22 for CFL candelabra bulbs. Though LED lighting is still early in its development it promises to be a cost effective, environmentally friendly, and efficient lighting option.
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