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Energy Efficiency, Lighting

Conserving energy can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Lighting, appliances, water, heating, and cooling are all outlets of energy conservation. Consulting poor Richards’ almanac yields a general rule for energy conservation, “waste nothing.” Indeed, simply shutting a light off when vacating a room, or ceasing to run the faucet while brushing your teeth is the best way to reduce energy output.

Replacing Standard Bulbs with CFLs

Compact florescent lights (CFLs) may cost a bit more upfront but eventually, the reduced energy bill pays for the initial cost. Moreover, rebates are offered on CFLs and tax credits are available from the IRS. Most light bulbs burn more energy than they need. For instant a 100-watt standard bulb, uses twice the energy a CFL uses while emitting the same brightness. Because of this, the rated life of CFLs is much longer than its standard counterpart. We recommend starting with high energy output areas, like the kitchen, and then moving to smaller options, like replacing the light bulb on the reading lamp in your room.

Limitation of CFLs

CFLs are a testament to ingenuity, and they are almost a flawless technological advance. The only limitation of CFLs is that they should not be used for dimmers. Even newly designed CFLs specifically labeled “for use with dimmers,” pale in comparison to their incandescent or halogen counter parts. The dimming range of a CFL usually drops only from 100% to 20%. Below the 20% threshold the CFL is incapable of dimming, in between 100% and 20% is sketchy at best. It’s prudent to assess your own unique needs when choosing to forego the use of CFLs for light dimming options. Some folks have no use for a dimmer, anyways. If this is the case, than CFLs utilized in dimmer outlets is an acceptable choice. It will basically just function like a typical light bulb.

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