Saving energy should be a part of your plan to save money. When you focus on energy management and cut your costs by 10, 20 or even 40 percent, you’ll make a significant change in your living expenses. The first change you can make in reducing your energy usage is with lighting. Switching from incandescent bulbs to light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulbs is a good start, and is a better choice than compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs.
Pros of LED Lightbulbs
Your two main choices for light bulbs that are not incandescent bulbs are CFL and LED. When you’re first start out on your journey toward saving energy, you might go for the cheaper of the two, because they both seem to do what you want: Reduce your light bill. Before you run out and buy a CFL lightbulb, you need to understand that LED light bulbs are superior to CFL bulbs for a number of reasons:
- Uses less watts than CFL,s which means less energy use
- Creates more lumens, so that the direction you light is brighter than a CFL bulb
- Produces less heat
- The energy load on other appliances and devices are lower with LED bulbs, such as air conditioners, because it produces less heat
- Won’t catch on fire like some CFL bulbs have
- Doesn’t give off an odor, while CFL bulbs may
These are great benefits, but there are some cons that make the bulb less appealing if you’re used to incandescent bulbs.
Cons of LED Lightbulbs
LED light bulbs do have their disadvantages, when compared to incandescent bulbs and CFL bulbs. Some of the cons to know about include:
- Not so great for lighting entire areas of rooms, because they are made to light up one direction
- Does not compete with the brightness of incandescent and CFL bulbs because of the low watts required to run the lightbulbs
- Lighting produces a different color than the white bulbs that you’re not used to
- More expensive than cheap incandescent bulbs and CFL bulbs
If you’re passionate about saving energy, or are tired of paying the electric company too much of your paycheck, you might find that using LED lightbulbs are still worth it. You won’t make a huge impact on your bill up front, but every penny you save counts.
Pros of CFL Bulbs
CFL bulbs contain mercury, which is an environmental toxin that can destroy your health. There are some pros to using CFL bulbs, but they do not overcome the health issue. Some of those benefits are:
- Initial costs are lower than LED bulbs
- Faster rate of savings on electric bill than LED bulbs
- Doesn’t have the directional light problem of the LED bulbs; it can light up an a room much better
Many CFL bulbs have their disadvantages as well.
Cons of CFL Bulbs
Before you buy CFL bulbs, consider the cons:
- Takes a long time to come on in cold temperatures
- Many emit noise and odor
- Some are a fire hazard
- Have to replace more often than LED bulbs
In the end, LED light bulbs are better when you weigh all the pros and cons of CFL bulbs.
You’ll have more money to save for other things, including your emergency cash reserves, when you focus on saving energy. Begin with LED bulbs, instead of using incandescent bulbs.