Light Bulb Information

Incandescent light bulbs have been in use since the early 1880s. These bulbs have provided humans with illumination, safety, and security for over a century. They have been used to light up every room of our homes, offices, and other places of business. The heat from these luminaries has been known to save lives, back in the days before incubators were readily available. In some places, the incandescent bulbs are still used as incubator lamps. Yet, the incandescent light bulbs will soon be kicked globally and other types of bulbs will have to be used instead.

Reasons for global ban:

For many decades, some scientists and other experts have been sounding an alarm about global warming. According to these experts, coal-burning electric power plant emissions are major contributors to the green house gas effects. In order to reduce the green house effect and global warming, humans must reduce their energy consumption. Incandescent light bulbs waste a lot of energy when in use, and billions of them are in use every day.

Up until recently, using other alternatives to the incandescent bulbs has been strictly voluntary. However, most of the governments of the first world countries are now highly involved in resolving the global warming issues. Many laws have been passed in the past few years that ban the production and usage of this type of bulb. Within the next decade, these higher wattage bulbs will become extinct, unless something drastically changes the current trend.

Other Lighting Options:

Currently, people have a few other choices of lighting available. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, so there is some controversy as to which will be best for future use. Some of these light sources are better for commercial or outdoor applications, while others are better for indoor or residential applications. These types are on the market now or will be in the near future:

• Fluorescent (CFL) – Pros: Uses approximately 1/5 to 1/3 of electricity as comparable incandescent bulbs, and lasts up to 20 times longer. Cons: contains mercury and other toxic elements, there are not enough places to safely dispose of the explosive bulb and mercury can endanger humans if bulb breaks, need extra components, such as ballasts.
• Light-emitting diodes (LED): Pros: Is more efficient than other types of light bulbs and lasts up to five times longer. Cons: very expensive initial output for consumers, have not been fully developed for residential use yet.
• Tungsten-Halogen – Pros: Provided more light per watt, they emit a whiter, brighter and more focused light beam; maintain maximum efficiency through life of bulb, and has a longer life than regular incandescent, can be dimmed. Cons: They are more expensive, need to be handled more carefully, and can become fire hazards if used in certain areas and do not give off as warm of a glow as incandescent lights do.
• Xenon-Halogen: Pros: Puts out as much light as a tungsten halogen but burns cooler; Cons: is more expensive and can not be used in very many applications.
• High-Intensity Discharge (HID): Pros: Produces a larger quantity of light from a reliably small bulb, lasts a long time; Cons: needs auxiliary equipment, such as ballasts, has not been fully adapted to residential use yet.
• Low-Pressure Sodium: Pros: highest efficiency of all commercially available lighting sources and are economic; Cons: only emits a yellow light, takes awhile to warm up before reaching full brightness, is only adapted to outdoor uses.

Types of applications:

The types of lighting sources are not the only changes that have occurred. The lighting applications have also been expanded over the years. People use a variety of styles of lighting for residential and commercial uses. For residential use, as well as some commercial applications, there are three basic types of lighting. These are:

• General – Provides overall illumination of an area; usually radiates a comfortable level of brightness; Basically is a form of replacing sunlight; and enables a person to see and walk about safely.
• Task – Assists with the performance of specific tasks, such as reading and doing detailed work; should be free of shadows and glares
• Accent – Helps to create dramatic visual impact, such as spotlighting paintings, plants, and other prized possessions; also highlights texture and landscaping features.

Types of lighting fixtures and appropriate light source:

One of the best ways to reduce energy consumption is to properly apply lighting technology to the individual's lifestyle and needs. Each light fixture is designed to use a particular type of light bulb, and to provide a specific type of light source. Utilizing too many light fixtures or not enough light fixtures to project the amount of light needed can waste energy. Moreover, using the wrong wattage of light bulbs can needlessly consume energy.

Therefore, people should become aware of the kinds of light fixtures available, and what each one is designed to do. Here are some of the light fixtures currently on the market, and what purposes they fulfill:

• Track Lighting – Provide general, task, or accent lighting; is very flexible and versatile, can use standard or low-voltage current, and a choice of incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent light sources.
• Recessed Lighting – Provide general, task, or accent lighting in less noticeable ways .; especially great improvements for low-ceilings and high cathedral ceilings; available in both standard and low-voltage current and a choice of incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescents.
• Ceiling Fixtures – Provides general lighting; are especially practical for use in busy areas; are available with incandescent, fluorescent, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs
• Portable Lamps – Provide general, task, and accent lighting; somewhat flexible, depending on lamp's style and shape; available with incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
• Wall-Mounted Fixtures – Provide general, task, and accent lighting; good for supplementing overhead lighting or lighting smaller areas, such as hallway or bedroom; are available with a choice of incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs
• Pendants – Provided task and general lighting; are good for freezing up space normally occupied by table lamps; usually has a dimmer control to adjust lighting, but not all bulbs are compatible with dimmers.

For consumers, it is hard to keep up with all the options available, just for residential applications, let alone for other applications, such as for vehicles. Consumers can obtain more information online from organizations, such as the American Lighting Association or the US department of Energy. The Environmental Protection Agency is another good source.

It can be quite difficult for an untrained individual to choose the proper lighting suitable to his or her needs. Anyone who is in the process of remodeling their home or designing a new lighting plan should consult a certified lighting consultant or visit a local lighting showroom.