Not long ago, the only type of lighting source available to the world was incandescent and florescent lamps. America passed out Energy Independence and Security Act mandating the end of incandescent bulbs by 2012-2014 time period. This was a great step to conserve energy and limit the CO2 produced from fossil fuels.
Incandescent bulbs are energy guzzlers. Only 10% of energy consumed by them goes towards lighting, rest is converted in to heat. Roughly 22% of energy usage is towards lighting. So if we are declaring end of the road for incandescent lamps then we are surely taking a decisive step toward energy efficiency.
CFLs gaining ground but ….
CFLs are no doubt good replacement for incandescent bulbs and have been gaining ground over last few years but their excessive usages is also throwing up another question on their safe disposal. CFLs are known to contain small amount of Mercury and disposing them in open may lead lead to severe hazardous situation.
Mercury is a health hazard. Even small amounts of it can cause severe health problem. Symptoms can include pulmonary and central nervous system problems, tremors, insomnia, irritability etc. Most of the buyers of CFLs are not even aware of this problem.
So what’s the alternative.
Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs), also known as “semiconductors”. The movement of electrons inside a diode creates the light from an LED. Early LEDs emitted a low intensity red light. LEDs are a expensive today but they may quite soon replace CFLs.
- Like CFLs, LED bulbs are highly efficient.
- Like CFLs, LEDs emit no heat and work at low ambient temperatures.
- Unlike CFLs, LEDs are dimmable so here they offer another option to conserve electricity.
- Most importantly, there is no mercury in an LED bulb.
LEDs are pricey at the moment but with time they will prove to be a better alternative in the long run as compared to Florescent lamps.