SEPT – 15: PUBLIC INTEREST
Light up your home efficiently
Use eco-friendly products to save electricity and money too
As use of electrical and electronic products in your home rises, can soaring electricity bills be far behind? One major way you can cut costs is by going for the right kind of lighting. Did you know that lighting accounts for almost 20% of the monthly electricity bill in many households?
There are three main types of lighting systems available in the market: traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs). In traditional Incandescent Bulbs (which are being phased out in India), only 5% of the electricity is converted into light, the rest is lost as heat. Their only advantage is that they are cheap (though not cost-effective in the long run) and easily available.
CFLs: In a CFL, an electric current is driven through a tube containing argon and a small amount of mercury vapour. This generates invisible ultraviolet light that excites a fluorescent coating (called phosphor) on the inside of the tube which then emits visible light. CFLs may need a little more energy when they are first turned on but they use much less electricity as compared to an incandescent bulb to provide the same level of illumination. Also, they contain a small amount of mercury and should be disposed of safely.
LEDs: LEDs are semiconductor devices that produce visible light when an electrical current passes through them. Since electricity is directly turned into light, LEDs waste less energy as heat. LEDs are â€˜directionalâ€™ light sources, which means they emit light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent bulbs and CFLs, which emit light and heat in all directions. For this reason, LED lighting is able to use light and energy more efficiently in many applications. LEDs do not radiate heat. Neither do they overheat and burn out.
Incandescent bulbs are on the way out and are being replaced by CFLs and LEDs. Opt for one of the latter two categories depending on your budget and do your bit for the environment.
Sources: cseindia.org, www.sefworld.org