Fluorescent Lights for Residential Applications
Fluorescent lights are great for many residential applications. These lighting options are affordable, effective and safe.
When you turn on a fluorescent light, it takes several seconds for the bulb to start glowing. This is because the starter cylinder must heat up to allow current to flow through it.
Since fluorescent bulbs use much less electricity to generate the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs, they have very high energy efficiency levels. The higher the energy efficiency, the more you save on power bills and planet-warming carbon emissions.
Fluorescent lights convert about 90% of the electricity they consume to light, as opposed to only 40% for traditional incandescent bulbs. This is due to the fact that there are more light-producing collisions with electrons inside a fluorescent bulb than in an incandescent bulb.
To make sure your fluorescent lights work properly, check the ballast regularly. This small cylinder-shaped component sits behind the fixture and is filled with gas that, when heated by current passing through it, allows the mercury in the filament to heat up. Without this pre-heating, the light wouldn’t come on at all.
If your lights take a while to brighten when the switch is turned on, your ballast probably has a rapid start feature. This system uses a lower initial surge of current to warm the filaments, then slowly increases the amount of current until it’s at full strength. This method prolongs the lifespan of your fluorescent bulbs and provides a more steady flow of light.
You can also improve your fluorescent bulb’s energy efficiency by using a specialized dimmer switch or covering your fixtures to reduce incandescent light bulb the amount of light they emit. Additionally, choosing longer-lasting bulbs will further reduce your energy usage.
Fluorescent lights are able to last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. This long operational lifespan reduces the frequency of light bulb changes and saves homeowners money and time. They also help the environment by reducing energy consumption demands and waste. While some of the energy from a fluorescent lamp is converted to heat, this heat is absorbed by the ballast and not lost to the environment as it is with incandescent lamps.
The control gear that goes with a fluorescent light fixture gives the light a quick boost of electricity to start it up and then a steady supply of current that keeps it running. Because a fluorescent light requires high voltage to get the mercury vapor molecules heated up and charged, it would quickly burn out without the control gear giving it a big surge at startup. However, frequent startups can deplete the coating that holds the phosphor on the inside of the tube, shortening its lifetime. This is why it is recommended to leave a fluorescent light on all day instead of frequently turning it on and off.
Low Maintenance Costs
Unlike fluorescents, LED lighting doesn’t require an initial investment to get them up and running. These lights will begin to save you money on energy costs immediately, and their longevity means you’ll spend less time dealing with bulbs that burn out or need replacement.
Another way that these lights will save you money is by lowering your maintenance costs. Many businesses find that one minute of downtime can cost them thousands in lost productivity. Having LEDs that fluro lights need replacement less often can help keep your maintenance staff from being overwhelmed and will allow them to focus on larger projects.
As a bonus, LEDs are not negatively impacted by frequent switching of the lights on and off as happens with fluorescents. That makes them an ideal choice for occupancy sensors and will give you even more savings on your energy bill.
For a quick and inexpensive way to reduce your maintenance costs, consider installing a timer on your lighting system. That will make sure that your lights are turned off when the space is not in use, saving you from paying for power that is being used unnecessarily. This is also an effective option for spaces that don’t see a lot of foot traffic and aren’t being utilized for long periods of time. You can also retrofit your existing fluorescent fixtures with a ballast bypass or hybrid Type A/B LED lamp. This will eliminate the need to remove the ballast and can be done with minimal rewiring.
The long lifespan of these bulbs significantly reduces the need for replacement, which in turn lowers energy costs and environmental waste. Additionally, their high electricity to light conversion efficiency means less heat is lost as they operate.
Traditional fluorescent lights contain toxic mercury, which ends up in landfills when they are disposed of. This can lead to pollution of the surrounding environment, and requires special disposal by a licensed waste carrier. LED bulbs don’t contain these chemicals and can be recycled, reducing the impact on local ecosystems.
In addition to their low energy consumption, these lights emit less carbon dioxide and other pollutants. This is great news for anyone who wants to minimize their environmental footprint and protect the planet.
While there are many options for environmentally friendly lighting, LEDs are currently the most popular option on the market. They use significantly less energy, last longer than CFLs, and are extremely durable. They also produce a more natural light that is easier on the eyes.
If you are interested in eco-friendly lighting solutions, speak with a professional electrician to discuss your options. From northern Michigan to New Jersey, there are plenty of qualified professionals who can help you find the right solution for your needs. They can even install your new bulbs for you! Just give us a call for a free quote today.