Light bulbs, what should we choose?

Light bulbs

ecogal Out&About


By Ashleigh Prince

out&about is my personal journey of discovery asking questions and getting more informed. I want to share my findings with you so we can travel the journey together.

A few months ago, for a production job I was working on, I had to pick up some light bulbs for one of the oldest theaters in Tennessee. I went to a store that specializes in light, since I was looking for a kind of antique hardware.

In the shop I noticed a display and I asked: “What’s the difference between those three bulbs here?” — Besides what I already knew, I wanted to have the deeper dive this time.

The three types of bulbs were: Incandescent, CFL (Compact fluorescent Light) and LED (Light Emitting Diode).

Three types of light bulbs: Incandescent, Fluorescent, LEDThe Incandescent costs just over a dollar and lasts about a thousand hours. A CFL is about 4 dollars and lasts 10 times longer. But there is a caveat when disposing of it: one doesn’t want to just throw the CFL in the trash. It has mercury, not good for us nor for the environment. The LEDs cost around twenty dollars and can last up to 50,000 times longer.

From a plain buying price perspective, I can see why the majority of us are still buying the cheaper bulb.

But I want to understand its true value: the economy, human health and environmental factors and the disposal practices.

In the last few years, I have begun to look at the full spectrum as much as possible, to view the entire life cycle in understanding what exactly I am buying. It is about gaining the understanding of what I am participating in, when I make a purchase. I finally get the purpose and importance of Fairtrade, buying local, recycling, sustainability and the green movement. It’s more than I have to have that! and How much is it?

But back to the bulbs! The shop owner me a fairly good overview of the three, looking at them from several perspectives and it’s a lot to relay in a Out & About. But it’s a beginning for us to unpack this subject matter. In the meantime, I have found a few interesting websites that have done their work and I am grateful to them. See links below.

With this new information, I have choices to make. I have over 40 light bulbs in the house where I currently live. Many of those lights aren’t used regularly.

So because it is a rather large expense to replace the current bulbs with LED, I will create a plan to replace the ones that I use most regularly first, and then the bulbs that are more difficult to reach.

It’s not something that is going to happen overnight, but over time my life is becoming less toxic, more green and sustainable.

Read more:

Light bulbs: - comparison charts

Light bulbs: – comparison charts – LED Light Bulbs: Comparison Charts – Click to get the information and charts. – The Light Bulb Showdown: LEDs vs. CFLs vs. Incandescent Bulbs – What’s the Best Deal Now … And In The Future? – Article and further information.


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