If you have been working on making your home energy-efficient, you have probably replaced most of your old incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving light bulbs. Until recently this was considered a big step forward. Those curly CFL (Compact fluorescent) bulbs sprout from lampshades all over the home and we think we are doing our bit for the environment. But now that LED lighting has become so much more versatile, it is replacing the CFL bulbs and showing them up as not quite as green as we had thought.
The danger of the CFL energy-saving light bulbs has been much talked of recently. They contain mercury which is very poisonous. Because they are fragile, breakages happen easily. A lamp just has to be toppled over, knocked by a cat or a child, and the bulb breaks, exposing the family to this toxic substance, as well as to shards of broken glass. Disposing of the used light bulbs is also problematic and if they are not properly recycled can be extremely harmful to the environment.
Although CFL bulbs are considerably more energy-efficient than the old incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs out-class them both in energy-efficiency and life-span. LED lights are 30-50% more efficient than CFLs and their lifespan is five times longer - that is 50,000 hours as opposed to less than 10,000 hours of the CFLs (and, let's face it, many CFLs have met with an accident long before they have achieved their optimum lifespan).
CFLs, despite being promoted as a green alternative to incandescent bulbs, are not actually that good for you. They emit harmful UV radiation and can add to electromagnetic pollution within the home, causing sensitive people a variety of health problems.
So why haven't LED s already taken over from them completely? The problem, as always, is cost. LEDs still cost more than CFLs to purchase initially. In the long-term, however, you save considerably, both in your reduced electricity bills and in the amount saved on replacing used bulbs. Because LEDs are solid and have no fragile components, they are very durable, so your investment in one LED light bulb could last you for more than ten years. The bulb will have more than paid for itself in two years, so after that for the next eight years you are saving money all the way. Finally there is a green energy-efficient lighting solution for eco-friendly homes.