The basic incandescent light bulb has been around for more than 100 years. However, in recent years, a number of countries have taken steps to phase out the usage of these bulbs.
The main reason that countries want to reduce usage of incandescent bulbs is that they use energy very inefficiently. In fact, about 95% of the power used by a typical incandescent light bulb is converted into heat rather than light.
Many other types of light bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent light bulbs.
Canada is one of the countries that has taken steps to phase out the usage of standard incandescent light bulbs.
The Canadian government has banned the manufacture and importing of inefficient 75 and 100 watt incandescent bulbs as of January 1st, 2014. The manufacture and importing of 40 and 60 watt incandescent bulbs was banned as of December 31, 2014. Retailers are allowed to sell existing inventories.
While some forms of incandescent bulbs will continue to be sold (unique shapes and sizes, nonstandard lights, rough service lights, etc.) the vast majority of consumers will need to switch over to more efficient light bulbs.
This is a good thing. Other types of light bulbs are more energy efficient and they also generally last longer. This means that you'll save money on your electricity bills and avoid having to change light bulbs as frequently.
So what type of light bulbs should you replace your incandescent bulbs with? There are a couple of options.
Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL bulbs) are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. They also last longer. CFLs are also widely available and relatively low-priced. These factors make them a common replacement for incandescent bulbs.
However, CFL light bulbs generally require a "warm-up period" of up to a few minutes before they reach maximum brightness. Also, they do not work well with dimmers. These factors mean that they aren't appropriate for all situations.
CFL bulbs also contain toxic mercury which means that they must be disposed of properly. In many areas, they cannot be thrown out with your regular garbage. It also means that special care must be taken if these lights are ever broken.
Halogen Light Bulbs
Halogen light bulbs are also more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs. They also light up instantly and can be dimmed. However, they do not produce the same energy savings as LED light bulbs or even some CFLs. Their average lifespan is also generally shorter than these other types of bulbs.
LED Light Bulbs
LED light bulbs are more energy-efficient than halogen and CFL bulbs. They also last an incredibly long time (between ten and twenty years!) Modern LED bulbs are also designed with dimmability in mind.
However, while costs are decreasing a great deal every year, LED bulbs still require more upfront spending than other types of light bulbs. However, because they consume less energy and since they last a very long time without need for replacement, these costs are made up over time and you eventually end up saving money in the long run.
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