How Energy Efficient Lighting Works

How Energy Efficient Lighting Works

Energy saving lighting solutions are a great way to save not only energy, but also money on monthly utilities. Since this type of lighting is designed to perform well in terms of output to energy consumed ratios, but beyond that tagline, most people don’t know much about how energy efficient lighting works. Let’s take a closer look at how energy efficient lighting works to expand your lighting knowledge base.

Incandescent Operation

Most lighting solutions are incandescent. In fact, they were the leading source of illumination on the market for quite some time until a better means was devised. The reason incandescent bulbs are seen as the lesser of the options available is because of the way it operates. This type of lighting solution is typically a globe made of glass with a metal wire or filament running from the source of power. The way it produces light is through heat. The filament will conduct heat from the energy source and burn until it reaches a heat which produces what we know as light. Since these bulbs operate on high heats, they are more likely to burn up than other lamp options, offer a poor color rendering, and provide a generally low output of illumination. These lamp options consume high levels of energy for minimal results.

Compact Fluorescent Operation

A vast improvement over incandescent options, compact fluorescent lights operate without the emphasis on heat. Made up of glass tubes and a typically square base connecting the energy source with the bulbs, this type of lamp uses electrodes which travel the length of the lamp and collide with mercury atoms along the way which produces ultraviolet lighting. Since ultraviolet light isn’t visible to the human eye, the tubes are often coated with a white phosphor coating to convert the ultraviolet light into visible light. This option is clearly more energy efficient since it doesn’t use high levels of energy to create unnecessary heat. It also offers an improved lumen output with better color rendering index than incandescent lamping solutions. The only downside to how this energy efficient lighting works is the mercury aspect. Mercury can cause potential health and environmental impacts which means care should be taken to dispose of this type of lighting option.

LED operation

While the compact fluorescent is a much-improved option over older models, LED is still the one to beat in terms of energy efficient lighting solutions. This option is free from mercury and offers an even better lumen output to energy consumed ratio. A LED uses light emitting diodes inside the lamp to convert energy to visible light without the use of heat. Within the operation of the diode, there are negative and positive charged electrons which change position through the operation to keep the balance needed to create light. The energy running through these electrons creates visible light, and can even be changed on purpose in such a way as to create multiple colors. While a LED is known for being a no-heat fixture, they actually produce heat as a byproduct of operation, but since the internal driver is typically encased, the heat isn’t as big of an issue compared to other lamp types which create heat as part of their illumination process.