Incandescents are So 80’s

You use incandescent bulbs?  Are you living in the 80’s?  By the way when I say the 80’s, I am referring to the 1880’s, the time period that Thomas Edison received a patent for an improved (modern) electric light bulb! The incandescent light bulb has remained relatively unchanged since then, but new legislation going into effect in 2012 will require increased energy efficiency for light bulbs, meaning the end to many incandescent bulbs.

Anyone concerned with energy savings and the environment is likely already using compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs. CFLs use about 4 times fewer watts and up to 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs. Indeed many homes may have already started the switch to CFLs. As revolutionary as they are, CFL’s are broadly viewed as a “bridge technology” that will transition lighting into a new era.

The new age of lighting will be centered on LED lighting. Given the high cost, LEDs, which are highly efficient, have been historically leveraged in settings with high usage (think EXIT signs and other lights that are on all the time). However several manufacturers are now offering LED light bulbs for the home that cost much less than they have in the past, and the expectation is that the price will drop even more over time. One LED light bulb on the market now uses 77 percent less electricity and can operate for up to 23 years. GE’s household LED light puts out the same type of light that a 40 watt incandescent bulb using just 9 watts of power.  These LED lights will use only 25 percent of the energy your standard bulb, but provide similar brightness and color you rely on and enjoy.

At GEF we were lucky to receive a GE energy smart LED bulb as a gift, and we placed it in a lamp in our office. The color was a bright white color, and I worked writing this article under its very serviceable light. Knowing that I won’t have to change the bulb for 25,000 hours (or until my 1 year old daughter graduates from college), and that my energy savings will be greater than 75percent of an incandescent bulb, just may make the approximately $35 retail price, actually work out to being a cost-effective deal!

About Green Education Foundation (GEF)

Mission Green Education Foundation (GEF), a non-profit organization, is committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability Education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging youth to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions. Visit to register for free and to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities.
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2 Responses to Incandescents are So 80’s

  1. Peter says:

    After reading this blog, I am so convinced that I am discarding all my 1880s light bulbs in favor of the smart LED bulbs!!! Never knew anything about this…just thought it was a gimic!! Thanks for the informative blog!!!! Keep writing and informing the public!!

  2. Rae-Ann says:

    Unfortunately for many of us, change is difficult. However, if we are concerned as we should be about preserving our natural resources, this seems to be a change worth considering. Thanks for enLIGHTening us.

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