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Dulley's Money-Saving Tip #1026

Select proper type of light bulb

(related column topic - 936, 514)

Using the proper types of lights in your house can help keep it cooler in the summer. This can also reduce your electric bills in two ways - 1) your air-conditioning costs will be lower and 2) the portion of your electricity bills for lighting will be less.

Next to natural lighting with a garden window or a sunspace, fluorescent lights are the best to use, especially in the summer. The new compact fluorescent bulbs give off light very similar to standard incandescent bulbs. Many of the new fluorescent tubes also provide very pleasing warm color tones (called color rendition). These lights will not make you look like a walking corpse.

Fluorescent lights use only about one-quarter as much electricity as incandescent bulbs for the same amount of light output. Since nearly all of the electricity used by a light ends up as heat inside your home, fluorescent bulbs will increase your comfort and lower your air-conditioning and electric bills. Although fluorescent bulbs cost more to buy, they last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Another plus is that they operate at a cooler temperature than incandescent bulbs. This means that less of the heat from the light is "radiated" (like the sun's rays heat you) down to your body. Halogen bulbs are probably the worse for radiating heat to your body because they get very hot. They give off excellent light quality, but you can literally feel the heat given off.


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