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Green Lighting 101: Your Guide to Energy Efficient Interior Lighting
THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF INDOOR LIGHTING
The Incandescent: A fading standard.
Although we all love Thomas Edison, his original tungsten-based light bulb was never known for its efficiency. Although they were the lighting standard for decades, the lighting industry is finally moving away from incandescent bulbs at a quickening pace — even making some bulbs illegal, such as any flood lamp greater than 65 watts. Thankfully, there are lots of better, more efficient, and longer-lasting options out there.
Halogen and Zenon
A halogen lamp is an incandescent lamp that houses a tungsten filament contained with an inert gas and a small amount of a halogen such as iodine or bromine. Halogen and Zenon technologies allow you to get more light from fewer watts, but they are still rather energy-inefficient. Although a 100-watt Halogen provides about 250 watts of incandescent equivalent light, the bulb still requires 100 Watts — whereas a fluorescent would only need to be about 60 -75 Watts (although such a high wattage CFL is not made.) The benefit to Halogens and Zenons are that they are small in size compared to incandescents or fluorescents. Zenon bulbs are also significantly more efficient than halogens, as they operate at a lower temperature and maintain a better quality of light. Halogen Energy Savers (from Philips) are uniquely designed to provide the same crisp, white halogen light as standard halogen bulbs, but they use much less energy. When using Halogen or Zenon bulbs, the best option is usually to choose low-voltage systems that operate at 12 volts as opposed to the standard 120 volts seen in regular incandescent light bulbs.
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