Suddenly…a light went on

Today, at Fortress Insurance, we’re going to talk about LIGHT BULBS for the home.  We talked a few weeks ago about how useful outdoor lights can be to help keep bad guys away from the house.
But this week, we want to just talk about light bulbs, period.  You see, as of January 1st, the production of America’s most popular incandescent light bulbs (40 and 60 ‎watt bulbs) stopped. That’s it.  When they are gone , they are gone.  SO…what does that mean for you?  Well for one thing, you’ll probably save a lot more energy…but it never hurts to have a primer about what kinds of light bulb options you actually have…

What does this have to do with Insurance?  Well, not a lot, really. But, we thought it was USEFUL information, and so, we thought we’d pass it on to you.
So, here’s the skinny on your options…

Our first entry is the compact fluorescent lamp (a.k.a. the CFL).   Most of us have a neighbor who tinkers in the garage in the evenings. You can often see the fluorescent lights they use hanging over workbenches. They are great for lighting up a larger area, like workshop spaces.‎   CFLs for your home are basically the same thing as your find  in your neighbor’s garage except they’re ‎smaller and they are made specifically for indoor lighting fixtures. CFLs use just 25% of the energy used by incandescent ‎bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, CFLs can last up ‎to ten times longer than a comparable incandescent bulb and can save enough energy to pay for themselves in less than nine months.‎

When CFLs initially came to market, people thought the light appeared too ‎industrial. Now, however, they come in warmer colors. Before you buy a CFL bulb, look on the side of ‎the box to see how warm or cool the light will appear. A warm light means that it will have a yellowish ‎glow, which is more like a traditional incandescent light. CFLs are significantly brighter. A bulb ‎equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent bulb only consumes 25 watts of electricity.

‎While CFLs do save money, there are two downsides: ‎

  • ‎They contain a small amount of mercury. This means you can’t throw them in the garbage; ‎they must be recycled. If you, like us, are in Olmsted County, Minnesota, you can recycle the bulbs for free at the Olmsted County HazardousWaste facility. Many hardware stores also offer in-store recycling. To find a store ‎near you, visit this handy website.
  • They take some time to warm up which means your living room won’t be instantly bright when ‎you turn on the switch.‎

The second type of light bulb is the light emitting diode(which you might know simply as the LED). LEDs are significantly more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs; ‎however, they’re 75 percent more efficient and last 25 times longer, according to the U.S. Department of ‎Energy. Unlike CFLs, LED bulbs turn on instantly.

Finally, we have the halogen light bulb. These light bulbs probably most resemble traditional incandescent. They light up ‎instantly, they can be used on dimmer switches, and they come in multiple shapes and sizes. Again, according to ‎the U.S. Department of Energy, these lights are 25% more efficient and last up to three times longer.‎

So, there you have it. Your guide to home lighting from your friendly independent neighborhood insurance agent.

Next time, we’ll talk about insurance again,  we promise!

P.S.- If you REALLY need an insurance tip this week, and you think we should have come up with something “Lighting Related”, then here it is: DID YOU KNOW that candles are estimated to cause between 29 and 42 house fires every day?   Candle fires are most common during the holidays. Thirty-sixpercent of candle fires start in the bedroom. Falling asleep with a candle burning was a factor in 12% of fires.  So, if you are using a candle instead of  a light bulb, no matter what kind it is … NEVER leave the candle unattended, pay attention and stay safe!

 

 

 

 

 

Staff Writer