Lighting facts: Did you know that 70% of lightbulbs in the U.S. are still inefficient models?

Energy Star lighting facts
Public Domain Energy Star

Those of us who are conscious about not wasting energy might thing that the energy-efficient lightbulb revolution is over. We switched to CFLs a few years ago, and are getting even better LEDs now. But according to Energy Star, the government agency that tracks that kind of thing, around 70% of light sockets in the U.S. still contain inefficient lightbulbs (meaning mostly: incandescent).

Far from being over, the revolution is just starting!

Energy Star lighting factsEnergy Star/Public Domain

The benefits of switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs (look for the Energy Star logo) are not just environmental. They also save you money over their useful life. Most people who complain about the price tend to forget to look at energy costs and how many incandescent bulbs you'd have to buy over the life of just one LED (more on that below).

Energy Star lighting facts (corrected)Energy Star/Public Domain

If you're used to thinking about lights in term of the incandescent rating, no problem. All LEDs that I've seen show the incandescent-equivalent rating on the box, as well as the lumens (amount of light emitted) rating.

Energy Star lighting factsEnergy Star/Public Domain

If every home in the U.S. switched just one inefficient light for an Energy Star one, that would be equivalent to taking 800,000 vehicles off the road in term of greenhouse gas emissions, and it would cut down on all kinds of pollutants that come from coal power plants (mercury, various smog-forming particulates, etc). And that's just 1 light per house. I'm hoping that most people will embrace the new technology and change all their lights as they burn out...

And all these numbers are just for the current generation of lights. LEDs in the lab are already showing much higher efficiencies. I can't wait for them to hit the market...

Via Energy Star

See also: In-depth LED bulb reviews and teardowns: More than you ever wanted to know about LEDs... (videos)

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