101 Alternative Energy: Light On

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By Sarah Rich / Published by Dwell
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The standard pear-shaped incandescent bulb thatmost of us have been using for ages has a bad reputation among environmentalists as an energy hog.

Incandescent bulbs last a very short time, and waste almost all of the energy passing through them in the form of heat, rendering them highly inefficient as a light source. These days, almost every list of "simple steps for saving the environment" includes switching from incandescents to compact fluorescents, which last up to ten times as long and shrink energy bills. 

The second-most important thing to know about LEDs? These bulbs, when used a typical eight hours a day, will last approximately 17 years. In other words, once you change the bulb, you can forget about everything except how much money you’ll be saving. Because LEDs give off no heat, the only thing warm about these bulbs is the soft golden light they give off. In fact, LEDs have tremendous color-temperature flexibility, emitting a spectrum from warm and golden to cool and white.