Thursday, May 10, 2012

Look For the Mark: Energy Star and Light Bulbs


Those Energy Star labels aren’t just for refrigerators! Did you know that light bulbs can be Energy Star rated as well? But not all of them are. Consumers looking for inexpensive alternatives in the course of making the shift to LEDs or CFLs may find themselves sold short by sacrificing quality for price. These bulbs are typically a bit more pricey than the incandescents and traditional fluorescents that buyers have grown used to, but they have two built-in benefits: with normal use, they can more than make up that difference in both longevity – meaning less frequent replacement; and energy efficiency, meaning lower power bills.

Energy Star bulbs are tested and certified to meet certain efficiency and lifespan requirements. If an unapproved, off-brand bulb burns out too soon, it’s not given a chance to pay back those extra dollars through 10 or more years of electric bill savings. Energy Star-approved bulbs also emit less heat, which can help lower home cooling costs. One further caveat: as newer bulbs hit the market, they may meet Energy Star standards, but not bear the approval yet. This is because bulbs need to be tested to meet minimum usage benchmarks, which for some of the latest models can reach into the hundreds of thousands of hours. This testing obviously can’t happen overnight, but once the standards have been met, these bulbs will receive approval. Your best bet? Visit our home page, and be sure to get in touch with any questions!

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