Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What's With The Name Kan-Green

I have been asked what the name of my blog means. The first portion, Kan, stands for two things. The first being Kansas which is where I live. The second is that I believe that anyone can be green. It does not take much effort to live a more sustainable lifestyle. A good place to start is with your choice of bulb to light your home. The typical American home uses 25% of their home energy budget on lighting! Saving money could be as easy as switching your antiquated incandescent light bulbs to one of the newer energy efficient styles. We have many different options which I will outline below:

Incandescent bulbs:

1. Cheap
2. Widely available
3. Come in many different shapes, styles, and colors
4. Produce a soft, soothing light in all directions
5. They cool almost immediately when turned off

1. Old technology from the late 1800's
2. Rely on heating a filament to produce light
3. Short life span, up to 1,500 hours
4. Produce heat, not good in regards to attempting to keep your home cool
5. Consume 2-3 times more energy than the newer alternatives

Halogen Light Bulbs:

1. Brighter
2. Most closely imitate the light from the sun
3. Smaller
4. Longer life than incandescent up to 2,500 hours
5. They recycle themselves

1. Like incandescent bulbs they rely on heating of a filament to produce light
2. Waste gas and electricity in heat energy released from the bulb
3. Due to safety issues they should never be used in lamps or a children's room
4. Should never be used near flammable objects

Fluorescent Bulbs

1. Available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes
2. More energy efficient than incandescent or halogen bulbs
3. Last 15-20 times longer, up to 25,000 hours and use 40% less energy than incandescent or halogens
4. The light is softer and warmer than traditional fluorescent bulbs

1. Light is not as warm or natural as incandescent bulbs
2. Lamps and fixtures tend to cost more as a ballast is required
3. Life is shortened by frequent turning on and off
4. Has been connected to the fading of paintings due to high uv output
5. May not turn on in extremely cold temperatures
6. Contain mercury and phosphur materials

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

1. Saves approximately $30 in energy costs over its life span
2. Pays for itself in 6 months
3. Uses 75% less energy and lasts 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs
4. Less expensive than other higher efficiency bulbs
5. Versatile as they can be used anywhere an incandescent bulb is now used


1. Sensitive to frequent turning on and off
2. Not all CFL's can be used with dimmers or timers
3. Can only be used outdoors if covered or shaded
4. Contain mercury which is toxic to you and the environment

Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Bulbs

1. They do not get warm
2. There is no filament
3. Long life lasting 10 times longer than CFL bulbs
4. Last up to 60,000 hours
5. Cost of power for 60,000 hours - $12.00
6. Durable. There is no filament to break thus they last far longer
7. Mercury free

1. Generally less bright than traditional bulbs
2. Has a very direct field of light. Useful for task lighting, not so much for lighting a room
3. High production cost leading to high cost to purchase

Fact: If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.

Fact: A report by the International Energy Agency found that a global switch to energy efficient lighting would trim the worlds electricity bill by one-tenth. The carbon dioxide emissions cut would be more than those produced by the current use of solar and wind technologies combined!

Fact: 19% of global energy use is for lighting.

Fact: Replacing a single incandescent bulb with a CFL will keep half a ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere over the life of the bulb.

Fact: If every household in the United States used energy efficient lighting we could shut down 90 average size power plants!

Want to learn more? Check out these links:

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