As we know, climate change is undoubtedly having a negative effect on our Earth, and in order to prevent permanent damage, we need to take action now. However, how? We contribute to climate change every day, from our electricity usage to the gas we use while driving. If we could change the products we use, we can significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses we contribute. One of the highest users of electricity is lights, as about 10% of electricity usage in a household is used for lighting.
The most common type of light used is called incandescent lights. Incandescent lights are lit by heating a wire in the bulb so it glows. However, about 90% of the energy generated is heat and less than 5% is light. In addition, they can last about 1,500 hours. Incandescent bulbs consume about 60 watts of electricity.
A better alternative is fluorescent lights, which are lit by an electric current that reacts with a tube with argon and a small amount of mercury gas, resulting in ultraviolet light that activates a coat of fluorescent light inside the tube making visible light. In comparison to incandescent light, fluorescent uses less electricity and lasts about 10,000 to 15,000 hours meaning less waste as well. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “if every household in America replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL (Fluorescent light), the energy saved would be enough to light 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions from the equivalent of 800,000 cars.”
On top of that, LED lights are even more effective light compared to both incandescent and fluorescent lights but are more expensive. Unlike incandescent and fluorescent lights, LEDs don’t generate most of their energy in heat and are lit by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material, using about 10 watts of electricity. LED lights can last up to 25,000 to 35,000 hours, two to four times longer than a fluorescent light bulb.
In conclusion, changing something as simple as a light bulb can help prevent further climate change and also reduce waste. One step at a time we can come closer to a better, cleaner future and all it takes is a change of a light bulb.
Edison, Thomas. “CFL vs. LED Lights: Which is the Energy Efficient Light Bulb?” Green America, https://www.greenamerica.org/green-living/cfls-vs-leds-better-bulbs. Accessed 12 February 2023.