Saving Energy: Halogen Lightbulbs vs. CFL

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Saving Energy: Halogen Lightbulbs vs. CFL

Daphne Mallory · Oct 14, 2010

You’ve probably heard about light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulbs and compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulbs, but you may not know about halogen lightbulbs. Light bulbs contribute to your electric bill, and when it comes to saving energy, switching light bulbs should be a high priority. When you compare CFLs to halogens, you may be surprised to learn than CFL lightbulbs are better, but neither are good options for your apartment.

Pros of Halogen Lightbulbs

Halogen light bulbs are the new and improved incandescent light bulbs. They last longer though, and the light is often brighter because of their aluminum reflectors.  The benefits of halogen lightbulbs when compared to CFL lightbulbs are:

  • The lightbulbs cost less, so initial costs are lower
  • Don’t have to wait for light to work in cold temperatures
  • Halogens aren’t noisy and they don’t give off odor like some CFLs
  • Makes a room appear brighter than CFL bulbs
  • Gives off a large amount of heat, which can keep a cold room warm in the wintertime

Halogens are more cost effective upfront, but you’ll spend much more money on your electric bill, than if you were to use CFL lightbulbs.

Cons of Halogen Lightbulbs

The risks and energy costs of halogen lightbulbs aren’t attractive, and you would be better off not using them for the following reasons:

  • Takes more watts than CFL bulbs to run
  • It’s a fire hazard, even more so than CFL bulbs
  • Not as efficient as CFL bulbs, which will cost you more money to use

Halogen lightbulbs are used in cars primarily, but they may not be safe for home use. They are banned in some places for indoor use, and you may think twice before using them in your apartment.

Pros of CFL Bulbs

There are advantages to using CFL lightbulbs rather than halogen lightbulbs when it comes to saving energy. Some of the advantages are:

  • You’ll save more money on your electric bill because CFLs require less energy than halogen bulbs to run
  • Fire hazard is not as great as halogen bulbs
  • CFLs don’t produce as much heat as halogens, which keeps your room cooler

At first glance, you might want to run out and buy CFL bulbs. However, CFLs may not be a good choice either because of its disadvantages.

Cons of CFL Bulbs

CFL bulbs are not all that great because they have significant disadvantages:

  • Contains mercury which is a health risk
  • It’s less of a fire hazard than halogens, but  it’s still a fire hazard
  • Some CFL bulbs are noisy

Saving energy doesn’t require you to sacrifice your health and safety in the process. Both CFL and halogen lightbulbs may not be worth it.

You may be wondering what to do about saving energy by addressing your lighting use, if CFL and halogen lightbulbs aren’t the best options.  LED lightbulbs are the way to go. You don’t have the fire hazards or mercury issues.

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