Energy-saving light bulbs are an excellent way to save energy and do your part in conserving the environment. That said, energy-saving light bulbs often cost significantly more than traditional light bulbs. If you already own or are considering purchasing energy-saving light bulbs, it is a good idea to research ways to extend the life of your bulbs in order to get the most for your money.
Avoid Certain Things
Turning an energy-saving bulb off and on repeatedly can shorten its life. Try to leave the bulb on for a minimum of 15 minutes. Any less and you could cause a premature burnout. While they make excellent ceiling lights, avoid using low-energy bulbs with ceiling fans and near doors as well. Energy-saving bulbs are vulnerable to vibrations and jolts. This means they do not last quite as long when exposed to constant ceiling fan vibrations. The same goes for bulbs near frequently used doors. Finally, avoid using energy-saving bulbs in enclosed light fixtures. Heat can shorten the life of low-energy bulbs. When using in recessed lighting or enclosed fixtures, the heat traps itself around the bulbs, which can cause premature burnout. If you must use energy-saving bulbs in enclosed fixtures, try purchasing low-watt bulbs, perhaps 20 watts or less, and use them in cooler parts of your home.
Use Natural Light When Possible
One of the easiest ways to save energy and extend the life of your energy-saving bulbs is to use natural light instead, whenever possible. To become less dependent on your artificial lights, you can try using timer-controlled devices to limit daytime bulb use. You can even try repainting rooms with lighter, more reflective colours in order to maximise the illumination from the sun's natural light.
Use Dimmer Switches
Over the years, there has been much debate about whether or not dimmer switches save energy and lengthen the life of energy-saving bulbs. Most energy-saving bulbs are not compatible with dimmer switches. In such cases, a dimmer switch can shorten the bulb's life dramatically. Still, to meet consumers' needs, many energy-saving light bulb manufacturers are now producing dimmable low-energy bulbs which are compatible with staged dimming. If you would like to use energy-saving bulbs with dimmer switches, look for packaging labels that clearly read 'dimmable'. In addition, you may need to purchase special dimmer switches for best results.