Efficient Lighting

Lighting for Alternative Energy enthusiasts generally means high efficiency lighting that requires less power to illuminate those things that need light shed on them.

In general, the two technologies that have the efficiency required are fluorescent lights and light emitting diodes.

Fluorescent lights, at this time, have the edge over LED lights when it comes to economy and efficiency, but this will likely be changing as new manufacturing methods make LED lighting more affordable.

LED lighting has advantages in ruggedness, simplicity, battery powered applications, and when adjustable color is desired. An LED light source can be made up of individual red, green, and blue LEDs that are separately dimmable, allowing any color you like.

LED light bulbs currently have lifetimes of over 50,000 hours (over 5 years, or 10 years if only on half the day), outlasting incandescent bulbs by 50 times, and compact fluorescent bulbs by 10 times. They also operate at lower voltages, and lower temperatures, potentially making them safer to use. And they emit no ultraviolet light to fade fabrics and artwork. And because they are cooler, you save on air-conditioning.

For colored spotlights and floodlights, LEDs are more efficient, because they only emit the color you want, and no filters are needed to block the unwanted light.

Compact fluorescent lights are as efficient as today's white LED lights, and they are less expensive. You can even get dimmable versions. Replacing all of your incandescent lighting with compact fluorescents can make a big difference in your energy consumption, and your power bill. And, if you are using less energy, you can save more money by buying a small solar power system than you would otherwise need.