In times past, outdoor lights ran exclusively off of electricity and used only incandescent bulbs. Landscape lighting has come a long way in the past few years, though, with more energy-saving options available than ever before. As a consumer, you’ve got some serious options when it comes to purchasing outdoor lighting that is eco-friendly and saves you money on your energy bill. Here’s a basic rundown of what’s out there and what it all means.
- Compact Florescent lighting (CF) – CFs are a step above the traditional incandescent bulbs. They contain only trace amounts of mercury, unlike their predecessors, which had loads of the toxin. While not as ‘green’ as some other options in the energy efficient family of outdoor lighting, CFs are a step in a more ecological direction. They still run off of electricity but use less of it than older-style bulbs.
- Solar Powered Lighting – Solar powered lights absorb energy from the sun during the day, which provides them power to run at night. No wires, no plugs, no electricity usage at all is required to run solar lights. This makes them the only 100% energy efficient option available for purchase today. A good solar powered light, given adequate sun exposure, should run for at least 12 hours. The only major drawback is that these must be placed in high-sun areas for optimum performance. These require zero mercury to operate.
- LED Lighting - LED is an acronym for Light Emitting Diode, a technology which has all but made incandescent and halogen bulbs obsolete. Not only do LEDs put out much more light and last years longer; they are 80% more energy efficient than outdoor lighting of old. LED lights contain no mercury.
You shouldn’t be limited when it comes to style and type, either. Most companies offer energy efficient options throughout their entire product line.