Energy Academy

Lighting

Buildings and homes use a variety of different light bulbs, and efficiency standards change over time. Traditional incandescent light bulbs are the least efficient and shortest-lived conventional option. Other more efficient, longer-lasting lighting options are now available. A light bulb’s efficiency is determined by evaluating the ratio of light output to power consumption.

Electricity production and consumption vary between months due to differences in weather patterns and use. For example, consumption increases dramatically in August and September as students and teachers return to class. What other conclusions can you draw from the data?

behind the technology

An incandescent light bulb (left) is the traditional option. Its alternative, the compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL, center), requires less than half the power and lasts about twice as long. A light-emitting diode (LED, right) light bulb can last up to a decade and consumes less than half the power of the CFL.