High Performance Lighting Guide for the Home: Part 4

The Availability and Cost of High Performance Lighting

Traditional residential, incandescent lighting varies widely in both availability and cost. This is also true for the five categories of High Performance Lighting: tubular fluorescents, built-in CFLs, decorative CFLs, built-in LEDs and decorative LEDs.

Tubular Fluorescents– These strip lights are the simplest of fluorescent fixtures, and are typically used in coves, valances and soffits. The cost ranges from $20 to $30 depending on length and lamp diameter.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL)- CFL fixtures for built in applications, recessed down lights and wall washers are somewhat limited in availability.  Big box retailers tend to stock the simplest versions. For recessed downlights the CFL versions cost approximately double what the incandescent versions cost ranging around $30 to $60.

Decorative CFLs- Close-to-ceiling fixtures, sconces and pendants come in a wide variety of styles and prices. However, big box retailers typically offer a very limited range for these fixtures. Decorative CFLs are more costly than incandescent fixtures because they have more components, such as ballasts.

Built-in LEDs- These downlights and strip lights are becoming more popular and widely available. Some of these LED fixtures cost no more than their CFL equivalents. LEDs are rapidly improving in performance and decreasing in cost, however they are still pricier than incandescent lamps.

Decorative LEDs- Decorative LEDs are in the beginning stages of development; therefore their cost is changing rapidly. These types of fixtures are available for order through electrical supply houses and lighting showrooms.

You can find just about any type of fixture to fulfill your lighting needs in a more environmentally friendly product. What are your thoughts on paying extra to become more energy efficient and saving money long term?

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