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High-Intensity Discharge (HID) bulbs produce light when an arc passes between cathodes in a pressurized tube, causing metallic additives to vaporize. They have long lives and are extremely energy efficient, but - with the exception of metal halides - they do not produce pleasing light colors. In residential settings, HIDs are most often used for outdoor security and area lighting.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) produce light when voltage is applied to negatively charged semiconductors, causing electrons to combine and create a unit of light (photon). In simpler terms, an LED is a chemical chip embedded in a plastic capsule.LED lighting in general is more efficient and longer lasting than any other type of light source, and it is being developed for more and more applications within the home. LEDs are currently popular in under-cabinet strips and some types of downlights.
Incandescent bulbs produce light when an electric current passes through a filament and causes it to glow. Because they are less energy efficient than other light sources, they are best used for task lighting that demands high levels of brightness.
Beginning in 2012, the U.S. Energy and Independence Act of 2007 will require most incandescent bulbs to produce the same amount. of light using less wattage.
Incandescent Bulbs Include:
General A, G, D
Line Voltage (120 volt)
Low Voltage (12 volt)
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Fluorescent bulbs produce light when an electric arc passes between cathodes to excite mercury and other gases producing radiant energy, which is then converted to visible light by a phosphor coating.
They use 1/5 to 1/3 as much electricity as incandescents with comparable lumen ratings and last up to 20 times longer.
Flourescent Bulbs Include:
- Compact Flourescents Lamps (CFLs)
There are four types of HIDs: